As we all know, our ears can cause a great deal of pain. When we have an ear infection, we often wonder what the cause may have been. Bacteria inside of the ear can cause an ear infection, so be sure to clean your earbuds to prevent an ear infection.

Preventing ear infections:

There are multiple ways you can prevent you or your loved ones from getting an ear infection. First, let’s review what an ear infection is exactly. We know bacteria causes infections, but what makes ear infections unique from other body part infections?

What is an ear infection?:

An ear infection can be bacterial or viral. The middle ear is the part of the ear that gets infected. Ear infections are painful because of the build up of fluid that is not usually there.

Along with the infection, inflammation usually follows. This is what makes it extremely uncomfortable to sleep and hear. Ear infections can either be chronic or acute.

A chronic ear infection either will not clear up or just keeps returning again and again. Because chronic ear infections take a toll on your ears, hearing loss may be a result of permanent damage to the middle and inner ear.

An ear infection occurs when one or both of a person’s eustachian tubes become blocked or swollen. This is what causes the build up or back up of fluid in the middle ear. There is one eustachian tube in each ear.

A eustachian tubes is a small tube that runs from the ear to the back of the throat. Colds, allergies, sinus infections, smoking, excess mucus, infected adenoids, swollen adenoids, and changes in air pressure can cause eustachian tube blockage.

What to avoid:

Factors that increase the risk for ear infections include:

  • climate changes
  • altitude changes
  • exposure to cigarette smoke
  • recent illness
  • recent ear infection

In children:

  • bottle feeding
  • pacifier use
  • swimming
  • incorrect bath methods

Most of the time, if there is pain coming from the ear, you have an ear infection. Also, puss or fluid coming from the ear is a sure sign of an ear infection. Any ear drainage is a sign you need immediate medical attention.

Ignoring or postponing medical treatment for ear infections will only worsen the infection and possibly your hearing. If the pain is horrible, you may even have a double ear infection. Do not put off medical attention if you have puss-like drainage from your ear, hearing loss, or if your child is fussy and pulling at an ear.

Unlike what you may expect, chronic ear infection symptoms may be harder to notice. This may either be because the patient has gotten used to the discomfort or has lived with the symptoms for a while they no longer catch the patient’s attention.

Symptoms may come and go or persist, so do not wait for them to disappear on their own. They may reappear. Next time, we are continuing this discussion by sharing ways to prevent ear infections. Thank you for stopping by, and come back for more ENT tips and tricks.

As for COVID-19, contact our office concerning any upcoming appointments. If you have a question or any health concerns, contact our office with your inquiries. Make sure you and your family stays home as much as possible.

Remember to support small, local businesses. As for first responders and others required to work, we want to thank you for your service and determination!

Staff Writer

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