All You Need to Know About Ear Infection

Health

As many as 50 million Americans suffer from ear infections each year. These infections are the leading cause of childhood doctor visits, missed school days, and restricted activity for children. Additionally, ear infections don’t only affect children. One out of every ten people will have an ear infection at some point in their lives. Although everyone is susceptible to ear infections, they are more common in infants and young children due to the relatively narrow passageway from the eardrum to the throat. Ear infections can cause intense ear pain, temporary or permanent hearing loss, and pressure that feels like a “plugged up” sensation in the affected ear. Some patients may also feel nauseous or have a fever. If you have an ear infection, you need to see a doctor experienced in treating ear infections in Schaumburg for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of Ear Infection

Ear pain 

It is not uncommon for ear infections to be accompanied by severe ear pain. This may be accompanied by fever and nausea.

Pressure sensation in the ear

Many people with ear infections report a sense of fullness or “plugged up” sensation in their ears, which results from fluid build-up behind the eardrum. This pressure can be pretty uncomfortable and make it difficult to hear.

Fever

Ear infections often cause a fever, which may range from mild (100° F or 38° C) to severe (107° F or 41° C). Do not attempt to treat this at home; you should always see a doctor about fevers, as they can indicate other issues.

Nausea

Ear infections can cause nausea, especially in infants and young children. This is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong; do not ignore it!

Hearing loss

Hearing loss as a result of an ear infection is rare but possible. However, this affects those who have experienced long-term infections, not the typical infection that goes away within a few days.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. Please do not attempt to treat them yourself.

Causes of Ear Infections

Despite what you might think, ear infections do not result from poor hygiene. Many people with bad cases of ear infection show no signs of bacterial or viral infection. It is believed that the fluid build-up that causes pain and pressure in the ear can lead to these infections.

Treatment For Ear Infections

An ear infection is easily treated using over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotics in most cases. In severe or chronic cases, your doctor may opt to provide you with prescription antibiotics. If the ear infection does not subside within 72 hours of initiating treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. This could indicate another condition such as the flu, as well as delayed treatment.

Rarely, if your ear infection comes with a high fever that does not respond to antibiotics, you may require surgery. The surgeon will remove the fluid build-up from behind the eardrum and then insert tubes into the eardrum itself to allow for drainage.

In summary, ear infections are common and mainly affect young children. If you have an ear infection, you may experience ear pain, pressure in the ear, fever, nausea, and hearing loss in extreme cases. Most cases of ear infection result from viruses and bacteria due to fluid build-up. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat an ear infection, but you may need surgery if it does not respond to treatment.

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