Ear Fluid & Infection

There are three possible sources of ear pain, the outer, middle or inner ear.

Ear Fluid & Infection

There are three possible sources of ear pain, the outer, middle or inner ear.

Ear Fluid & Infections

The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain.

Outer Ear Infection
(Otitis Externa)

Also known as Swimmer’s Ear, outer ear infections result from an inflammation, often bacterial, in the outer ear. Generally, they happen when water, sand, or dirt gets into the ear canal. Moisture in the air or swimming makes the ear more susceptible to this type of ear infection. Symptoms include severe pain, itching, redness, and swelling in the outer ear. There also may be some fluid drainage. Often the pain is worse when chewing or when you pull on the ear. To reduce pain and prevent other long-term effects on the ear, be sure to see a doctor. Complications from untreated otitis externa may include hearing loss, recurring ear infections, and bone and cartilage damage. Typically, your doctor will prescribe ear drops that block bacterial growth. In more severe cases, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic and pain medication. Most outer ear infections resolve in seven to 10 days.

Middle Ear Infection
(Otitis Media)

Middle ear infections can be caused by either bacterial or viral infections. These infections may be triggered by airborne or food-borne allergies, infections elsewhere in the body, nutritional deficiencies, or a blocked Eustachian tube. In chronic cases, a thick, glue-like fluid may be discharged from the middle ear. Treatment is contingent on the cause of the infection and may include analgesic ear drops, medications, surgical insertion of a tube to drain fluid, or an adenoidectomy

Inner Ear Infection
(Otitis Interna)

Also known as labyrinthitis, inner ear infections are most commonly caused by other infections in the body, particularly sinus, throat, or tooth infections. Symptoms include dizziness, fever, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Always seek medical attention if you think you may have an inner ear infection.

If you suspect you or your child may have an ear infection, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.

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