Can Ear Infections Affect Hearing
Fluid buildup in the middle ear also blocks sound, which can lead to temporary hearing problems. Kids having a problem might:
- not respond to soft sounds
- need to turn up the TV or radio
- talk louder
- seem inattentive at school
In kids who have otitis media with effusion, the fluid behind the eardrum can block sound, so mild temporary hearing loss can happen, but might not be obvious.
A child whose eardrum has ruptured might have ringing or buzzing in the ear and not hear as well as usual.
These Are Some Of The Prevalent Types Of Ear Issues For Dogs:
- Yeast Overgrowth: Leads to itchy ears and some time infection in severe condition
- Bacterial Infection: Lead to bad-smelling greenish or yellow discharge.
- Foreign Bodies: Usually lead to shaking of the dogs head to get rid of the debris.
- Aural Hematoma: Leads to a type of bruise that forms a pool of blood between the skin and the ear flap cartilage.
- Ear Mites: Leads to head shaking and scratching of ears.
- Diet: This also lead to ear infections. If the ration/feed is moldy or not good processed /cooked
- Anatomical structures: If your dog has extended ear flaps, like a Cocker Spaniel, hell be more prone to ear infections
- Multiple Chronic Diseases lead to ear infections: Chronic conditions like;autoimmune disease;or hypothyroidism can also result in ear infections.
Fact: Healthy ears shouldnt need cleaning too often. A little wax is usual to present
Ear Infection Home Treatments And Remedies
Ear infections can occur in the outer ear , middle ear , and inner ear . Natural and home remedies to treat pain include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen
- Applying a warm compress on the infected ear.
- Applying naturopathic ear drops with ginger, tea tree, or olive oil may help with pain and inflammation.
Talk with your doctor or pediatrician before using any herbal or naturopathic medicine for ear infections.
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Are Ear Infections Contagious
Ear infections are not contagious. However, many children develop ear infections after a cold or other viral infection. Since viral infections are contagious, it is important to do your best to prevent illness. By preventing colds, you’re also taking steps to prevent ear infections. Thorough handwashing is the best way to prevent colds. Other preventive measures against infection include avoiding secondhand smoke, receiving the annual seasonal flu vaccine, and breastfeeding babies for at least 6 months to enhance their immune systems.
How To Treat An Ear Infection At Home
Which parts of the ear can become infected?
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Home Remedies For Ear Infections
Ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses in the middle ear. Ear infections occur more often in children than adults. Some causes and contributing factors that lead to ear infections are wax buildup, upper respiratory infections, food allergies, environmental allergies, fetal alcohol syndrome, genetics, nutritional deficiencies and internal injuries. Some common signs that someone is suffering from an ear infection are pain in the ear, tugging at the ear, difficulty sleeping, headache, poor response to sounds, high fever, fluid draining from the ear, vomiting, diarrhea and so on.
The ear is made up of three parts: outer, middle and inner.
An ear infection can occur in any of the three parts. Inner ear infections are the most serious. It is important to treat an ear infection to prevent complications, including damaging or rupturing the ear drum. Untreated ear infections can also lead to chronic recurrence and can even cause deafness! It is important to consult a doctor, but for immediate relief you can try some natural treatments. There are many time-honored, simple and easy home remedies that can help to get rid of the pain and other symptoms of an ear infection.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for an ear infection.
Cause Of Ear Infections
- A bacterial infection of the middle ear
- Blocked eustachian tube, usually as part of a common cold. The eustachian tube joins the middle ear to the back of the throat.
- Blockage results in middle ear fluid .
- If the fluid becomes infected , the fluid turns to pus. This causes the eardrum to bulge out and can cause a lot of pain.
- Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years. They are a common problem until age 8.
- The onset of ear infections is often on day 3 of a cold.
- How often do kids get ear infections? 90% of children have at least 1 ear infection. Frequent ear infections occur in 20% of children. Ear infections are the most common bacterial infection of young children.
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When Should I See A Doctor About A Fungal Ear Infection
Fungal ear infections usually cause a fair amount of discomfort and discharge so most people want to see a doctor soon after the condition starts. There are some eardrops available from pharmacies, but the best they can do is reduce the inflammation a bit. In fungal infections, they don’t usually have much effect.
