Ear Infection Symptoms Treatment
Middle ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that may cause earache, temporary hearing loss, and fluid discharge. A middle ear infection that does not clear up on its own may require treatment with antibiotics.
Middle ear infections occur mainly in early childhood, although older children and adults also get these kinds of infection. The incidence of acute ear infection in New Zealand children was recently estimated at 27%. A complication associated with middle ear infections is the retention of fluid, causing “glue ear”. Children should always be taken to a doctor if they have earache.
Look For Visible Symptoms
If your child is experiencing ear pain, these signals are especially helpful: With swimmer’s 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.
Diy Dog Cleaners That May Not Work For An Infection
DIY dog cleaners and home remedies may not work for an infection for a few reasons.
For one, bacterial infections can be pretty hard to get rid of sometimes an antibiotic will be the only thing that will do the trick.
Ear infections can also be the result of a bigger problem with youre the dog immune system, so a topical DIY may help with the symptoms, but not the underlying cause.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
There are three main types of ear infections. Each has a different combination of symptoms.
- Acute otitis media is the most common ear infection. Parts of the middle ear are infected and swollen and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. This causes pain in the earcommonly called an earache. Your child might also have a fever.
- Otitis media with effusion sometimes happens after an ear infection has run its course and fluid stays trapped behind the eardrum. A child with OME may have no symptoms, but a doctor will be able to see the fluid behind the eardrum with a special instrument.
- Chronic otitis media with effusion happens when fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time or returns over and over again, even though there is no infection. COME makes it harder for children to fight new infections and also can affect their hearing.
Why Do Kids Get Ear Infections
Kids get ear infections more than adults do for several reasons:
- Their shorter, more horizontal eustachian tubes let bacteria and viruses find their way into the middle ear more easily. The tubes are also narrower, so more likely to get blocked.
- Their adenoids, gland-like structures at the back of the throat, are larger and can interfere with the opening of the eustachian tubes.
Other things that can put kids at risk include secondhand smoke, bottle-feeding, and being around other kids in childcare. Ear infections are more common in boys than girls.
Ear infections are not contagious, but the colds that sometimes cause them can be. Infections are common during winter weather, when many people get upper respiratory tract infections or colds .
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What Is An Inner Ear Infection
First, its important to understand what makes up the inner ear.
The inner ear is responsible for hearing and balance. It consists of semicircular canals, cochlea, and vestibules.
Collectively, these parts are known as the inner ear. It can become infected by bacteria or viruses. Or, it can seem infected if theres inflammation happening.
Ear infections are more common in children and for them, they tend to go away quickly and on their own. The same isnt always true for adults.
How Do You Know If Your Ear Piercing Is Infected
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:
- Pain and swelling in the cartilage or earlobe
- Discharge or yellow pus from the area of the piercing
- Fever or chills
- The area of the piercing is red and swollen
- The earring or clasp is embedded in the ear or stuck in the earlobe
- Swelling and redness have spread beyond the area of the earring
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How Are Ear Infections Treated
To treat an ear infection, health care providers consider many things, including:
- the type and severity of the ear infection
- how often the child has ear infections
- how long this infection has lasted
- the child’s age and any risk factors
- whether the infection affects hearing
The type of otitis affects treatment options. Not all kinds need to be treated with antibiotics. Because most ear infections can clear on their own, many doctors take a “wait-and-see” approach. Kids will get medicine for pain relief without antibiotics for a few days to see if the infection gets better.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed because they:
- won’t help an infection caused by a virus
- won’t get rid of middle ear fluid
- can cause side effects
- usually don’t relieve pain in the first 24 hours and have only a minimal effect after that
Also, overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are much harder to treat.
If a doctor does prescribe antibiotics, a 10-day course is usually recommended. Kids age 6 and older who don’t have a severe infection might take a shortened course for 5 to 7 days.
Some children, such as those with recurrent infections and those with lasting hearing loss or speech delay, may need ear tube surgery. An ear, nose, and throat doctor will surgically insert tubes that let fluid drain from the middle ear. This helps equalize the pressure in the ear.
