How Is A Fungal Ear Infection Diagnosed
It you’ve just come back from SCUBA diving in Hawaii, your doctor may well suspect a fungal cause for your ear infection. Otherwise, because a fungal infection looks just like an infection from germs , it’s unlikely to be the first thing your doctor thinks of. Most likely, a fungal infection will only be suspected if your infection does not improve with antibiotic drops prescribed for a bacterial infection.
Causes Of Ear Infection
Ear infections are typically caused by viral or bacterial infections, often as a result of other conditions such as a cold or flu. In the case of otitis media, these illnesses can result in a blockage of the Eustachian tubes. This blockage creates a vacuum which allows bacteria to enter the middle ear.
In the case of outer ear infections, certain factors make the occurrence more likely. These include:
- Substances in the ear: Water or other substances in the ear may create an environment where an accumulation of bacteria becomes more likely. This can cause infection. The subsequent itching after infection can cause skin irritation, which may make an infection worse. As otitis externa is common in people who swim regularly, the condition is sometimes referred to as swimmerâs ear.
- Warm weather: The condition is more common in warmer countries.
- Skin issues: Irritated skin, as a result of skin problems such as eczema, may make otitis externa more likely.
- Otitis media: Ear discharge as a result of otitis media can sometimes become lodged in the ear and cause otitis externa.
Inner ear infections , in most cases, follow a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. Less commonly, labyrinthitis can be caused by an infection that affects the rest of the body, such as measles, mumps and glandular fever. In rare cases, both labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis can be caused by a bacterial infection.
Are There Any Potential Complications Or Long
A severe inner ear infection can actually spread to the part of the brain that controls your dogs breathing and heart rate, although this is quite rare.
Two potential long-term complications of inner ear infection include a permanently altered sense of balance and/or persistent signs of Horners syndrome. Your dog may also become permanently deaf in the affected ear.
That said, most dogs with otitis interna respond well to medical management. Expect a two- to four-month course of oral antibiotics to prevent a relapse. The altered sense of balance that generally accompanies otitis interna is typically improved within two to six weeks. Small dogs may recover their balance more quickly than large breeds.
Don’t Miss: Colloidal Silver Ruptured Eardrum
Can You Have An Ear Infection Without A Fever
Fever may come with an ear infection, but not always, Shu says. Parents might spot other symptoms, such as earaches, ear drainage, trouble hearing or sleeping, ear tugging, poor appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. But “for many children, it’s just fussiness, crying more than usual, being clingy,” Shu says.
Longer Term Effects Of Inner Ear Infections
Generally, the symptoms will clear up as soon as the infection is gone. However, the effects can sometimes last longer.
You might still feel dizzy and off-balance even when the other symptoms caused by the infection have gone. This can be a sign that the balance organs were damaged. Your brain can usually learn to work with these changes, so your sense of balance should usually come back by itself. However, if youre struggling to cope or the problem persists, you should see an ENT specialist. The doctor can check for any underlying causes and may refer you for vestibular rehabilitation therapy to help you to recover your balance.
Inner ear infections can also have a longer term effect on your hearing. This is more likely if you had bacterial infection, so your doctor might recommend a hearing test to check on your ears after the infection.
You May Like: How To Say Take In Sign Language
Can You Have A Sinus Infection With Clear Mucus
But you can have perfectly clear mucus and have a terrible ear and sinus infection, Kao says. If you do have an infection, youll likely also have other symptoms, such as congestion, fever, and pressure in your face, overlying the sinuses, Johns says. Multi-hued mucus also relates to concentration of the mucus.
Recommended Reading: How To Turn On Hearing Aid Mode On Iphone
Types Of Ear Infections In Adults
Adults can have ear infections too below, youll find an overview of the three types.
Ear infections happen more frequently in children due to their smaller, more horizontal eustachian tubes. Eustachian tubes are the airways between the ears and the throat that help regulate the ears air pressure. Even so, there are three types of ear infections in adults can be problematic and could be worth a visit to your audiologist.
Recommended Reading: How To Do Abc In Sign Language
What Is The Difference Between Labyrinthitis And Meniere’s Disease
There are various kinds of vestibular disorders, a number of people may confuse two in particular, these are labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease. Your vestibular system encompasses the parts of your inner ear and your brain that are responsible for processing sensory information that is involved with eye movements and balance control. Vestibular disorders occur as a result of an injury or disease that damages these processing areas.