See a doctor sooner rather than later if:
- You are in a lot of pain.
- Your ear produces a lot of discharge.
- You feel generally unwell or develop unusual symptoms such as dizziness.
- You have a high temperature.
- The outer part of your ear looks very mucky.
- Your hearing becomes muffled.
- You’ve bought some treatment from the chemist which hasn’t worked.
Hearing Loss From Infection
Before we go into the ins and outs of ear infections I want to briefly speak about sudden hearing loss. Over the next few paragraphs, it will quickly become clear that hearing loss is a function of ear infections in many cases. However, it is important that you understand that any sudden hearing loss should be treated as a medical emergency. Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is a problem of the inner ear, if you are to recover, it needs treatment within days.;
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When Else Are Antibiotics Needed
Antibiotics can be the right treatment for kids who get a lot of ear infections. Their doctors might prescribe daily antibiotics to help prevent future infections. And younger children or those with more severe illness may need antibiotics right from the start.
The “wait-and-see” approach also might not apply to children with other concerns, such as cleft palate, genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, or other illnesses such as immune system disorders.
How Does A Doctor Diagnose A Middle Ear Infection
The first thing a doctor will do is ask you about your childs health. Has your child had a head cold or sore throat recently? Is he having trouble sleeping? Is she pulling at her ears? If an ear infection seems likely, the simplest way for a doctor to tell is to use a lighted instrument, called an otoscope, to look at the eardrum. A red, bulging eardrum indicates an infection.
A doctor also may use a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a puff of air into the ear canal, to check for fluid behind the eardrum. A normal eardrum will move back and forth more easily than an eardrum with fluid behind it.
Tympanometry, which uses sound tones and air pressure, is a diagnostic test a doctor might use if the diagnosis still isnt clear. A tympanometer is a small, soft plug that contains a tiny microphone and speaker as well as a device that varies air pressure in the ear. It measures how flexible the eardrum is at different pressures.
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Symptoms Of Ear Infections
Intense pain in your childs ear is usually the first sign of an ear infection. Young children can tell you that their ear hurts, but babies may only cry. Your child may repeatedly pull on the ear that hurts. The pain is usually worse at night and when your child is chewing, sucking a bottle, or lying down. Thats when the pressure is at its greatest. Other symptoms include a runny nose, cough,;fever,;vomiting, or dizziness, and hearing loss.
What To Do If Your Baby Has Repeated Ear Infections
It can be very stressful if your baby has repeated ear infections, though this is also common in childhood. If the infections are very frequent or if they are causing temporary hearing loss for your baby, your doctor may want to intervene.
The most common intervention for repeated ear infection are small tubes that are placed in your babys eardrum. These tubes are left in for six to nine months and decrease the fluid buildup as well as improve air flow quality. Frequent check ins with your doctor are necessary if your baby has ear tubes.
If tubes dont help solve the problem, sometimes doctors will suggest surgically removing your babys adenoids, especially if they are swollen, enlarged, and seem to be contributing to your babys ear infections.
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Otitis Media Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infections or otitis media occur inside the middle ear, behind the eardrum. Middle ear infections are exceptionally common;in young children but can happen in adults as well. In fact, most children will have a bout of otitis media during their early life even if there are no symptoms. The reason for it in children is often a combination of upper respiratory tract infection and eustachian tube dysfunction. Don’t worry, I ain’t getting all medical, the eustachian tube connects the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat. It is responsible for drainage and keeping the pressure in the middle ear equal. In children, the eustachian tube is smaller and more horizontal than adults.;
The Eustachian tube is pretty narrow, it also has an isthmus, means an even narrower bit. The middle ear cavity and the eustachian tube are lined with mucous membrane . When you combine all these things with some sort of infection, you get a closed up eustachian tube, pressure and fluid build up in the middle ear and if the mucous build up gets infected, you get pain, deep, deep pain. The symptoms of middle ear infection are:
- Puss or fluid draining from ear canal
How Do I Know If My Child Has An Ear Infection
Older children will usually complain of an earache. While younger children might not be able to say they have an earache, they may:
- have an unexplained fever,
- tug or pull at their ears, or
- have trouble hearing quiet sounds.
