Symptoms of an Ear Infection and Treatment Options
By ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia
July 07, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Ear Infection  

Are you or your child suffering from an ear infection? These ailments are very common, particularly in the young, and they can cause serious complications. At ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia, our doctors and audiologists understand ear infections. They help many Valdosta, GA, patients feel much better.

Your ears allow you to hear the sounds of the world around you. What you may not know is that the internal ear also helps you keep your balance. At ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia, your Valdosta otolaryngologists evaluate and treat infections of the outer, middle and inner ear. Each infection has its own distinctive symptoms, but, in general, irritation, pain and inflammation are common to all.

Treating the three kinds of ear infections

Your ear has three parts, the outer ear (the part you can see), the middle ear (including the ear drum and three small bones which conduct sound) and the inner ear (with its semi-circular canals, cochlea and vestibular and auditory nerves). Each part may become infected. Here are the details.

Otitis externa is a bacterial infection of the outer ear. Redness, pain and drainage are the presenting symptoms, and often, the bacteria originate in water or beach sand which collects during swimming. As such, otitis externa also is called a swimmer's ear. As symptoms begin, see your ENT physician as soon as possible for an exam, antibiotic and pain reliever as needed.

Otitis media affects the middle ear, and it is the type of ear infection common to children. Often occurring after a cold, it may be viral or bacterial in nature and exhibits symptoms of:

  • Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fussiness and crying in very young children and babies
  • Muffled hearing
  • Sharp ear pain or a dull ache which persists
  • Ear drums which bulge with fluid accumulation

Comfort measures include medication for pain and a warm compress to soothe the irritated ear. Your otolaryngologist may advise antibiotic therapy with a bacterial infection, and recurring otitis media in kids may warrant the placement of slender ear tubes to avoid fluid build-up.

Finally, Otitis interna involves fever, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and ear pain. Some people experience hearing loss and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Many of these infections are viral; however, some are bacterial and will respond to simple antibiotic therapy (Amoxicillin, as an example).

Hear well and feel better

For expert help with ear infections, please contact our doctors and audiologists at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia in Valdosta, GA. They're the best resource for all your otolaryngology and allergy needs. Call for a consultation: (229) 244-2562.

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