How Is An Ear Examination Performed
Your doctor may dim the lights in the exam room to make it easier to see your ear canal and eardrum with an otoscope. An otoscope is a handheld light with a removable plastic tip shaped like a cone that allows the doctor to look inside your ear.
Your doctor will gently pull in the following directions to straighten your ear canal:
Then, theyll place the tip of the otoscope into your ear and shine a light into your ear canal and down to your eardrum. Theyll carefully rotate the otoscope in different directions to see the inside of your ear and your eardrum.
Your doctor may use a pneumatic otoscope, which has a plastic bulb on the end, to blow a small puff of air against your eardrum. Normally, this air will cause your eardrum to move. Your doctor will see little or no movement if you have an infection and fluid buildup behind your eardrum.
Young children will be asked to lie on their backs with their heads turned to the side to allow the doctor to examine one ear at a time. Older children and adults can sit up, tilting their heads to the side to allow the doctor to examine each ear.
You can purchase an otoscope to check your childs ears at home if you think they may have an ear infection. Contact their doctor right away if you see any of the following in your childs ears:
Common Reasons For Dog Ear Infections
Ear infections in dogs may look more like a bacterial infection in one ear, and a yeast infection in the other. This is because an ear infection can be caused by either yeast or bacteria.
You need to figure out what is causing the pain in your dogs ears, and treat it accordingly. This article will help you identify the type of ear infection your dog has, and give you some methods for treating it at home.
Your dogs ears should be checked regularly, so that you can catch an infection and treat it before it is too late.
There are many different causes of ear infections. Some common reasons for ear infections in dogs include:
- a dirty or smelly environment
- lots of accumulated ear wax/dirt
- trauma or even an allergy.
Bacterial infections will usually cause a very bad odor, but it is not always the case. Similarly, yeast infections can start to smell really bad too.
Whats The Difference Between Ear Mites And Yeast Infections In Dogs
Yeast infections in a dogs ears generally cause redness, a brown discharge, head shaking or rubbing, odor, and itching.
Ear mite infections are extremely itchy and can cause many of the same symptoms. The discharge from the ear is usually dark and waxy or crusty. Ear mites are barely visible to the naked eye and highly contagious to other animals.
Your veterinarian can easily determine whether a dogs ear problem is caused by yeast or mites by taking a swab from their ear and looking at it under a microscope.
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Treatment For Otitis Media
Specific treatment for otitis media will be determined by your child’s physician based on the following:
Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Antibiotic medication by mouth or ear drops
If fluid remains in the ear for longer than three months, your child’s physician may suggest that small tubes be placed in the ear. This surgical procedure, called myringotomy, involves making a small opening in the eardrum to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure from the middle ear. A small tube is placed in the opening of the eardrum to ventilate the middle ear and to prevent fluid from accumulating. The child’s hearing is restored after the fluid is drained. The tubes usually fall out on their own after six to 12 months.
Your child’s surgeon may also recommend the removal of the adenoids if they are infected. Removal of the adenoids has shown to help some children with otitis media.
Treatment will depend upon the type of otitis media. Consult your child’s physician regarding treatment options.
Are There Any Long
Most children outgrow ear infections and will have perfect, undamaged ears and normal hearing.
The fluid that collects behind the eardrum can last for weeks to months after the pain of an ear infection is over. The fluid is usually gone in 80 percent of children within 12 weeks.
Hearing loss is the main complication of ear infections. See the following pages:
A hole in the eardrum can result from the build-up of pus. In most cases, this is a small hole that heals quickly . In a small number of children, the perforation can become long-lasting with fluid leaking from the ear. Sometimes an operation to repair the perforation may be necessary but usually not before the age of 8.
Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand acknowledge the cooperation of Procare Health Ltd in the development of this content. Procare Health Ltd provides GP services in the greater Auckland area.
Diagrams / artwork:Thank you to Dr Peter Allen for allowing reproduction of artwork from his book ‘Understanding ear infections’.