Some children with an ear infection may also have fluid draining from the ear.
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Do Allergies Cause Ear Infections
Allergies can cause inflammation and contribute to ear infections by interfering with the Eustachian tube’s ability to let air pass into the middle ear. However, in children under two years of age, allergies are usually not the main cause of ear infections. Allergy testing can identify the allergen triggers for your child. Medications or allergy shots usually can bring relief and also lessen the likelihood of ear infections.
When You Need Themand When You Dont
Many children get ear infections. The infections are usually in the middle ear behind the eardrum. They may be caused by bacteria or by a virus. Doctors often treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Antibiotics are strong medicines that kill bacteria.
Infants and some babies and children do need antibiotics.
But using antibiotics too often can be harmful. Heres why:
In most cases, antibiotics are not needed.
- They do not work for ear infections caused by viruses.
- They do not help the pain.
- Usually, viral infections and many bacterial infections go away on their own in two to three days, especially in children who are over two years old.
First, call the doctor and treat the pain.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection, you should call the doctors office and describe the symptoms. Usually, your doctor should ask you to wait a few days before bringing your child in.
The main sign of an ear infection is pain, especially on the first day. Or, a child may have a fever.
Start by giving your child an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as:
- acetaminophen .
- ibuprofen .
Antibiotics do not relieve pain in the first 24 hours. They only have a small effect on pain after that.; So, pain relievers are an important treatment, and usually they are the only treatment needed.
When is treatment with antibiotics needed?If the infection is very painful and lasts more than a few days, chances are it is a bacterial infection.
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What Do I Need To Know About An Ear Infection
An ear infection is also called otitis media. Blocked or swollen eustachian tubes can cause an infection. Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat. They drain fluid from the middle ear. You may have a buildup of fluid in your ear. Germs build up in the fluid and infection develops.
What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection
Ear infections are common in children. Adults can get them too. Most ear infections are not serious. Your healthcare provider will recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Pain relief may begin as soon as a few hours after taking the drug.
Your healthcare provider may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Many infections go away on their own without the need for antibiotics. If you or your child receives an antibiotic, you should start to see improvement within two to three days.
If you or your child has ongoing or frequent infections, or if fluid remains in the middle ear and puts hearing at risk, ear tubes may be surgically implanted in the eardrum to keep fluid draining from the eustachian tube as it normally should.
Never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.
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Ear Infection Treatment: Antibiotics
Sometimes ear infections resolve without any specific treatment. Some ear infections are caused by viruses, and antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, not viral infections. It is possible that your doctor may not want to prescribe antibiotics to start. Your doctor will decide if and when antibiotics should be used.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How can I keep my child comfortable at night with the pain of an ear infection?
- Is there drainage with an ear infection?
- What is the difference between an ear infection and swimmers ear?
- Is my child a candidate for ear tubes?
- What are the risks and benefits of surgically inserting tubes inside my childs middle ear?
- Should my child get regular hearing tests if they have frequent ear infections?
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How Long Will It Take My Child To Get Better
Your child should start feeling better within a few days after visiting the doctor. If its been several days and your child still seems sick, call your doctor. Your child might need a different antibiotic. Once the infection clears, fluid may still remain in the middle ear but usually disappears within three to six weeks.
How To Help Prevent Ear Infections
While most children get ear infections, there are a few things parents can do to try to prevent them:
- Breast feeding infants until at least age 6 months may help to lessen the number of ear infections.
- Keep your child away from cigarette smoke. Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home or car.
- Always hold your baby with his head up during feeding time . Babies should not be fed by propping the bottle or while lying flat.The formula can get into the middle ear and cause an infection.
- Do notleave a bottle in the crib for the baby to drink at bedtime.
- Make sure your childs immunizations are up to date.
- If your child is diagnosed with acute otitis media, avoid giving him a pacifier.Dress your child properly in cold and rainy weather.
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