Complaining about recurring ear pain frequently? If so, then chances are you may be suffering from an ear infection. And although this can be treated easily, it could lead to more serious issues in the long run if ignored or left untreated.
Causes For Ear Infections
But before finding out how an ear infection can be treated, you need to find out the reason why you developed an ear infection in the first place. Doing so would enable you to get the correct treatment in order to get rid of the issue effectively.
Ear infections are generally of two types; the outer ear infections which are collectively called as Otitis Externa, and middle/inner ear infections which are collectively called as Otitis Media. And here are some of the most common causes for both kinds of infections.
The most common cause for ear infections is the presence of bacteria inside the ear. Accordingly, the water and fluids that enter the ear usually flow out on their own. However, due to certain reasons, if they remain the ear, they can become active breeding grounds for bacteria which multiply with time to cause inflammation and pain.
Common Causes For Outer Ear/Otitis Externa Infections
Also called as Swimmer’s ear, outer ear infections tend to occur when water enters the outer year and gets trapped inside the same. The risks increase in the case of contaminated water which brings along with it plenty of bacteria and other infectious germs.
Contaminated water would deposit the bacteria and germs inside the outer ear. These organisms would then start breeding inside the outer ear (warm and moist conditions are favorable living conditions for bacteria). And this in turn can cause outer ear infections.
Some of the more common symptoms of outer ear infections include itchiness, redness, flaky skin, pain, pus secretion (all these symptoms occur in the ear) or even fever.
Outer ear or Swimmer’s ear infections can be easily treated with a myriad of options. These include antibiotic ear drops, ear plugs (to be used during baths and swims), and regular checkups with an ENT specialist to remove ear wax and other impurities from your ear.
Common Causes For Middle Ear/Otitis Media Infections
Mostly prevalent in small children, middle ear infections tend to occur when the fluid that enters the ear gets does not flow out of the Eustachian tube and gets trapped inside the ear, thus causing infection and inflammation behind the eardrum.
In the case of children, the Eustachian tube (connecting middle ear to the back of the nose and throat) is not properly developed and hence is very narrow. In the case of cold, infections, sinus or allergies, the Eustachian tube gets blocked along with the nose and throat.
And this in turn can prevent fluids that enter the ear from flowing out completely. Ear infections can also be caused by the blockage of the ears during flights. Again, a foreign object that is lodged in the ear can cause infections. The water left behind in the ear collects behind the ear drum and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which multiply quickly to cause ear infections.
Some of the more common symptoms of middle ear infections include pain, pressure inside the ear, loss of hearing, feeling of fullness, fluid drainage, and vertigo issues. Middle ear infections can be treated in many ways.
The more common treatments for these kinds of infections include surgical options to remove nasal polyps or turbinates; and frequent use of decongestants. Middle ear infections can also be thwarted if you make it a point to never use objects like hairpins, safety pins and Q tips etc. to remove ear wax.
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