Ear infections can affect any part of the ear including the middle ear, ear canal or ear drum. Ear infections can be very painful and the most common infection is of the middle ear, many causes being another illness such as having the cold or another form of bacterial virus. Ear injuries are usually caused by pressure changes during the injury, such as a blow to the ear. Many times, treatment for infections is done before diagnosis because the ear scope can’t see into an ear that has inflammation.
Symptoms of Ear Infections
There are a variety of symptoms that someone will experience when they have an ear infection. These include ear pain, which can range from mild to severe, fullness in the ear, hearing loss, ringing in the ear, nausea, discharge coming from the ear, vomiting, or vertigo. Ear infections are also commonly associated with other medical conditions like the common cold. If you have discharge coming from the ear, the infection you most likely is have is called swimmer’s ear.
Treating Ear Infections
There are many ways to treat an ear infection, depending on the person, cause of the infection, the type and severity of the infection, and how often the person experiences them. This includes avoiding the use of swimming pools, coughing, bending, sneezing or any other attempts to equalize the ears. Taking over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Taking medications with the ingredient pseudoephedrine to reduce ear pressure unless you have high blood pressure. Possibly getting ear drops if you have an infection of the ear canal; possible medicated ear drops include neomycin or hydrocortisone. If the ear infection is causing discharge from the ear, mouth or nose, antibiotics are usually recommended.
When to Consult a Doctor
As soon as you show the above symptoms of an ear infection, you should consult your doctor right away. This includes any type of pain, pressure, or discharge from the ear, nose or mouth. You may need to get on antibiotics right away depending on the type of ear infection you have. Anyone with high blood pressure to consult a doctor before taking a decongestant for an ear infection.
Causes of Ear Infections
Different types of ear infections are caused by different things. For example, middle ear infections are usually caused by viruses and bacteria such as from a cold or the flu. Most ear infections, regardless of where they are, are caused by bacterial infections. Viral infections are usually caused by different types of viruses such as the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or flu (influenza) virus. Fluid buildup associated with ear infections is usually caused by upper respiratory infections or when allergies block the Eustachian tube and causing air not to be reached the middle ear.