Ear Infections

Progressive care with compassion

The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain.

a

There are three types of ear infections:

    • Outer Ear Infections
    • Middle Ear Infections
    • Inner Ear Infections

Outer Ear Infection (Otitis Externa)

Also known as Swimmer’s Ear, outer ear infections result from an inflammation, often bacterial, in the outer ear. Generally, they happen when water, sand or dirt gets into the ear canal. Moisture in the air or swimming makes the ear more susceptible to this type of ear infection. Symptoms include: severe pain, itching, redness and swelling in the outer ear. There also may be some fluid drainage. Often the pain is worse when chewing or when you pull on the ear. To reduce pain and prevent other long-term effects on the ear, be sure to see a doctor. Complications from untreated otitis externa may include hearing loss, recurring ear infections and bone and cartilage damage. Typically, your doctor will prescribe eardrops that block bacterial growth. In more severe cases, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic and pain medication. Most outer ear infections resolve in 7 to 10 days.

Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)

Middle ear infections can be caused by either bacterial or viral infection. These infections may be triggered by airborne or foodborne allergies, infections elsewhere in the body, nutritional deficiencies or a blocked Eustachian tube. In chronic cases, a thick, glue-like fluid may be discharged from the middle ear. Treatment is contingent on the cause of the infection and ranges from analgesic eardrops, medications to the surgical insertion of a tube to drain fluid from the middle ear or an adenoidectomy.

Inner Ear Infection (Otitis Interna)

Also known as labyrinthitis, inner ear infections are most commonly caused by other infections in the body, particularly sinus, throat or tooth infections. Symptoms include dizziness, fever, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss and tinnitus. Always seek medical attention if you think you may have an inner ear infection.

If you suspect you or your child may have an ear infection, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.

Getting Started is Easy

w

Free Phone Consultation

Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui.

Book Appointment

Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui.

Meet the Doctor!

Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui.

Follow Up & Care

Our exceptional, friendly staff is one of our greatest assets, and we are proud of their long time association with our office. Patients tell us often how well we work together as a team.

We pride ourselves on staying on the cutting edge of hearing healthcare and great patient communication. Each of our staff members is motivated to achieve the best results for our patients in a calming and comfortable setting.

Faq

What is acute otitis media?

While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum. An acute ear infection is a short and painful ear infection.

What causes otitis media?

The Eustachian tube runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. This tube drains fluid normally made in the middle ear. If the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up. This can lead to infection.  Anything that causes the eustachian tubes to become swollen or blocked causes more fluids to build up in the middle ear behind the eardrum. These causes include:

  • Allergies
  • Colds and sinus infections
  • Infected or enlarged adenoids
  • Perfume, smoke or other irritants
What is chronic otitis media?

Chronic ear infection is fluid, swelling, or an infection behind the eardrum. The condition does not go away or keeps coming back, and causes lasting damage to the ear.

What causes chronic otitis media?

The eustachian tube runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. This tube drains fluid that is made in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up. When this happens, an infection can occur. A chronic ear infection occurs when fluid or an infection behind the eardrum does not go away. This may be caused by:

  • A short-term ear infection that persists
  • Repeated ear infections
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
What is swimmer's ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear. Since the cause of the infection is water trapped in the ear canal, water from bathing or showering can also cause swimmer’s ear. When water is trapped in the ear canal, bacteria that normally inhabit the skin and ear canal multiply, causing infection and irritation of the ear canal.

Get in Touch

Ask a question or schedule an appointment below.

(434) 200-8753

 

2319 Atherholt Road Lynchburg, VA 24501

 

info@blueridgeentps.com