Ear Infections: The Quick Facts

An ear infection occurs when a bacteria or a virus attack the middle ear, causing an inflammation. Ear infections occur in children more than adults.

Ear Infections: The Quick Facts

Who’s at Risk?

About two-thirds of children usually get ear infections. This is because their immune systems are not yet fully developed to stave off infections. Adults with compromised immune systems are also prone to contracting ear infections. Diabetes is another risk factor, as are skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

The common cold, flu and other respiratory tract issues like throat infection can precipitate ear infections, courtesy of the connected passageways.  People who smoke, or spent a lot of time in untreated water are also more susceptible to ear infections.

Symptoms

Ear infection symptoms may mimic other conditions, but some indicators like pain in the ear of hearing changes are a sure bet of an infection. If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, then it’s an ear infection.

  • Swelling and pain
  • Changes in how you usually hear
  • Nausea
  • Ear pain
  • Vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea (in infants)
  • Loss of sleep/appetite

Ear discharge is a sign that the infection is at a critical stage, and serious complications may occur. If it happens, see a doctor immediately.

Treatment

This will depend on the cause. In some cases, antibiotics may resolve an infection, but if a virus caused it, they would be ineffective. Your safest course of action is to see a doctor who will assess the extent of the infection and recommend a suitable course of treatment.

In most cases, ear infections will be fought off by the immune system. However, if your ear hurts for more than two days, or symptoms heighten e.g., fever and losing balance, it’s time to see a doctor as soon as possible. Do you have a persistent ear infection? At Connections Primary Care, your wellbeing is our topmost priority. Contact us and we’ll bring your ear back to normal.