Middle Ear Infection Treatment
Witha middle ear infection, it’s best to have a provider examine your ear with an otoscope to look for signs of infection or blockages. For this reason you should be seen in person at urgent care, at a convenient care or walk-in clinic, or at your primary care clinic. If your providerbelieves that bacteria may have caused the infection, she’ll prescribe an antibiotic. However, if a virus is causing the infection, an antibiotic won’t help, and you’ll have to treat the pain and wait for the infection to get better on its own.
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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:
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.
About Author: Laura Nightengale
Laura Nightengale was a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. When shes not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.
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Symptoms Of Dog Ear Infections
Some dogs show no symptoms of ear infection aside from a buildup of wax and discharge in the ear canal. But ear infections often cause significant discomfort and affected dogs may show signs such as:
- Head shaking
- Scratching at the affected ear
- Dark discharge
- Redness and swelling of the ear canal
- Crusting or scabs in the ears
When To See A Doctor
Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a minor earache may not be a worry.
A doctor should typically be seen if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms occur, such as a fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be seen immediately.
Any sign of discharge coming from the ear would also require a visit to the doctor.
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The Link To Hearing Loss
Middle ear infections can affect your child’s hearing. This can be unsettling, but it’s almost always temporary and doesn’t result in any permanent hearing loss. Still, any hearing loss should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Addressing hearing loss is important because infants and toddlers who suffer from chronic ear infections experience stretches of mild hearing loss during a crucial learning period for speech and language.
Treating Ear Infections In Your Goldendoodle
Once an ear infection in your Goldendoodle has been diagnosed, your vet can discuss the proper treatment and different ways to prevent these from happening again.
In many cases, your vet will clean your Goldendoodles ears. If there is excessive ear hair, your vet or groomer may need to pluck this hair. Sometimes it can be very painful, and your vet may want to leave this hair until after the infection is gone.
Removal all of the excess debris, waxy discharge, and hair is a very important step to be able to start the healing process and allow the ear medications to work.
Your vet may prescribe a liquid ear medication that you will need put directly into your Goldendoodles ears a few times a day. There are also medications that your vet can put in your Goldendoodles ears only once a week. Discuss each of these different options with your vet.
Many vets have started using them once a week medication so that owners do not have to struggle with their Goldendoodle every day, putting medication in their ears. Most people often forget a few times, causing these ear infections to take even longer to heal.
At-home ear medication will typically need to be applied to the ear one to three times daily. Your vet may also send you home with an ear cleaner or an ear flush solution. They will show you how to clean your Goldendoodles ears regularly.
Your vet will decide what is the best treatment for you and your Goldendoodle and help your dogs ears return to normal.
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Healing Time In Different Sections Of The Ear
The infections persist in the middle, the outer and inner part of the ear. Every part has its unique features. As a result healing time also depends on the section of the ear.
- Outer Causes of outer ear infection are different from a middle ear infection. The most common type of infection in the outer ear is bacterial infections. But fungal and viral infections can occur as well. It can last for a week or longer. Its symptoms are severe pain in the ear, purulent discharge, fever, etc.
- Middle The infection shouldnt last more than one or two days. After an ear infection clears up, fluid may remain in the middle ear and cause some of the more mild symptoms and can persist for several weeks to months. This condition is diagnosed as otitis media with effusion. Its symptoms are ear pain, feeling like your ear is clogged, Nausea, Reduced Hearing.
- Inner The infection exists for a long time in this section. Most commonly, viral is the reason for the inner ear infection. These viruses can be most of the flu and cold. Its symptoms are pain, fever, and reduced hearing. Nausea and tinnitus can also occur in an inner ear infection.
The Eustachian tube drains fluid and air from the middle ear. Blockage in the Eustachian tube may cause fluid to build up. This causes pain since it applies pressure on the eardrum. The fluid is also a fertile ground for bacteria growth and this leads to an ear infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis Media
Symptoms of ear infection include:
- Ear pain: This symptom is obvious in older children and adults. In infants too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, acting fussy/irritable.
- Loss of appetite: This may be most noticeable in young children, especially during bottle feedings. Pressure in the middle ear changes as the child swallows, causing more pain and less desire to eat.
- Irritability: Any kind of continuing pain may cause irritability.
- Poor sleep: Pain may be worse when the child is lying down because the pressure in the ear may worsen.
- Fever: Ear infections can cause temperatures from 100° F up to 104° F. Some 50% of children will have a fever with their ear infection.
