Do you feel pain in your ear? Are you experiencing hearing difficulty as well? You probably have an ear infection. This condition shouldn’t be ignored, otherwise you’ll risk incurring more unnecessary pain and hearing loss.
An ear infection usually occurs in the middle ear, resulting from a viral or bacterial infection. When one of the smaller Eustachian tubes is infiltrated by bacteria, it triggers the pain. That’s because these tiny tubes, located in the area between the eardrum and back of the throat, is highly sensitive.
Other causes of ear pain include accumulation of mucus in the Eustachian tubes. When filled with nasal drainage due to colds or allergies, this affected area will create pressure on the eardrum, triggering the pain. Buildup of earwax will also cause ear pain.
Normally ear pain can last up to three days, but a chronic one may last for about six weeks.
The first sign of ear infection is the excruciating pain. The pain gets more intense during the night; lying down adds more pressure to the affected ear components. Other symptoms of ear infection include hearing loss, dizziness and runny nose.
You can tell if your child has an ear infection because he or she will try to pull the affected ear, as if to relieve the pressure and pain. If you need to speak louder to your child, it might indicate hearing loss.
Doctors generally prescribe antibiotics if the infection doesn’t go away after a few days, although cautiously. They normally ask the patient to wait for a few days and observe the condition. Should there be no improvement, that’s when they provide medication for the viral or bacterial infection.
To address the pain, over-the-counter medication may be used to get relief from the discomfort. In serious cases, the doctor may insert tubes to allow the accumulated fluid in the Eustachian tubes to drain, easing the pressure and giving relief.