Ear Infection Q & A
What are ear infections?
Ear infections develop when fluid builds up and gets trapped inside the middle ear. Ear infections are frequently caused by a throat infection, cold, or allergy attack. Ear infections can affect anyone but are most common in children. Symptoms can include earaches and thick, yellow fluid coming from the ears.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Adults with ear infections commonly experience:
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- An earache, either a sharp, sudden pain or a dull, aching pain
- A sharp pain with warm drainage from the ear canal right away
- Muted hearing
In children, parents may notice:
- Poor sleep
- Ear drainage
- Tugging at the ear
- Diminished appetite
- Irritability and restlessness
- Crying in the evening when lying down
What treatments are used at the office?
The doctor will typically prescribe a painkiller to alleviate any immediate pain and antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Antibiotics no longer the first step in treatment but are used when the infection does not go away following a period of rest or if it is especially severe. If the patient has a cochlear implant, the doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics because serious complications, including bacterial meningitis, are more common for those who have these implants. Follow-up exams with a doctor will be important to check for persistent infection, fluid behind the eardrum, or repeat infections. Even if you seem well, you may need a follow-up visit in about 4 weeks. This will be particularly important for young children. At Premier Family Medical, the doctors are dedicated to ensuring that the right treatment is used for you and your child. For help with ear infections or to have your child checked, contact the office to schedule a consultation with one of the expertly trained doctors at the practice.