An ear infection is a inflammation of the ear canals. There are different types of ear infections depending on the area of the ear effected. Outer Ear infections, like swimmer’s ear, effect the outer canal of the ear up to the area of the drum. There are also middle ear infections, which usually result from a blockage to the Eustachain tubes. These tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the throat and are used to maintain correct pressure on the back side of the ear drum. When these tubes become blocked, they create a breading ground for bacteria and viral infections that cause inflammation in the ear canal. The main symptoms of ear infections are pain and on occasion hearing trouble and fever. The most common types of infection are bacterial, and they are usually caused by the streptococcus bacterium. The most common treatment for an infection of this typer in an adult is antibiotics to help ride the body of the inflammation causing bacterium.
The treatment for children is similar, except that when a child presents with reoccurring infections often surgery is an option. Tubes are places in the ear drum to help maintain pressure and draining. This can also be helpful when the frequency of the infections is impacting hearing of a small child. Left untreated reoccurring ear infections in toddlers and young children can lead to delayed speech developments. Some of the symptoms in small children will be crying and grasping at the ears. The ear lobe and outer canal may also be slightly flush if the infection is causing fever.Â Left untreated in adults, ear infections have a chance to cause preeminent hearing loss. If you are having ear pain and it doesn’t not resolve in a day or two, please see your doctor.