- Drainage from the ear: Yellow, brown, or white fluid that is not earwax may seep from the ear. This may mean that the eardrum has ruptured .
- Trouble hearing: Bones of the middle ear connect to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain. Fluid behind the eardrums slows down movement of these electrical signals through the inner ear bones.
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Signs Of Ear Infection In Babies And Toddlers
Ear infections, particularly middle ear infections, are especially common in babies and toddlers due to the relative narrowness of their Eustachian tube.
Signs and symptoms of an ear infection in babies and toddlers may include:
- High temperature
- Discharge from the ear
Ear infections in babies and toddlers will usually clear up on their own, without specific treatment. However, for babies and toddlers experiencing recurrent infections that do not respond well to antibiotics, a doctor may recommend a minor surgical procedure known as a myringotomy.
The procedure involves making a small incision in the eardrum to allow fluids to drain out a small ventilation tube, often called grommets, may also be inserted. This ear tube will typically fall out on its own in around 6 to 18 months.
Although a myringotomy and grommets are generally effective at reducing the number of ear infections experienced by young children, they can still occur. The main sign of an ear infection after tubes have been inserted is the discharge of yellowish fluid from the ear, which will commonly not be accompanied by pain or fever. Antibiotics will typically be prescribed to treat the ear infection.
If you are concerned that your child may have an ear infection, try using the Ada app to find out what the problem may be.
Will Ear Infections Get Better On Their Own
Some ear infections resolve on their own. Often, they get better when the underlying cause goes away. But in some cases, they hang on. If your ear still hurts after your cold clears up or your allergies have calmed down, make an appointment at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care.
If you have the following symptoms, come in right away:
- Severe pain
- Hearing loss
When you need urgent care, we offer same-day and walk-in appointments. Dr. Lee may prescribe antibiotics to help you fight the infection, ear drops that go straight to the source, pain relievers, or anti-inflammatories.
More important, he investigates the reason for your ear infections and treats the underlying cause to help you avoid repeat infections.
Left untreated, ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss, so dont ignore the symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call or book online.
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How Are Dog Ear Infections Treated
Your veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dogs ears using a medicated ear cleanser. Your vet may also prescribe an ear cleanser and a topical medication for you to use at home. In severe cases, your vet may prescribe oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
Most uncomplicated ear infections resolve within 12 weeks, once appropriate treatment begins. But severe infections or those due to underlying conditions may take months to resolve, or may become chronic problems. In cases of severe chronic disease where other treatments have failed, your veterinarian may recommend surgery such as a Total Ear Canal Ablation . A TECA surgery removes the ear canal, thus removing the diseased tissue and preventing the recurrence of infection.
It is important to follow your veterinarians instructions closely and return to the veterinary hospital for any recommended recheck appointments. Lapses in your dogs treatment may lead to the recurrence of the infection. It is especially important that you finish the full course of your dogs medication, even if your dog appears to be getting better. Failure to finish the full course of treatment may lead to additional problems such as resistant infections.
How To Tell If You Have A Middle Ear Infection
Infections in the middle ear, also called acute otitis media, are the most common ear infection especially in children.
Pressure in the middle ear is regulated by the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the area of the throat behind the nose. The Eustachian tubes maintain a clean and dry airspace within the middle ear by ventilating and draining out accumulated fluids or debris. When airflow is restricted to the middle ear , fluid can build up and the middle ear becomes susceptible to infection.
The most common cause of middle ear infections is the common cold or flu. So if youve just had a cold or the flu and are now experiencing ear pain its likely you have a middle ear infection. If youve had ear pain for more than 2 days you should see a doctor your infection may be bacterial and require antibiotics.
Other causes of middle ear infection may include:
Symptoms of Middle Ear Infection:Ear infection signs can be different when comparing children and adults. The symptoms of ear infection in adults are:
- Sharp and sudden pains in the ear
- Dull and continuous pains in the ear
- A sharp stabbing pain with immediate warm discharge from the ear canal
- Feeling like your ear is clogged
In children, the symptoms are:
- Constant pulling, tugging, or scratching the ears
- Consistently poor sleep
- Regular fever of 100 Â°F or higher
- Difficulty responding to sounds
- Crying at night when lying down
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