Ear infections are very common disorders and are experienced by both children and adults alike. They are often caused by inadequate function of the Eustachian tube, which connects the ear and nose, or other infections in the throat or sinuses.
There are many types of ear infections and they can have different symptoms, which may include hearing loss, drainage, pain, fever, or dizziness. The hearing loss associated with ear infections may be reversible or may be permanent. Ear infections may involve the ear canal, the middle ear, the mastoid, or the inner ear, which is the organ of balance. It is important that the type of ear infection be properly diagnosed in order to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Ear infections may be acute or chronic, and may cause perforations in the eardrum, damage to the tiny bones in the middle ear, or the formation of a cyst called cholesteatoma. Treatment may include oral, topical, or intravenous antibiotics, ventilation tubes, or surgery.
If you believe that you have an ear infection, if your ears drain constantly or intermittently, or if they do not respond to treatment, it is important that you see an ENT doctor or otologist, as opposed to a primary care provider. The physicians at the Shea Ear Clinic have the training and experience to manage all types of ear infections in both children and adults. Call for an appointment today.
Paul F. Shea, MD, talking about Ear infections