Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Do Ear Infections Make You Tired

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The symptoms associated with an inner ear infection can often result in confusion, forgetfulness and even memory problems. Some patients report experiencing ‘brain fog‘, this term describes experiencing a lack of mental clarity and focus. Brain fog is typically a result of suffering from dizziness and vertigo as a result of an inner ear infection.

Ear Infection Symptoms Causes & Risk Factors To Avoid

By Jillian Levy, CHHC

Wondering if your painful symptoms are pointing to an ear infection and what you should do to help these potential ear infection symptoms go away?

Symptoms of ear infections usually include earaches or throbbing pain, sometimes a fever, and signs of inflammation near the ears like redness or fluid leaking out. Although antibiotics are assumed to be the treatment of choice for ear infections, you might want to reconsider this approach. According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, The majority of middle ear infection cases will usually clear up on their own within a few days, with or without treatment. The main aim of treatment is to relieve the symptoms Antibiotics only slightly influence the course of middle ear infections, and they can have side effects.

Another surprising finding about using antibiotics to treat ear infection symptoms? While about 80 out of 100 children who take antibiotics no longer have earaches after two to seven days, 70 out of 100 who dont take any antibiotics have the exact same results. That means antibiotics only help about an additional 10 percent of the population who suffers from earaches. Plus, side effects of antibiotics can sometimes include nausea, diarrhea and skin rashes, in addition to altering gut health and possibly contributing to future infections.

The Overlooked Signs Of An Ear Infection

As you can see, there are far more signs of an ear infection than just drainage from the ear.

An ear infection can cause a range of symptoms, not just in your ears.

If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from an ear infection, contact us. We can examine your ears and measure any fluid buildup. We can then give you the right treatment to provide fast relief.

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Dizziness Ear Ache Fatigue And Pain Or Discomfort

Reviewed on 10/15/2020

Ear infections and labyrinthitis are examples of conditions that can cause dizziness and ear pain. Fatigue is a fairly non-specific symptom that can be present with many different illnesses. If you believe that you have an infection of the ear of if you have other symptoms that concern you, talk to your doctor.

While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

Inner Ear Infection Treatment

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If youre experiencing any of these symptoms and they dont resolve in a few days , see a doctor. And by a doctor, we dont mean an emergency room doctor .

A doctor can look into your ear with an otoscope. They will be able to see whats abnormal and decide on a treatment for you.

This may include medications like steroids, antibiotics, antivirals. They may be in pill or ear drop form.

Avoid trying to take care of it yourself with home remedies, as this could result in worsening the issue. Untreated ear infections may lead to permanent hearing loss, so its important to see a medical professional.

Your ear should be better anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on severity. Inner ear infections sometimes take up to 6 weeks to heal, but it all depends on how bad it is and the treatment you get.

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Crying Or Fussing More Frequently

It sounds a little obvious, but ear infections cause pain and discomfort. Therefore, your child is likely to cry more often than they would usually, or otherwise be more irritable or grumpy.

Of course, there can be myriad reasons for crying in a child, but particularly when combined with other symptoms, it can be a sign of an ear infection.

Snoring And Bad Breath

Snoring in kids may be a sign of an ear infection associated with swollen adenoids, tissues that sit at the back of the nose and help fight infection, says Murray Grossan, MD, an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Los Angeles and author of The Whole Body Approach to Allergy and Sinus Health. But if they get infected, they can pass germs to the ears through the Eustachian tubes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Children with swollen adenoids tend to breathe through the mouth, which triggers snoring, Dr. Grossan says. Chronic ear infections and swollen adenoids can also cause bad breath, he notes.

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What Are The Harms Of Fluid Buildup In Your Ears Or Repeated Or Ongoing Ear Infections

Most ear infections dont cause long-term problems, but when they do happen, complications can include:

  • Loss of hearing: Some mild, temporary hearing loss usually occurs during an ear infection. Ongoing infections, infections that repeatedly occur, damage to internal structures in the ear from a buildup of fluid can cause more significant hearing loss.
  • Delayed speech and language development: Children need to hear to learn language and develop speech. Muffled hearing for any length of time or loss of hearing can significantly delay or hamper development.
  • Tear in the eardrum: A tear can develop in the eardrum from pressure from the long-lasting presence of fluid in the middle ear. About 5% to 10% of children with an ear infection develop a small tear in their eardrum. If the tear doesnt heal on its own, surgery may be needed. If you have drainage/discharge from your ear, do not place anything into your ear canal. Doing so can be dangerous if there is an accident with the item touching the ear drum.
  • Spread of the infection: Infection that doesnt go away on its own, is untreated or is not fully resolved with treatment may spread beyond the ear. Infection can damage the nearby mastoid bone . On rare occasions, infection can spread to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis.

Can An Inner Ear Infection Cause Toothache

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An inner ear infection can cause tension in your facial muscles which can result in discomfort that resembles toothache. The proximity of your ear to your jaw can also result in you experiencing referred pain, which means that you may feel pain originating from your ear in your teeth. Sinus infections which are often experienced along with an inner ear infection as a result of the bacteria or virus that caused the ear infection, can also cause tooth pain, or rather, the illusion of tooth pain as the source of the pressure and pain is in the sinuses and surrounding areas, not the teeth and gums in particular.

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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.

Difficulty Sleeping At Night

One in three Americans doesnt get enough sleep most nights anyway. If you normally sleep like a rock, but youre struggling to sleep recently, this could be a sign of an ear infection.

However, if you frequently experience insomnia or sleep apnea, your problems with sleeping are likely to be unrelated to your ears.