Please note: Permission to copy KidsHealth content, with acknowledgement, does not extend to Dr Peter Allen’s artwork on this page. Any requests to reproduce this artwork need to be made in writing to:Dr Peter Allen
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Treatment For Middle Ear Infection
Symptoms of middle ear infection usually improve by themselves within 24-48 hours, so antibiotics arent often needed.
You can give your child paracetamol in recommended doses to help with pain. Your GP might suggest some anaesthetic ear drops if your child has severe pain.
If your child still has pain and is unwell after 48 hours, is particularly unwell or is less than 12 months old, your GP might prescribe a short course of antibiotics, usually penicillin.
Most children improve after a few days of antibiotic treatment, but always make sure your child finishes the whole treatment, even if she seems better. Stopping too soon could make the infection come back. Often your GP will want to see your child again when your child has finished the treatment, to make sure the infection has cleared up.
Putting cotton wool in your childs ear or cleaning discharge with a cotton bud can damage the ear. It isnt recommended.
Recurrent ear infections Some children with recurrent ear infections or glue ear might need a long course of antibiotics.
Glue ear generally improves within three months. Your GP will need to monitor your child during this time to check that its getting better.
Can An Inner Ear Infection Be Seen With An Otoscope
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How Are Ear Infections Treated
The results of the otoscopic and microscopic examination usually determine the diagnosis and course of treatment. If there is a foreign body, wax plug, or parasite lodged in the ear canal, it will be removed. Some dogs must be sedated for this, or to allow a thorough ear flushing and cleaning. Many dogs will have more than one type of infection present . This situation usually requires the use of multiple medications or a broad-spectrum medication.
“Many dogs with chronic or recurrent ear infections have allergies or low thyroid function .”
An important part of the evaluation of the patient is the identification of underlying disease. Many dogs with chronic or recurrent ear infections have allergies or low thyroid function . If underlying disease is suspected, it must be diagnosed and treated or the pet will continue to experience chronic ear problems.
Inner Ear Infection Treatment
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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What Does An Infected Ear Look Like Through An Otoscope
Welch Allyn Otoscope 71000 Welch Allyn Portable Otoscope Ophthalmoscope Welch Allyn Diagnostic Sets By Medscope Ltd Browse The UKs Largest Welch Allyn Diagnostic Sets Range Buy Welch Allyn Diagnostic Sets Online Today In the middle is Welch Allyns Connex VSM, a color and your most common instrumentsBP cuff, thermometer, ophthalmoscope, and otoscope, plus others, are
A home ear examination is a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum using an instrument called an otoscope you do an examination. Then practice on some healthy, willing adults so you can learn what a normal ear canal and eardrum
Excellente!! None of my 4 kids have EVER taken medicine for ear infections. (and Ive been told several times by doctors oh, the ear is redIll give you
A while ago my 4 year old daughter had an ear infectionbut since she never complainsI missed the symptoms. Well, I went to pick her up at school and her ear
Surgery. The standard medical approach to ear infections in children is antibiotics, analgesics, and/or antihistamines. However, if the ear infection is long-standing
Id like to focus on ear infections in the pediatric visualization of the tympanic membrane using an otoscope, with some versions even providing a magnified view to aid recognition. In general, we look for the presence of purulent fluid in the
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The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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What Do The Test Results Mean
Normally, your ear canal is skin-colored and your eardrum is light gray or pearly white. The light should reflect off of a healthy eardrum. You may also have some yellow or brown earwax, which isnt harmful. If your ear canal and eardrum appear healthy, you mostly likely dont have an ear infection.
If your doctor identifies any of the following in your ear canal or behind your eardrum, you most likely have an ear infection:
- amber liquid
If the light doesnt reflect off of your eardrum, its another indication that fluid may have collected behind the eardrum due to an infection.
Don’t These Symptoms Usually Indicate Ear Mites
Ear mites can cause several of these symptoms, including a black discharge, scratching, and head shaking. However, ear mite infections are more common in puppies and kittens. Adult dogs may occasionally contract ear mites from puppies or cats that are infected. Ear mites create an environment within the ear canal that often leads to a secondary bacterial or yeast infection.
