Ear infections are one of the most common reasons to visit a doctor. For children up to the age of six years it is probably something that they have suffered in one form or another. Most ear infections are getting better without any treatment but in some cases it can be a severe problem that causes a lot of pain. The human ear is a complex organ that is divided into three sections;
The Outer Ear
The Middle Ear
The Inner Ear
The back of the throat and nose are connected to the middle ear by the Eustachian tube. This Eustachian tube is shorter by children and this is why they have an higher risk to suffer from an ear infection than grown up people.
What is an Ear infection?
An infection of the ear is called inflammation in doctors terms and is caused by a bacteria or virus that invades the external ear, middle ear or inner ear. The infection of the middle ear behind the eardrum is often described as otitis media and causes pain and fever among children. Otitis media can affect one or both ears at the same time.
Ear Infection Symptoms
The most common symptoms of an ear infection are pain, annoying itches in the ear, fever, fluid draining from the ear and sometimes dizziness. The infection symptoms will normally last for a few days, but decreased hearing may last a couple of weeks.
How to Diagnose Ear Infections,/H>
A doctor can simply diagnose if you have an ear infection by looking into the ear with a special torch. This Otoscope allows the doctor to look inside the ear for possible infections. Suffering from a cold or a sore throat are indications for the doctor to check your ears for infections.
Risk factors for Ear Infections
Anyone has the chance to get an ear
infection and no lifestyle prevents this from happening. There are certain risk factors that could increase the chance of ear infections. These risks are;
Genetic history of ear infections in the family
Allergy problems like hay fever
Ear Infection Treatment
Treatment of an ear infection will first focus on reducing of the pain after the diagnosis has determined that there is indeed an ear infection. Home treatments like the use of paracetamol and hydrogen peroxide can also be good to use to ease the discomfort. Always consult your doctor before using any of the home treatment products.
Flying with an Ear Infection
People who need to travel by airplane should not fly when they have an ear infection. The cabin pressure causes more pain and discomfort and may damage your inner ear. It is recommended to consult a doctor to ask if flying with the ear infection could harm.
Fungal Ear Infections
Fungal Ear Infections are caused by a bacteria or fungi that invade the outer ear. This is generally in moist conditions like swimming pools and showers. This fungal ear infection is commonly known as a swimmers disease. The invasion of the bacteria can start after water has entered the ear and is not dried out. A bacterium, or fungi, grows in this moist condition and will then find its way into the ear. In most situations there is no reason why the infection has started, but a combination of ear plug irritation with moist is enough to get the trouble started.
The symptoms and irritation are the same and only a doctor can determine in which part of the ear the infection is located.