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Check If It’s An Ear Infection

The symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and include:

  • discharge running out of the ear
  • a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear
  • itching and irritation in and around the ear
  • scaly skin in and around the ear

Young children and babies with an ear infection may also:

  • rub or pull their ear
  • not react to some sounds
  • be irritable or restless
  • be off their food
  • keep losing their balance

Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.

Differences between middle and outer ear infections

Inner ear infection Middle ear infection Outer ear infection
Can affect both children and adults Usually affects children Usually affects adults aged 45 to 75
Caused by viral or bacterial infections Caused by viruses like colds and flu Caused by something irritating the ear canal, such as eczema, water or wearing earplugs
Affects parts of the inner ear like the labyrinth and vestibular system, and can lead to labyrinthitis Affects the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose Affects the ear canal

Is There A Connection Between Covid

Dizzy Diarrhea Headache

Middle ear infections, known as otitis media, are common complications of colds. This is because viruses in your nose and throat can cause fluid buildup and bacteria growth, leading to ear pain and infection.

While ear infections may be linked to colds, they arent always caused by them. In some cases, a virus causes fluid buildup, and bacteria in that fluid results in an infection. The same is true with COVID-19.

COVID-19 and ear infections have some overlapping symptoms, so its not unrealistic to link congestion from a COVID-19 infection to the later development of an ear infection.

Even if COVID-19 does not directly cause ear infections for most people, they could develop as a secondary infection to congestion. A

As new variants of the virus emerge and long-term complications become clearer, the true link between ear infections and other ear concerns related to COVID-19 may become more obvious.

Ear infections and COVID-19 share a number of symptoms, like fever and headache. Yet, as with many health conditions, everyone can experience different symptoms even if they have the same condition.

The most common symptoms of ear infections include:

  • ear pain
  • tugging or pulling at the ears
  • fever

Very few cases of people with COVID-19 have featured ear or hearing concerns. But as time goes on, more and more cases of COVID-19 with ear problems are appearing.


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Prevention And Natural Treatments For Ear Infection Symptoms

1. Reduce Ear Pain Naturally

Children and adults dealing with infections who are in pain can take or be given low doses of an over-the-counter painkiller to reduce inflammation/swelling and throbbing. These can also help lower a fever and symptoms like having the chills or dizziness. This wait and see approach is considered by many experts to be a better and safer approach than overusing antibiotics. A heated compress, warm shower or heating pad used when sleeping that are applied to the affected ear or side of the head can also be helpful.

Of course, be careful not to overdo it and rely on prescription painkillers, which can lead to acetaminophen overdose or ibuprofen overdose. In fact, its best to start with natural painkillers to see if they work, preventing any potential side effects from pain-relieving pills.

2. Breast-Feed Infants to Increase Immunity

Research shows that breast-fed babies are less likely to have ear infections in addition to many related problems like allergies, respiratory infections, pneumonia, bronchiolitis and viral infections, such as meningitis. Breastmilk can build a childs immune system by supplying needed nutrients, calories, growth factors and fluids necessary for development, plus transmit immunoprotective substances from the mother to her child that formulas dont have.

3. Reduce Allergies and Inflammation with a Healthy Diet

4. Prevent Inner Ear Moisture with Ear Drops

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:

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How Is An Ear Infection Diagnosed

Ear exam

Your healthcare provider will look at your or your childs ear using an instrument called an otoscope. A healthy eardrum will be pinkish gray in color and translucent . If infection is present, the eardrum may be inflamed, swollen or red.

Your healthcare provider may also check the fluid in the middle ear using a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a small amount of air at the eardrum. This should cause the eardrum to move back and forth. The eardrum will not move as easily if there is fluid inside the ear.

Another test, tympanometry, uses air pressure to check for fluid in the middle ear. This test doesnt test hearing. If needed, your healthcare provider will order a hearing test, performed by an audiologist, to determine possible hearing loss if you or your child has had long lasting or frequent ear infections or fluid in the middle ears that is not draining.

Other checks

Your healthcare provider will also check your throat and nasal passage and listen to your breathing with a stethoscope for signs of upper respiratory infections.

Can I Drive With An Inner Ear Infection

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Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you do not drive during the first few days of an inner ear infection as these are typically the worst in terms of dizziness and vertigo. After this, it is advised that you drive with extreme caution. If you are experiencing severe dizziness and pain, then it is best that you get someone you know to drive you wherever you need to go as it is not worth risking your life and the lives of others on the road should you have an accident due to your inability to concentrate as a result of vertigo, dizziness or pain.

It is generally advised that you should not drive if you suffer from vertigo and dizziness, if you work at heights or your job consists of operating heavy machinery, then you will need to wait until your symptoms subside before returning to work, both for your own safety and the safety of others.

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What Are The Signs Of Swimmers Ear Infection Or Ottis Media And Does The Ear Infection Make You Feel Tired

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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:

  • Vertigo
  • Nausea

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:

  • Earache
  • 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.

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Why Do Children Get Many More Ear Infections Than Adults Will My Child Always Get Ear Infections

Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections for these reasons:

  • The eustachian tubes in young children are shorter and more horizontal. This shape encourages fluid to gather behind the eardrum.
  • The immune system of children, which in the bodys infection-fighting system, is still developing.
  • The adenoids in children are relatively larger than they are in adults. The adenoids are the small pads of tissue above the throat and behind the nose and near the eustachian tubes. As they swell to fight infection, they may block the normal ear drainage from the eustachian tube into the throat. This blockage of fluid can lead to a middle ear infection.

Most children stop getting ear infections by age 8.

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