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Tips To Prevent Infections
The biggest cause of middle ear infections is the common cold, so avoid cold viruses as much as you can. The best way to stop germs is to make sure your child washes her hands well and often. Also, keep your child away from secondhand smoke, get her a flu shot every year once she turns 6 months old, and breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months to boost her immune system.
Ear Infection Home Remedies
There are some home remedies to help your child’s ear pain. Ear drops can bring relief, but these should not be used without checking with your child’s 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 child’s doctor beforehand.
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What Is An Otoscope
The otoscope comes with several pointed tips, called specula. Choose one thatâs slightly smaller than the opening of your child’s ear. If the ear hole is too small for the smallest tip, donât try to check for an infection at home.
Clean the speculum, unless youâre using disposable ones, and fit it to the viewing end of the otoscope. Turn on the instrument’s light.
If your child is older than 12 months, pull the outer ear gently up and back. This will straighten the ear canal and make it easier to see inside.
Hold the otoscope at the handle with your pinky finger outstretched. When the instrument is in the ear canal, your pinky should rest on your child’s cheek. This will keep it from going too far inside their ear canal and possibly hurting them.
Next, slowly put the speculum into your child’s ear while looking into the viewing end of the otoscope. The ear canal is sensitive, so donât put pressure on the instrument or push it too far.
Move the otoscope and the ear very gently until you can see the eardrum. Angle the viewing piece slightly toward your child’s nose, so it follows the normal angle of the ear canal.
Two important things to keep in mind:
Here are some things to look for:
- A red, bulging eardrum
Inspection Of The External Auditory Canal
Before inserting the speculum, it is important to straighten the external auditory canal. Its natural curvature obstructs ones view of the tympanic membrane. Gently pull the pinna backwards and upwards with your free hand. In young children, you should pull the pinna backwards only as the curvature of the pinna differs to adults.
Steadily insert the speculum into the canal, using your little finger as a brace against the patients cheek. Look through the viewing window for common causes of conductive hearing loss, such as wax and foreign bodies, the latter being common in children. Inspect the walls for signs of inflammation, such as reddening, discharge and oedema.
Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear, and is due to an obstruction of sound waves, preventing them from entering the inner ear. Causes include excess ear wax, infection and foreign bodies.Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the inner ear, and is usually due to damage of the sensory cochlear hair cells. Causes may be congenital , genetic or acquired .
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What Abnormal Results Mean
Ear infections are a common problem, especially with small children. A dull or absent light reflex from the eardrum may be a sign of a middle ear infection or fluid. The eardrum may be red and bulging if there is an infection. Amber liquid or bubbles behind the eardrum are often seen if fluid collects in the middle ear.
Abnormal results may also be due to an external ear infection . You might feel pain when the outer ear is pulled or wiggled. The ear canal may be red, tender, swollen, or filled with yellowish-green pus.
The test may also be done for the following conditions:
Tympanometry And Acoustic Reflectometry
Tympanometry and acoustic reflectometry each have attributes that make them valuable in providing information about the possible presence of a middle ear effusion.11,12,19 Neither is a perfect instrument, and both have some limitations. Both instruments have portable models, allowing them to be carried from one examination room to another. Acoustic reflectometry has the advantage of not requiring a seal within the ear canal, which improves its usefulness in a child who is not cooperative. Tympanometry provides additional information about actual pressures within the middle ear space.19 Both instruments can be connected to printers, thereby providing a permanent record of the readings for comparison at subsequent examinations and for documentation to health insurers.
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Inspection Of The Tympanic Membrane
Advance the speculum slightly forward to increase your view of the tympanic membrane . The tympanic membrane should appear pearly-grey and translucent.
The main anatomical landmarks seen on the tympanic membrane.
Identify the two main regions of the tympanic membrane: the pars flaccida , and the pars tensa .
Identify the lateral process of the malleus bone, which looks like a notch. Identify the handle of the malleus bone, which descends inferiorly and is attached to the tympanic membrane.
Inspect for the light reflex in the anterior inferior quadrant of the tympanic membrane. This will be in the 5 oclock position in the right ear, and in the 7 oclock position in the left ear. Lack of a light reflex is observed in otitis media.