Ear Infection (Middle Ear) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Ear Infection

What Is An Ear Infection?

Also known as otitis media, ear infection of the middle ear is a group of inflammatory disease. There are three types; namely acute otitis media, otitis media with effusion and chronic otitis media.

Acute otitis media is an infection of abrupt onset which is accompanied by ear pain. Characteristic diagnostic signs in children are their constant act of pulling their ears, increased crying, and poor sleep.

In contrast, chronic otitis media is generally not accompanied by any symptoms. It is dubbed to be the presence of non-infectious fluid in the middle ear for more than three months.

Chronic otitis media is middle ear infection which persists for more than two weeks and is accompanied by discharge of fluid from the ear. This may be a complication of otitis media with effusion.

Causes Of Ear Infection:

The most common cause of ear infection of the middle ear is dysfunction of the Eustachian tube (the tube that connects the nasopharynx to the middle ear).

Causes of Eustachian tube blockage or dysfunction may include:

  •     allergies
  •     colds
  •     sinus infections
  •     excess mucus
  •     tobacco smoking
  •     infected or swollen adenoids
  •     Inflammation of mucous membrane brought about by URI strep throat

Factors which increase the risk of developing ear infection of the middle ear may include:

  •     Age.
    Children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years are prone to ear infections
  •     Infant feeding.
  •     Seasonal factors.
  •       Poor air quality.
    Tobacco
    Air pollution

Symptoms Of Ear Infection:

Symptoms differ in adults and children.
In children:

  •     Ear pain, especially when lying down
  •     Tugging or pulling at an ear
  •     Difficulty sleeping
  •     Crying more than usual
  •     Acting more irritable than usual
  •     Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
  •     Loss of balance
  •     Fever
  •     Drainage of fluid from the ear
  •     Headache
  •     Loss of appetite

Symptoms In Adults Include:

  •     Ear pain
  •     Drainage of fluid from the ear
  •     Diminished hearing

Diangosis Of Ear Infection:

Ear infection of the middle ear is diagnosed via:

  •     Medical history
  •     Pneumatic  otoscope
  •     Tympanometry.
  •     Acoustic reflectometry.
  •     Tympanocentesis.

Treatment Of Ear Infection:

Doctors usually suggest a wait-and-see approach as ear infections tend to cure on their own.
If it persists, the following options are available:

  •     Pain medication
  •     Antibiotic therapies
  •     Draining fluid from the middle ear

By : Natural Health News

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