Menieres disease is one of the most commonly occurring vestibular disorders and results in a set of recurring symptoms as a result of a large amount of fluid known as endolymph, accumulating in the inner ear. The cause of this condition is not yet known, however, the four main symptoms include tinnitus, vertigo, ear pressure, as well as hearing issues. There are a few differentiating factors that set labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease apart, some of these include:
How The Labyrinth Works
The fluid-filled channels of the labyrinth are known as the vestibular system and they are connected at different angles. This fluid moves when you move your head, telling your brain how far, fast and in what direction your head is moving. This allows your body to balance properly. The vestibular system works in a similar way to a stereo, with your left and right ears sending separate signals to your brain. If one ear becomes infected, these signals become out of sync, which confuses your brain and triggers symptoms such as dizziness and loss of balance.
The labyrinth also contains a small, spiral-shaped cavity called the cochlea. It sends sound waves to the language processing areas of the brain. Inflammation can disrupt this function, leading to hearing loss.
Read Also: Why Does My Hearing Aid Beep
Signs Of Ear Infection Complications
An ear infection is generally a non-serious condition, with complications being rare. In some cases, however, minor complications can occur. These may include:
- Rupture of the eardrum: Also known as a tympanic membrane rupture, this is one of the most common ear infection complications. The rupture does not hurt and may lead to relief from earache. The rupture will usually heal quickly, but antibiotics may be necessary.
- Hearing loss: The fluid buildup that may occur as a result of infection can persist after the infection itself has resolved. This can cause short-term, but also prolonged hearing loss. Generally, the fluid will disappear naturally, though surgical treatment is available if it persists for longer than roughly three months.
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a complication of an ear infection, try using the Ada app to find out what the problem may be.
Check If You Have Labyrinthitis
The most common symptoms of labyrinthitis are:
- dizziness or feeling that everything around you is spinning
- feeling unsteady and off balance you might find it difficult to stay upright or walk in a straight line
- feeling or being sick
- hearing loss
- ringing in your ears
Symptoms can start suddenly. They may be there when you wake up and get worse as the day goes on.
The symptoms often ease after a few days.
You’ll usually get your balance back over 2 to 6 weeks, although it can take longer.
Read Also: Ears Ringing Alcohol
Ear Infection Symptoms: Babies
Ear infections arenât always apparent in babies and children who are too young to describe their pain. They may signify ear pain by pulling on or fussing with their ear. They may just be irritable, or not eating or sleeping well. Babies sometimes refuse to drink from a bottle because swallowing hurts their ears. Ear infection symptoms in babies may include:
Recommended Reading: Asl Sign For Hungry
What Is Vestibular Neuritis
Vestibular neuritis is a disorder that affects the nerve of the inner ear called the vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve sends balance and head position information from the inner ear to the brain. When this nerve becomes swollen , it disrupts the way the information would normally be interpreted by the brain.
Vestibular neuritis can occur in people of all ages, but is rarely reported in children.
The vestibulocochlear nerve sends balance and head position information from the inner ear to the brain. When the nerve becomes swollen , the brain cant interpret the information correctly. This results in a person experiencing such symptoms as dizziness and vertigo.
Recommended Reading: Guinea Pig Ear Cleaning
Viral Or Bacterial Labyrinthitis
There is no reliable test to determine whether labyrinthitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection because testing for infection would damage the labyrinth.
Doctors can usually safely assume that labyrinthitis is the result of a viral infection unless there is strong evidence to suggest otherwise, such as:
- the labyrinthitis is in a very young child
- labyrinthitis occurs in someone who is already known to have a bacterial infection
- you have common bacterial labyrinthitis symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and complete hearing loss
Other Possible Complications Of Your Ear Infection Include
Pain, bleeding or numbness in your head, neck or jaw.
How to reduce your risk of an ear infection?
To lessen your risk of having an infection:
Try to avoid doing things that aggravate the symptoms of your ear infection. You may feel pain from the neck to your chin, or from the back of your head to your feet, if the head is compressed.
You May Like: How To Pair Phonak Hearing Aids With Iphone
Other Causes Of Ear Pain
If your only symptom is an earache, you might have another issue that causes ear pain, including dental disease, TMJ pain, neck pain, or throat pain. Adult ear infections or ear pain may also be the sign of a more serious health problem, such as meningitis or head trauma.
If the pain doesnt get better, you have a fever, fluid is draining from your ear, or you have trouble hearing, youll want to see a doctor as soon as you can, CEENTA ENT doctorJohn Kilde, MD, said. These will help your doctor rule out any of the more serious complications possible and ensure they have every chance to restore your hearing to normal.
Listen to what your body tells you. Dont ignore ear pain just because you think youre too old for ear infections.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment with Dr. Kilde or any of CEENTAs ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
How Is Otitis Interna Treated
Otitis interna is a very serious condition. If your dog is unable to eat or drink normally due to nausea or disorientation, then hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy is generally warranted. Nausea must be controlled and dehydration avoided. It may also be necessary to sedate or anesthetize your dog in order to adequately see the ear tissues, take samples for bacterial culture, and appropriately clean the ear.
