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Ear Infections: Causes and Symptoms

Ear infections can involve either the middle ear, or the ear canal, and both can cause pain, fever, drainage, and changes in hearing. Ear infections are more common in children than in adults.

Middle ear infection (otitis media) can occur in both children and adults, but more commonly in children. Most ear infections are caused by viral or bacterial infections, and sometimes do not need oral antibiotics to resolve.

Ear canal infections (otitis externa) typically occur after swimming (water gets trapped into the ear canal, helping bacteria grow), with cerumen (ear wax) build-up, extended hearing aid use, and trauma to the ear canal skin.

What are the symptoms of ear infections?

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • pain in the ear
  • Discharge of pus
  • Itching
  • excessive fluid drainage
  • Headache
  • Pressure inside the earĀ 
  • Fussiness in young infants
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of appetite

What causes an ear infection?

When the eustachian tubes become swollen or blocked, fluid or bacteria become trapped inside the ear and cause an infection.

How are ear infections treated?

While most ear infections go away on their own without referral to an ear specialist, they can sometimes become more serious and need an oral antibiotic, topical antibiotics, or surgery by an ear specialist to treat and resolve.

The Shea Clinic Ear Nose & Throat will be more than happy to get you placed in the good hands of one of their Physicians to help you find the exact medical cure you have been looking for.

For appointments, call 800-477-SHEA or locally 901-761-9720 or click here to schedule an appointment.

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