Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
The main symptoms of an ear infection are normally an ear ache or ear pain and generally feeling under the weather. Ear infections are more common in children but can affect people of any age. You should pay attention to your symptoms as an infection can develop quite quickly.
Although it is common for an ear infection to cause an ear ache this is not always the case. Sometimes an ear ache or ear pain are not symptoms of an ear infection but could be the effect of something else such as simply a congested ear after having the common cold. You may experience a feeling of clogged up or blocked ears and fuzzy hearing. Sometimes a fever will be present if the infection is a symptom of another ailment.
Babies and children may be hot and feel sick and unwell and you may find that children will pull or rub their ears. You must pay attention to these signs as if the child is very young they cannot tell you where the pain is. The outer ear might be itchy, red and inflamed and even touching the ear can be very painful. This is different to infection of the inner ear when the ear will not be painful to touch. There may also be a discharge from the ear which could also be accompanied by a fever. If there is a discharge it is likely that the eardrum has ruptured and you should immediately consult your doctor.
Causes of an Ear Infection
Having a cold or a chest infection might be the cause the infection in the ear when the mucus comes infected. Bacteria in swimming pool water or other polluted water can be the origin of infection in the ear – after swimming dry the ears very carefully to make sure there is no water trapped in the ear. Damaging or breaking the skin of your own ear when cleaning them can allow bacteria to take hold and cause an infection. Inflammation of the ear drum can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
Treatment for an Ear Infection
When you notice symptoms of an ear infection in most cases, especially in adults, you will not require any treatment. However, if the ear infection is causing pain and especially if it is a child who is suffering you should make a doctor’s appointment. The doctor will make a diagnosis and prescribe the right course of medication. Normally if it is a bacterial infection a course of antibiotics will be prescribed.
It is always essential to complete the full course of mediation even if you think the infection has been completely cured. Usually the infection clears up with two or three days but if it does not you should return to your doctor especially if there is a fever and a discharge from the ear. If you are worried about the problem and are not sure how serious the symptoms are a doctor will consult with you to ease your worries and confirm whether you require a course of medication.
- Be aware of any changes in your ears when you have a cold or flu and a fever and take action if you feel you are developing an ear infection.
- Use a home remedy or pharmacy bought product when there are warning signs that there is the possibility of an ear infection.
- Do not swim in polluted water. Bacteria in polluted water can cause not only ear infection but other serious illnesses.
- Be very careful when you are cleaning your own earns so as not to scratch or damage them.
- Be extra attentive and cautious when a baby or small child is involved to ensure you do not delay in taking action.
You should return to see your doctor if the ear infection has not cleared up after about one week of starting to take antibiotics or if your hearing has not returned to normal after the infection has cleared up. Do not use home remedies if there is puss coming out of the ear.
I hope you know have a better understanding of the causes and symptoms of an ear infection and the course of action to take and treatments available. More information about different types of ear pain can be found on other pages of the website which you can access using the navigation menu to the right.