Could your earache be caused by an infection?
Even though children are far more likely to deal with ear infections, anyone can develop an ear infection. Of course, it isn’t always easy to tell if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to an infection or something else. Find out the telltale signs and know when it’s time to visit our Valdosta, GA, otolaryngologists Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne for treatment.
There are three different kinds of ear infections: inner, middle and outer. The type of infection you are dealing with will often present with different symptoms.
Inner Ear Infection
If you have an inner infection, it’s important that our Valdosta, GA, ENT doctor examines the ear. After all, it could actually just be inflammation and not an infection; however, sometimes a more serious issue such as meningitis may be the cause. If you have an inner ear infection you may experience dizziness (vertigo), nausea and vomiting. You may also have trouble with balance. You may also notice some degree of hearing loss in the affected ear.
Middle Ear Infection
The middle ear lies behind the eardrum and this infection occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Therefore, the most common symptom is ear pain, pressure, and fullness. You may even notice fluid draining from your ear or have difficulty hearing (sounds may be muffled).
Outer Ear Infection
An outer ear infection, known as otitis externa, will start at the eardrum and affect the outside portions of the ear. More often than not, those with an outer ear infection may develop an itchy rash on their ear. The ear may also be red, swollen or tender to the touch.
Ear Infections in Children
As an adult, it’s pretty easy to know when it’s time to see a doctor and when you might be able to handle symptoms on your own. Unfortunately, infants and toddlers will not be able to tell you that they are experiencing an ear infection; however, here are some behaviors to be on the lookout for:
- Pulling or tugging at the ear
- Drainage coming from the ear
- Increased fussiness or clinginess
- Crying when lying down
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble hearing those around them
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms it’s best to play it safe and bring them in for an evaluation. Some infections will clear on their own but others with require antibiotics or medication to prevent complications.
Here at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia, we are here to make sure that you get the quality ear, nose and throat care you deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with seasonal allergies or an ear infection, we can provide you with the treatment you need within Valdosta, GA, and the surrounding community.