- by Dr Raghavendra K S Senses ENT care Center
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- Jul 17 2017
Troubled with Ear Infection?
When the middle ear — the sections of your ear just behind the eardrum is affected by a bacterial or viral infection an ear infection occurs. Because of inflammation and fluid build-up in the middle ear, infection of the ear can be painful.
Ear infections can be acute or chronic. Acute ear infections are agonizing but short in time span. Chronic ear infections either do not clear up, or they reoccur many times. Chronic ear infections can cause long-term injury to the inner ear and middle.
Causes an ear infection?
When one of your Eustachian tubes becomes inflated or obstructed, causing fluid to spread in your middle ear, an ear infection occurs. Eustachian tubes are small tubes that pass from each ear straight to the back of the throat. The causes of Eustachian tube obstruction include:
Inflated adenoids or infected (tissue close to your tonsils that cage harmful bacteria and viruses)
Changes in air pressure
Outer ear infection or swimmer’s ear
As children have short and narrow Eustachian tubes, ear infections happen most frequently in young children. Incidence of ear infections in infants who are bottle-fed is higher of than their breastfed equivalent. Other factors that increase the risk of developing an ear infection are:
Exposure to cigarette smoke
Use of pacifier
Recent illness or ear infection
Some of the frequent symptoms of ear infections are:
A sensation of thrust inside the ear that continues
Mild pain or uneasiness inside the ear
Pus-like ear drainage
Finicky in young infants
These symptoms might continue or alternate. Symptoms may happen in one or both ears. Pain is generally more acute with double ear infection or infection in both ears. Symptoms in chronic ear infection may be less significant than those of acute ear infections.
Children below than six months who have a fever or ear infection symptoms should see a physician. Always look for medical consideration if your child has a fever higher than 102°F or intense ear pain.
Your physician will inspect your ears with a tool called an otoscope that has a magnifying lens and a light. Examination may disclose:
Air bubbles, redness, or pus-like fluid inside the middle ear
Fluid trickling from the middle ear
A hole in the eardrum
A bulged or collapsed eardrum
If your infection is matured, your doctor may take a specimen of the fluid inside your ear and test it to detect whether specific types of bacteria immune to antibiotic are present. He or she may also advice a computed tomography (CT) scan of your head to detect if the infection has spread further on to the middle ear. Eventually, you may need a hearing test, especially if you are agonized from chronic ear infections.
Most mild ear infections resolve without involvement. Some of the following procedures are effectual in reducing the symptoms of a mild ear infection:
Soothing the affected ear with a warm cloth
Taking medication to reduce pain
Using medication or prescription ear drops to lessen pain
Taking decongestants: If your symptoms get adverse or do not get better, you should seek an appointment with your doctor. The physician may advise antibiotics if your ear infection is chronic or does not seem to be getting better. If a child under the age of two presents with ear infection symptoms, a doctor will probably give them antibiotics as well. It’s crucial to finish your whole course of antibiotics if they are advised.
If your ear infection is not abolished with the usual medical treatments or if you have many ear infections over a short span of time, surgery may be an option. Most frequently, tubes are placed in the ears to let fluid to drain out. Surgical removal of the adenoids may be required, in cases that involve enlarged adenoids.
Infections generally resolve without involvement, but they may reoccur. The following unusual but critical complications may follow an ear infection:
Speech or language delay in children
Mastoiditis (an infection of the mastoid bone in the skull)
Meningitis (a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)
A ruptured eardrum
The following actions may lessen the risk of ear infection:
Washing your hands often
Avoiding overly crowded areas
Giving up pacifiers with infants and small children
Avoiding secondhand smoke
Keeping immunizations up-to-date
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