People of all ages can get ear infections, but children are especially vulnerable to those in the middle ear. More than 80% of children go through at least one middle ear infection before they turn three. At every age, the board-certified physicians at Advantage ENT ease your ear pain with personalized treatment for acute and chronic ear infections. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Arvada, the northern part of Westminster, or Wheat Ridge, Colorado, or use the online appointment request feature today.
Ear infections affect your outer, middle, and inner ear. A common outer ear problem, swimmer’s ear, occurs when water stays in the ear canal. An infection develops as a result.
The inner ear usually develops viral infections that can cause vertigo, dizziness, and problems with balance. Some people with an inner ear infection also experience tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and difficulty hearing.
Of the different types of ear infections, however, middle ear infections are the most common.
Middle ear infections develop when fluid builds up in the space behind your eardrum. This problem most often happens when the Eustachian tube is inflamed.
The Eustachian tube connects your nose and ear, and regulates pressure in the ear. When you have a respiratory infection like a cold, the tube can swell and become inflamed.
Swelling in the tube means that liquids can’t ventilate your ear and fluid can build up behind the eardrum. Bacteria grow in the fluids, resulting in a middle ear infection.
Middle ear infections are notorious for causing pain that develops as fluids push against the eardrum. Children may express their discomfort by tugging at their ear, crying more than normal, or waking during the night.
In addition to an earache, ear infections can cause:
You may also notice fluids draining from the ear.
Your provider at Advantage ENT looks inside your ear. They can see if you have an infection, the severity of the condition and if you have trapped fluids. In some cases, they perform a simple test called a tympanogram, which shows eardrum movement.
Ear infections don’t always need specialized treatment because they can go away on their own. Over-the-counter pain relievers help to ease the pain while you wait. If there is a concern for a more severe infection, medications may be prescribed.
Most ear infections clear up in 10-14 days, but they can keep returning or may never clear, causing some children to end up with chronic ear infections. Children who have recurrent or chronic ear infections often need temporary ear tubes in the eardrum to help the fluid drain.
To get prompt help for the pain of an ear infection, call Advantage ENT or request an appointment online today.