Causes Of Outer Ear Infection
Outer ear infections are usually caused by bacteria or fungi. But anything that irritates the skin of your ear canal or causes an allergic reaction can also cause inflammation.
Certain things may make you more likely to get an outer ear infection.
- Damage to your ear canal from a cotton bud, your fingernail or any other object.
- A build-up of earwax or accidently pushing earwax into your ear when cleaning it.
- Having too little earwax, often from too much cleaning. Some earwax is healthy, as it protects the lining of your ear canal from dirt and dust and infections.
- Using hearing aids or earplugs these can damage or irritate your ear canal or introduce bacteria.
- Swimming, especially in polluted water because this may introduce bacteria into your ear.
- Living in a hot, humid climate ear infection is often known as tropical ear.
- Having allergies or being sensitive to products like hairsprays and hair dyes these can irritate your ear canal.
- Having a narrow ear canal, which means that water can become trapped and bacteria are more likely to grow.
- Having a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis broken skin is more likely to become inflamed.
- Having a condition that affects your immune system for example, HIV/AIDS.
What Causes Ear Infection And Body Aches
Whilst ear infection is particularly not uncommon ailment, you should never shrug this off especially if it accompanies body aches. Below are the conditions that may be the culprit of your ear infection, body aches and other symptoms.
1. Middle ear infection
Also known as the otitis media, this condition occurs when your middle ear is infected, causing inflammation and fluid buildup behind your ear drum.
Symptoms: Symptoms quickly develop and resolve in a few days. The main symptoms are fever, earache, lack of energy and slight hearing loss. In some cases, hole develops in the eardrum and pus runs out of the ear.
Treatment: Most infections dont need any specific treatment as they get cleared up within 3-5 days. Ibuprofen or paracetamol may be given to relieve high temperature and pain.
2. Viral syndrome
This is a type of infection that is caused by virus which mostly affect the respiratory tract, however, any body part can also get affected.
Symptoms: Symptoms are similar to that of a person with a viral infection. These are:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Headache and pain around the area of your eyes
- Ear infection, body aches
- Sore throat, cough and hoarseness
- Joint pains and muscle aches
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Diarrhea, cramps and abdominal pain
Also known as the stomach flu, this condition occurs when your intestines and stomach are inflamed and irritated and is typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
4. Acute sinusitis
What Is Mnires Disease
Ménières disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness , ringing in the ears , hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Ménières disease usually affects only one ear.
Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people will have single attacks of dizziness separated by long periods of time. Others may experience many attacks closer together over a number of days. Some people with Ménières disease have vertigo so extreme that they lose their balance and fall. These episodes are called drop attacks.Ménières disease can develop at any age, but it is more likely to happen to adults between 40 and 60 years of age. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States are currently diagnosed with Ménières disease and that 45,500 cases are newly diagnosed each year.
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How Is An Ear Infection Treated
Treatment of ear infections depends on age, severity of the infection, the nature of the infection and if fluid remains in the middle ear for a long period of time.
Your healthcare provider will recommend medications to relieve you or your childs pain and fever. If the ear infection is mild, depending on the age of the child, your healthcare provider may choose to wait a few days to see if the infection goes away on its own before prescribing an antibiotic.
Antibiotics may be prescribed if bacteria are thought to be the cause of the ear infection. Your healthcare provider may want to wait up to three days before prescribing antibiotics to see if a mild infection clears up on its own when the child is older. If your or your childs ear infection is severe, antibiotics might be started right away.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended when to prescribe antibiotics and when to consider waiting before prescribing based on your childs age, severity of their infection, and your childs temperature. Their recommendations are shown in the table below.
American Academy of Pediatrics Treatment Guide for Acute Otitis Media
|in one or both ears||Mild for < 48 hours and temp < 102.2° F||Treat with antibiotic OR observe. If observe, start antibiotics if child worsens or doesnt improve within 48 to 72 hours of start of symptoms|
What Are The Types Of Middle
Infections can affect the middle ear in several ways. They are:
Acute otitis media. This middle-ear infection occurs suddenly. It causes swelling and redness. Fluid and mucus become trapped inside the ear. You can have a fever and ear pain.
Otitis media with effusion. Fluid and mucus build up in the middle ear after the infection goes away. You may feel like your middle ear is full. This can continue for months and may affect your hearing.
Chronic otitis media with effusion. Fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time. Or it builds up again and again, even though there is no infection. This type of middle-ear infection may be hard to treat. It may also affect your hearing.
