Each part of the ear (outer, middle, or inner) are all susceptible to infections. Although children are more likely to get ear infections, adults can suffer from them as well. In any case, ear infections should be addressed and treated by an Alabama ENT Specialist as soon as possible to avoid further complications, such as the infection spreading, hearing loss, or recurring infections.
Inner Ear Infection
Also known as labyrinthitis, inner ear infections are caused by other medical issues throughout the body, including sinusitis, the common cold, or the flu. Since the inner ear is vital for hearing and balance, infection symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, ringing in your ears, and hearing loss. If you have symptoms of an inner ear infection, an Alabama ENT Specialist can help determine the type of infection and the most efficient way to treat your condition.
Middle Ear Infection
Bacteria or viruses are the primary causes of a middle ear infection, which leads to a buildup of mucus behind the eardrum. This buildup blocks the Eustachian tube, which is very painful for most individuals. In more severe cases, the fluid can remain for many months, leading to serious consequences, such as hearing loss. However, in most cases middle ear infections heal without medical attention within a few days, but antibiotics, ear drops, and draining techniques may be necessary depending on your particular condition.
Outer Ear Infection
An outer ear infection, most commonly known as “swimmer’s ear”, is caused by bacteria on the outer ear. This condition is most common in swimmers when water gets lodged in the ear, but eczema and earwax buildup can also cause an infection. Symptoms may include a plugged ear feeling, severe pain, fever, redness, and swelling of the external ear. Patients with an outer ear infection are advised to consult with Alabama ENT Specialists to explore treatment options and ultimately alleviate the pain and infection. With the proper treatment, outer ear infections are resolved within one to two weeks.
If you think you or your child are suffering from an ear infection, contact Alabama Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialists today to schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.