When something enters our system or comes in contact with our bodies that our immune…
When it comes to causing pain and discomfort, ear infections are one of the most common conditions. Most people have experienced at least one in their lifetime. While adults may experience an ear infection, they are much more common in children. In fact, five out of six children have an ear infection by the time they turn three years old.
What is an Ear Infection?
Ear infections are an infection that causes inflammation and fluid build-up behind the eardrum. The eustachian tubes may become swollen and/or blocked. As a result, fluid builds up within the middle ear. While most common in young children, adults can experience ear infections for several reasons.
Possible causes of an ear infection range from allergies, sinus infections, air pressure changes, smoking, or an infection in your adenoids. Symptoms of an ear infection include pain and discomfort, pressure, hearing loss, dizziness, and pus drainage. It is possible to have an ear infection in just one ear or both. Even though most ear infections are mild and clear within a few days, there are certain ear infection complications you should take seriously. Children are more susceptible to ear infections. Many children may not communicate that they have an ear infection, so pay attention to any symptoms that may occur. If you believe you have a severe ear infection, it is best to visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor near you for treatment.
Ear Infection Complications to Look For
Pain is one of the common signs of an ear infection and they can cause significant discomfort and pain. Additionally, fever is another symptom of an ear infection. Monitor your temperature and seek treatment if your temperature begins spiking. Untreated ear infections can also cause the eardrum to rupture or tear due to excessive fluid build-up. Tears in the eardrum usually heal on their own but can require surgery to repair them if severe.
While most ear infections usually heal on their own, severe complications or symptoms may occur. Hearing loss is a common complication of ear infections. While hearing loss caused by an Severe Ear Infection Complications
Pay attention to the symptoms of your ear infection. Repeated ear infections can lead to mastoiditis. Mastoiditis is a condition where the bones behind the ear become infected. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting from ear infections can be a sign of a potential brain abscess. Brain abscesses are dangerous and require immediate treatment. Facial paralysis can occur due to the ear infection impacting the facial nerve. The facial nerve runs through the ear and severe infections can impact the nerve function.
Ear Infection Treatment
Most ear infections clear up on their own in a few days. Severe ear infections may require treatment. If you experience any severe symptoms or discomfort, seek treatment immediately. The most common treatment of an ear infection is antibiotics. Antibiotics may come in ear drops or be taken orally. If the ear infection is caused by a cold or allergies, antihistamines or decongestants may be recommended. This will help clear and relieve pressure in the sinuses and help the ear infection heal. For children, it is best to seek treatment for an ear infection early on.
When To Visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor Near You
If the symptoms of your ear infection are severe or do not clear up in a few days, contact your local ENT doctor. Most ear infections are minor and will clear up on their own. However, they may cause significant discomfort. Find an ear, nose, and throat doctor near you to have the infection examined. For treatment and prevention of ear infection complications, contact our specialists at Camellia ENT today at 337-993-1335! If you have never visited a local ENT doctor, learn more about what to expect at your first ear, nose, and throat doctor appointment.