by HEALTHY HEART CLINICS
What are ear infections/ear aches?
There are three types of middle ear infections:
Acute otitis media: This is a common ear infection and is more likely to happen in children than adults. This infection occurs in the middle ear. The middle ear is the space behind the ear drum that is filled with air and contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear.
Otitis media with effusion: There are other types of infections that may occur such as otitis media, which occurs in the middle ear as well. This occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear without causing an infection. Otitis media does not cause symptoms like fever, ear pain, or pus buildup in the middle ear.
Chronic otitis media with effusion: this ear infection occurs when fluid (effusion) and mucus build up in the middle ear after the infection goes away this will feel like your middle ear is full. The duration of this infection can continue for months and can affect your hearing.
Other types of ear infections:
Swimmer’s ear: Swimmer’s ear is another common infection. Swimmer’s ear occurs in the outer ear canal.
Ear Aches: ear aches are sharp to dull to burning pain in one or both ears. Pain may last a short time or an extended amount of time. Ear aches can be related to the swimmer’s ear, otitis media, and malignant otitis externa (MEO, infection of the external auditory canal and temporal bone).
What causes ear infections?
Middle ear infections are caused by fluid buildup in the ear. This fluid buildup is caused by the swelling of the Eustachian tube which is connected to the throat. This tube helps even out the pressure between the outer ear and the inner ear. A cold or allergy can irritate the tube and cause the area around it to swell which will keep fluid from draining from the middle ear. If exposed, bacteria and viruses will grow in this fluid buildup. Viruses like the common cold or bacteria can also cause a middle ear infection.
What are the symptoms of ear infections?
Ear infection symptoms:
- Ear pain in one or both ears
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Trouble hearing
- High body temperature
- Last of energy
- Itching and irritation in and around the ear
- Discharge running out of the ear
- Feeling a pressure inside the ear
- Scaly skin in or around the ear
When to see a doctor:
- If your symptoms last more than a day
- If your ear pain is severe
- If you have a discharge of fluid, pus, or bloody fluid from the year
How can I improve my quality of life?
- Take the medications prescribed to you. These may include antibiotic pills to be taken by mouth or as ear drops. These may also include medication for pain, decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal steroids.
- Do not attempt to remove ear wax.
- Do not itch or scratch your ears.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water.
Each patient deserves the highest quality of care. Creating a personalized care program tailored to each patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances can help people regain control and maintain optimum health.