Ear Infections and Surgery
What are Ear Infections?
Ear infections are called Otitis Media and occur often a result of bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.
Ear infections are often painful because of inflammation and buildup of fluids in the middle ear.
Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment often begins with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Ear infection in infants and severe cases in general require antibiotic medications. Long-term problems related to ear infections – persistent fluids in the middle ear, persistent infections or frequent infections – can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
Typical Symptoms of Pediatric Ear Infections
- unusual irritability
- difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- tugging or pulling at one or both ears
- fluid draining from ear(s)
- loss of balance
- hearing difficulties
A parent should suspect an ear infection when a child becomes ill with fever, is irritable, and usually complains of pain in the ear. Many children who develop ear infections will first have colds. However, ear pain can be caused by other problems, such as a sore throat, without an ear infection. Contact Dr. Hammerschlag if you suspect your child has an ear infection.
Adult Ear Infections
Though adults are not affected as frequently as children, adult ear infection can be caused by infection in the Eustachian tube, near the inner ear. The Eustachian tube connects the inner ear to the nasal passages in order to drain fluid from the ears and equalize pressure between outside and inside of the body, but when fluid or mucous builds up in the Eustachian tube, it is an easy target for infection.
There are many situations in which adult ear infection can surface. A cold or post-nasal drip can be contributing factors to adult ear infections. You may not feel sick. Be sure to contact Dr. Hammerschlag if you suspect you have an adult ear infection for prompt diagnosis and treatment.