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How Do I Get An Ear Infection
Between your middle ear and your throat there is a passage called the eustachian tube. The eustachian tubes keep pressure from building up by letting air move in and out of your middle ear. When you were young, especially before you turned 3, the eustachian tubes were very small and less able to keep germs out.
The eustachian tubes get longer and usually work better in older kids, but they can still cause problems. If you have allergies or catch a cold, the eustachian tubes can get blocked up and let germs get in the middle ear. Then the number of germs can grow inside your middle ear and cause an infection.
You do not catch ear infections from other people, though you might catch a cold that then leads to an ear infection. If you have an ear infection, you might have ear pain, a fever, or trouble hearing. If you have any of these problems, tell your parent so he or she can take you to the doctor.
Treating Middle Ear Infections
You may be prescribed antibiotics. Some antibiotics may be taken orally. Others can be applied directly to the site of the infection with ear drops. Medications for pain, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs may also be used to manage your symptoms.
Another helpful technique is called autoinsufflation. Its meant to help clear your eustachian tubes. You do this by squeezing your nose, closing your mouth, and very gently exhaling. This can send air through the eustachian tubes to help drain them.
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Symptoms Of A Middle Ear Infection
In most cases, the symptoms of a middle ear infection develop quickly and resolve in a few days. This is known as acute otitis media. The main symptoms include:
- a lack of energy
- slight hearing loss – if the middle ear becomes filled with fluid
In some cases, a hole may develop in the eardrum and pus may run out of the ear. The earache, which is caused by the build-up of fluid stretching the eardrum, then resolves.
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
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What Is The Treatment For An Ear Infection
- Most ear infections get better without any treatment. Recovery usually takes place within three days but can take up to a week.
- You may need to take paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat a fever.
- Drink lots of fluid and eat as normally as you can.
- Most ear infections don’t need antibiotics. See a doctor if you’re concerned.
The immune system can usually clear germs that cause ear infections. Treatments that may be advised to help with the symptoms include the following:
When To Seek Medical Advice
Most cases of otitis media pass within a few days, so there’s usually no need to see your GP.
However, see your GP if you or your child have:
- symptoms showing no sign of improvement after two or three days
- a lot of pain
- a discharge of pus or fluid from the ear some people develop a persistent and painless ear discharge that lasts for many months, known as chronic suppurative otitis media
- an underlying health condition, such as cystic fibrosis or congenital heart disease, which could make complications more likely
Read more about diagnosing middle ear infections
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Middle Ear Infection Treatments:
Its best to see a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of an ear infection that are accompanied by a fever over 102 degrees, notice fluid leaking from your ear , or if your symptoms worsen or persist after two to three days, says Jaclyn Chasse, N.D., a licensed naturopathic physician in New Hampshire and immediate past president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Unless a bacterial infection is obvious, your medical provider may want to hold off on dispensing antibiotics to see if your immune system fights off the infection . Middle ear infection treatment includes over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as decongestants and plenty of fluids antihistamines, saline nasal irrigation, and intranasal steroids may be recommended to allergy sufferers.
If youve seen your primary care physician and the initial treatment isnt improving symptoms or fluid isnt clearing or keeps recurring, you should request a referral to an ENT for further evaluation and testing. The ENT has special tools to clean out the ear canal and to get a good look at whats going on. When fluid isnt clearing in adults, it raises concerns about the possibility of another underlying cause, such as a nasal polyp or tumor, which you dont want to miss, says Dr. Setzen. A chronic ear infection can lead to ear drum perforation and in infrequent cases, lead to as serious a complication as meningitis.
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The Role Of The Brain
Your brain takes in all this data, and it usually comes together and makes sense. But sometimes your brain gets confusing signals.
On a flying plane, for example, you feel like youâre moving, but your eyes tell your brain that you donât appear to be going anywhere. The opposite is true as well. After a long sea voyage, you can stand still on dry land but still feel like youâre moving.
The result is the same: motion sickness.
What Is A Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infections are one of the most common childhood problems. Let’s start by talking about infections. An infection happens when germs like bacteria and viruses get inside the body and cause trouble. Germs can get into your ears. The ear is divided into three parts: outer, middle, and inner. When the germs bother your outer ear, it’s called swimmer’s ear.