Treatment of the underlying infection is very important, and your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate medications. Medications will be administered directly in the ear and orally. Antibiotics will be used for a bacterial infection for 6-8 weeks minimum. If the infection is fungal in nature, an anti-fungal medication will be prescribed. Whatever medications are chosen, it is critical that they be given precisely as prescribed.
“If your dog has an altered balance, restrict his activity during treatment to prevent falling injuries.”
If your dog has an altered balance, restrict his activity during treatment to prevent falling injuries. These dogs should not have access to stairs as they may take a tumble. You may also need to hand feed your dog temporarily – reaching down into a dish may stimulate nausea.
You May Like: Asl Sign For Hungry
Why Do You Have An Allergic Reaction
When a foreign substance, such as pollen. causes hypersensitivity, your immune system responds by producing antibodies that release histamine. Histamines cause itching, mucus and sometimes swelling. Allergies can occur year-round, but for many people pollen and grass allergies are more likely to occur in the spring or fall.
Signs Of Labyrinthitis And Vestibular Neuritis
Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear, or the labyrinth. The condition is typically caused by a virus, and is commonly experienced at the same time as or following viral illnesses, such as a viral sore throat, cold or flu. Vestibular neuritis, another type of inner ear infection, is an infection of the vestibular nerve in the inner ear.
Signs and symptoms of both labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis may include:
Labyrinthitis may also cause some mild hearing loss, as well as some of the signs and symptoms common to other types of ear infection. These include:
- Ringing in the ear
- Discharge from the ear
- Blurred or double vision
The above symptoms may also be experienced in cases of vestibular neuritis, though they are generally a lot more common with labyrinthitis, especially hearing loss and tinnitus.
If you are concerned that you may have an inner ear infection, try using the Ada app to find out what the problem may be.
Don’t Miss: How To Teach Yourself Sign Language
Can An Ear Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided
Although an ear infection is not contagious, the bacteria or virus that caused it is often contagious. Its important to:
- Vaccinate your child with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against several types of pneumococcal bacteria. This type of bacteria is the most common cause of ear infections. Get your childs vaccinations on time.
- Practice routine hand washing and avoid sharing food and drinks, especially if your child is exposed to large groups of kids in day care or school settings.
- Avoid second-hand smoke.
- Breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding for at least 1 year. Place your baby at an angle while feeding.
Common allergy and cold medicines do not protect against ear infections.
Is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo The Same As Labyrinthitis
While benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is of the most common vestibular disorder, it is not the same as labyrinthitis. BPPV is considered a mechanical issue concerning the inner ear while labyrinthitis is an infection thereof.
The two conditions do however share similar symptoms including dizziness and vertigo as well as other similar symptoms that are a result of an accumulation of debris in the inner ear. This debris is known as otoconia and consists of tiny calcium carbonate crystals. The crystals, which are typically found in the utricle , will become dislodged and move to the fluid-filled canals. When these crystals continue to move and accumulate in these canals, this can interfere with the normal movement of fluid that these ear canals use to detect head motion. This results in the inner ear sending the wrong signal to the brain, leading to feelings of light-headedness, dizziness and nausea.
BBPV is considered a mechanical issue concerning the inner ear while labyrinthitis is an infection thereof.
Don’t Miss: Phonak Hearing Aid Battery Size
Though An Ear Infection Is More Frequently Diagnosed In Children It Is Also Common In Adults Know The Type Of Infection You Have And Get Treatments Early
The ear is one of the most sensitive body parts. This sensory organ should be cared properly to avoid various problems, such as an ear infection. An ear infection is a common condition. Even though it is more frequently diagnosed in children, it is also common in adults. The ear consists of the three main parts: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves reach the outer ear first, then middle ear and then travel to the inner ear. A number of conditions can influence your hearing and ear infections are the most frequent.
Ear Infection Home Remedies
There are some home remedies to help your childâs ear pain. Ear drops can bring relief, but these should not be used without checking with your childâs doctor first. Over-the-counter pain and fever medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are used. However, you should never give aspirin to children. Warm washcloths applied to the outside of the ear may be helpful in reliving some pain. Gargling with salt water may help soothe an aggravated throat and possibly clear the Eustachian tubes. A few drops of warmed olive oil in the ears may soothe ear pain, but it is suggested to speak with your childâs doctor beforehand.
Read Also: Sign For Hungry
Warning Signs To Watch Out For
The risk of having any of these complications is extremely low, Chandrasekhar says. And thanks to advances in treatments, complications have become even more rare.
But there are a few signs to be on the lookout for. Pain that continues to get worse, changes in your mental state, or a very high spiking fever are all indications theres potentially something serious going on, Chandrasekhar says.
To better your chances of recovery, visit your doctor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
Read Also: Water In Speakers Iphone 5