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Information About Ear infections

Barotrauma
Cholesteatoma
Deafness
Ear Infections
Earache
Eardrum perforation
Earwax
Labyrinthitis
Meniere Disease
Otitis Media
Otosclerosis
Ototoxicity
Tinnitus
Vertigo
  Ear infections
 
Ear infections are common childhood problems. Specifically, middle ear infections tend to affect children.  An infection happens when germs (bacteria and viruses) enter the body and cause irritation, pain, and general discomfort. In the same way, ear infections occur by introducing germs into the middle ear. The ear is divided into three parts: outer, middle, and inner.  As the result of an ear infection, pus will builds up in any one or all of the three areas of the ear.

Eustachian tubes

Eustachian tubes keep pressure from building up in the ear by letting air move in and out of the middle ear. In young children (3 years or younger), the eustachian tubes are very small and in some cases not fully developed. Thus, young children are more susceptible to germs and ear infections.

The eustachian tubes get longer and usually function better as children grow and mature. Allergies and or colds can block up the eustachian tubes which can lead to increased germ growth. Any eustachian tube blockage will increase the number of germs can grow inside the middle ear and cause an infection.

Ear infections are not contagious; however, colds are contagious. And as was mentioned above colds can lead to ear infections. Ear infections can cause any of the following symptoms:

  • ear pain
  • a fever
  • trouble hearing
  • pulling or scratching at the ear
  • hearing problems
  • crying, irritability
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • ear drainage
  • earache
  • feeling of fullness or pressure
  • hearing problems
  • dizziness, loss of balance
  • nausea, vomiting
  • ear drainage
  • fever

An ear infection is serious because of the severe earache and hearing loss it can cause. Hearing loss can be a legitimate result of a serious ear infection, especially in children. If ear infection and the possible hearing loss are treated promptly and effectively, hearing can almost always be restored to normal.

Ear infections are also serious because the infection can spread to nearby structures in the head, especially the mastoid. Thus, it is very important to recognize the symptoms (see the above list) of otitis media and to get immediate attention from your doctor.

 
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