The middle ear is a small pocket of air behind the eardrum. You have a middle ear infection when germs get into the middle ear and the area fills up with fluid , which contains germ-fighting cells. When the pus builds up, your ear starts to feel like a balloon that is ready to pop, which can really hurt.
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Who Is Most Likely To Get An Ear Infection
Middle ear infection is the most common childhood illness . Ear infections occur most often in children who are between age 3 months and 3 years, and are common until age 8. Some 25% of all children will have repeated ear infections.
Adults can get ear infections too, but they dont happen nearly as often as they do in children.
Risk factors for ear infections include:
- Age: Infants and young children are at greater risk for ear infections.
- Family history: The tendency to get ear infections can run in the family.
- Colds: Having colds often increases the chances of getting an ear infection.
- Allergies: Allergies cause inflammation of the nasal passages and upper respiratory tract, which can enlarge the adenoids. Enlarged adenoids can block the eustachian tube, preventing ear fluids from draining. This leads to fluid buildup in the middle ear, causing pressure, pain and possible infection.
- Chronic illnesses: People with chronic illnesses are more likely to develop ear infections, especially patients with immune deficiency and chronic respiratory disease, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma.
- Ethnicity: Native Americans and Hispanic children have more ear infections than other ethnic groups.
Can Sinus Infection Cause Nausea
Sinus infections are very common and everyone may have them. However, symptoms vary from person to person. It depends on the cause of the infection, whether it’s bacterial, fungal, or viral. You can also develop a sinus infection from allergies. It also depends on the makeup of your body. Your sinuses are small cavities in the bones of your face. They contain air, but blockage can cause an infection. This article will help you understand if nausea is one of the many symptoms of a sinus infection and how to deal with it.
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Look For Visible Symptoms
If your child is experiencing ear pain, these signals are especially helpful: With swimmers ear, the outer ear may appear red and swollen and have a rash-like appearance. You may see your child frequently scratch at his ear or complain of an itchy ear. Also watch for a foul-smelling drainagecoming from the ear bothering them. Symptoms to watch for with a middle ear infection include fever, pulling or tugging on the ear, decreased appetite, diarrhea or vomiting.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Your Immune System
Ever notice that when you have a cold or flu, you get really tired and even minor mental or physical activities wipe you out? You often get achy and have bad brain fog. Sometimes, youll get a sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes.
Any of those sound familiar?
If you scroll back up and look at the list of cardinal symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, youll notice that nearly all of the symptoms are the same ones we experience when we get sick. So its no surprise that there is a connection between chronic stimulation of the immune system and chronic fatigue syndrome. But we are all exposed to pathogens and toxins on a regular basis and catch a bug every once in a while.
Why then, do some people recover fully while others end up with a chronic disabling condition?
It appears that part of the answer lies in the genetic polymorphisms or variances in our bodies response to infection and inflammation.
How a Hidden Infection Can Cause Chronic Fatigue
When faced with pathogens or irritants, the body releases a number of substances known as cytokines. In simplest terms, cytokines are proteins secreted by immune cells that communicate with other cells in your body and signal them to perform a certain action.5 When certain pro-inflammatory cytokines are released, they activate and ramp up inflammation in order to target and attack the invaders.
In a normal individual, a simplified version of the process goes something like this:
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Signs That You Have An Ear Infection
Ear infections are one of the most uncomfortable common illnesses. They frequently appear in children, but they can occur in adults, too, especially if you wear hearing aids. Here are fifteen signs that you have an ear infection.
1. Pain in the ear
One of the first things most people notice is a pain in the ear. Earache can be dull and throbbing or sharp and stabbing. Some people experience ear infection pain as a burning sensation. Ear infection pain doesnt usually last longer than three days.
Some ear infections can cause headaches. Blockages in the ear, such as from infection, could account for your headache. If an object or impacted wax is blocking your ear, though, this could be the problem instead.
3. Nausea and vomiting
Ear infections are often accompanied by nausea , loss of appetite, and vomiting. If you are vomiting, try to stay hydrated by taking small sips of water. Call your doctor if the vomiting doesnt stop.
The ears are the bodys center of balance. Some types of ear infections affect your balance and cause dizziness and vertigo. It may feel like things are moving or spinning. Be extra careful when youre standing, walking, or driving.
Itching is one of the many signs of an ear infection. It can be in the ear canal itself, or on the lobe or outer ear. Its always best to refrain from scratching where possible, as you dont want to spread the infection or irritate your ear more.
6. Scaly skin in the ear