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Overview

What is an Ear Infection?

Acute otitis media, another name for an ear infection, is an illness that mostly affects the middle ear, the region of the ear behind the eardrum, although it can also spread to the outer and inner ear.

Short-lived but frequently excruciating, acute ear infections are brought on by an accumulation of fluid or inflammation.

On the other hand, persistent ear infections recur more frequently and require longer to heal. It is possible for a persistent ear infection to harm your ears, leading to major concerns like hearing loss.

What are the types of Ear Infections?

AOM (acute otitis media):

The most prevalent and least dangerous type of ear infection is acute otitis media (AOM). It includes fluid accumulation behind the eardrum as well as middle ear infection and inflammation. AOM is frequently accompanied by fever as a symptom.

OME (Otitis media): Otitis media with effusion (OME) is the accumulation of non-infected fluid in the middle ear beyond the eardrum. It can happen due to an upper respiratory infection, cold, or ear infection.

You might not have any symptoms if you have OME, but your middle ear space will fill with fluid.

Chronic otitis media with effusion (COME): Regardless of whether an infection is present, persistent fluid return to the middle ear is known as chronic otitis media with effusion, or COME.

Chronic COME might affect your hearing and weaken your immune system against future infections.

How can we prevent ear infections?

Ear infections are sometimes unavoidable, especially those of the inner ear that are brought on by colds and the flu.

To prevent middle ear infections:

  • Ensure that your child has received all recommended vaccinations
  • Keep your kids away from areas where there is smoke
  • Try not to give your infant a dummy after they are 6 months old

To prevent outer ear infections:

  • Avoid putting your fingers or cotton wool buds in your ears
  • When swimming, cover your ears with a swimming cap or earplugs
  • When taking a shower or bath, try not to let shampoo or water get in your ears
  • Treat ear-related illnesses, such as eczema or hearing aid allergies

Causes

What causes Ear Infections?

Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses. The infection usually arises from an obstruction caused by an accumulation of fluid in your ear. Colds could be the cause of this obstruction.

  • allergies
  • too much mucus
  • sinus infections
  • Changes in air pressure
  • exposure to smoke from cigarettes
  • An infection of the adenoids, or roof of the mouth, can also result in an ear infection.

The short, narrow Eustachian tubes of children and infants put them at higher risk of ear infections. Young children who: 

  • use a pacifier or dummy has a higher chance of developing an ear infection
  • are enrolled in a nursery or daycare
  • have a low birth weight
  • have limited healthcare access
  • are male

Treatments

Recommended medication for ear infections:

  • Otomize Ear Spray
  • EarCalm Spray

Ways to self-treat an ear infection

To lessen ear infection pain and discomfort:

  • Use ibuprofen or paracetamol as pain relievers (aspirin should not be given to children under 16)
  • Apply either a cold or warm flannel to the ear
  • Use cotton wool to wipe out any discharge from the ear

Symptoms

How do you tell if you have an ear infection?

An ear infection typically manifests its symptoms immediately and includes:

  • discomfort within the ear
  • fever
  • being ill
  • low energy level
  • hearing problems
    discharge that is coming from the ear
  • a feeling of fullness or pressure inside the ear
  • discomfort and itching around the ear
  • scaly skin in and around the ears

Babies and young toddlers suffering from an ear infection may also:

  • Pull or rub their ears
  • not react to some sounds
  • become agitated or restless
  • give up eating
  • continue to lose their balance

FAQ

  • Why Do I Continue to Have Ear Infections?

    A persistent ear infection, sometimes referred to as a recurrent ear infection, is what you have. Prolonged infections of the ears are called chronic infections. Chronic ear infections come in a variety of types.

  • What Is the Duration of an Ear Infection?

    The majority of ear infections go away in three days. On the other hand, symptoms could last up to a week. If you are not well enough to go about your regular activities during this period,

    you should stay at home and avoid interaction with others until you get better. After three days, if your ear infection symptoms don't improve, you should consult a doctor.

  • Are Ear Infections Contagious?

    No, you cannot spread ear infections; they are not contagious among people. However, people might share both bacterial and viral causes of ear infections.

    Colds and the flu are common causes of ear infections, which are spread by droplets that are released when someone coughs, sneezes, talks, or touches objects.

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