Experiencing pain or discomfort while lying down or chewing, or feeling pressure in your ears or sinuses, may indicate that you have a middle ear infection. An ear infection causes the lining of the Eustachian tubes to become inflamed and swollen, which can block air from traveling to the middle ear. When air is prevented from entering the middle ear it can cause fluid to accumulate. Over time, this fluid may become infected, resulting in pain, fever, irritability, and possible temporary hearing loss
What Causes Middle Ear Infections?
Otitis media is an infection caused by a virus or bacterium in the middle ear. Colds, flus and allergies can cause irritation, swelling and congestion of the throat, nasal passages and Eustachian tubes. Ear infections are more common in children than in adults – most begin with an upper respiratory infection or cold – and occur in 75% of all children.
In addition, adenoids, which play a role in immune system activity, are located high in the back of the nose near the opening of the Eustachian tubes, making them particularly vulnerable to inflammation and infection. Adenoids are two small pads of tissues high in the back of the nose believed to play a role in immune system activity. As children have relatively larger and more active adenoids, inflammation of them is likely to play a role in increasing the occurrence of ear infections.
How are Middle Ear Infections Diagnosed?
Your doctor can usually diagnose an ear infection based on the office exam and the symptoms you describe. They will most likely use an otoscope (a lighted instrument) to look at ears, throat and nasal passages, and listen to breathing with a stethoscope.
How are Middle Ear Infections Treated?
Most middle ear infections resolve themselves without being treated with antibiotics. What’ is best for you or your child will depend on many factors, such as the severity of symptoms or age of your child. Your doctor will advise you on topical treatments to help lessen pain and discomfort, or, in some circumstances recommend an antibiotic treatment or a procedure to drain fluid build-up from the middle ear.
Ear Infection Treatment in Plantation FL
If you or your children are experiencing issues affecting the ears, nose and throat, or suffer from allergies, contact Dr. Wright’s office today at (954) 368-8519 to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment. Dr. Wright is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who holds a Medical Degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC, as well as a Master of Public Health degree. She is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.