Our Ear enables us to hear the voices around us. We can communicate with each other just because of our senses, which are hearing brought about by our ears. Typically, these function well and do not disturb us. However, sometimes you might get a painful earache.
Earaches are common in children and adults. But more commonly, it is seen in youngsters, mainly because they have a weak immune system and difficulty fighting bacteria and viruses, causing infections of the ears. Moreover, their little ears are not capable enough of draining the fluids.
You may face possible signs of ear infections as a stuffy nose, sore throat, or fever along with an earache. If you notice any such symptoms, you need to head to your doctor.
But what will your doctor be seeing? How would he diagnose your ear infection? And what’s the possible treatment plan? In today’s article, we shall enlist answers to some of these questions.
Ear infections can occur in the space just behind your eardrum, mainly due to bacteria and viruses that entrap and grow in the fluid behind your eardrum. These infections can cause bulging and swelling of the eardrum.
Medically, ear infections are termed Otitis Media. The most common symptom of ear infections include:
- Earache, which worsens when you are lying down
- Trouble sleeping
- Pulling and tugging at an ear
- Loss of balance
- Crying more than usual
If you experience an ear infection and go to the doctor, your doctor may be looking for your symptoms. Your doctor can do a physical checkup of your ear as well. To know about the signs of infections, your doctor can look at your eardrum with an instrument known as Otoscope. There is a puffer attached to the Otoscope, which can blow air to your ear to see if your eardrum is moving or not. If there is a fluid buildup, your eardrum will not move back and forth.
Typical signs of infections are a red or bulging eardrum with fluid entrapped behind it. This trapped fluid may be the thin, common cold, or thick like Pus.
Your doctor can use another instrument called Tympanometer to check for the fluid in your ear. This instrument mainly used sound and pressure.
If viruses or bacteria infect you in your ear, you may not have to live with the pain because it can be treated.
Generally, your doctor will recommend pain relievers, such as:
- Aspirin (avoided in children due to the risk of Reye Syndrome, which can cause swelling in the liver and brain.
You can also use heating pads, but they must be on medium heat. Precautions should be adopted if the infection is in your child.
Since bacteria mainly cause ear infections, therefore these can be treated by using antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. You have to follow the instructions provided by your doctor to use these antibiotics and take all the doses as advised by your doctor, even if you have treated the ear infection.
If you miss taking doses of your antibiotics, the infection may come back and become even more severe.
Fluid entrapped in the ears should be drained as soon as possible to treat ear infections. Your doctor can use a procedure known as Myringotomy if the infection is causing severe complications or the fluid remains in your ears for a longer time.
For this procedure, your doctor can create a small hole in your eardrum to drain out the fluid such as blood, water, or Pus from your ear. In most cases, he may also have a tube in your eardrum, so the infection does not come back.
The medical treatment procedures have been significantly advanced. We do not have to live long enough with the diseases since we can quickly get rid of them. Ear infections also include these advanced resources of treatment. Therefore, if you feel any symptoms associated with the ear infections, you may approach an ENT Specialist who can diagnose, treat and guide you about problems related to the ear.
To consult the best ENT Specialists, visit MARHAM.PK.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- Do ear infections go away on their own?
Mild ear infections usually go away on their own within 2 to 3 days. However, if the infection is not going away, it may have worsened and require you to get treated by your doctor.
2- What guidelines should I use about ear infections?
We should avoid smoke irritants present in tobacco smoke since it could trigger ear infections.
3- What are life-threatening conditions arising from ear infections?
If the ear infections start spreading, they must cause brain problems such as Meningitis, which can become fatal and cause a pus-filled cyst.
4- Can water cause ear infections?
You may get water and even sweat entrapped in your ears due to earbuds. If you do not treat it within the required time, you may develop an ear infection known as Swimmer’s Ear.
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