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5 Signs of an Adult Ear Infection

5 Signs of an Adult Ear Infection

One privilege of growing up is leaving childhood illnesses behind. That’s only partly the case, as some of those ailments can recur throughout your life, though perhaps not with the same frequency. Middle ear infections are one such illness, as well as the most common type of ear infection. 

Children tend to be more prone to middle ear infections because their growing bodies can’t drain the air-filled cavity as efficiently as an adult can. However, major respiratory infections or allergies can sometimes produce enough fluid to overwhelm people of any age. Sometimes, adult ear infections may have more serious consequences. 

The head and neck specialists at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear infections in patients of any age. When you’re bothered by unexplained ear pain, make an appointment with the nearest of our offices. 

Understanding middle ear infections

Behind the eardrum, an air-filled chamber is home to the tiny bones that form the mechanical functions of transmitting vibrations from the eardrum to the fluid-filled inner ear. 

The middle ear equalizes air pressure through the eustachian tube, which connects with an opening in the throat. The popping noise you have when you’re gaining or losing altitude is the result of air pressure equalizing. 

When fluid fills the middle ear, the eustachian tube can be blocked, causing a build in pressure and also creating a haven for bacteria or viruses. If these invaders infect the backed up fluid, you have a middle ear infection. Typical causes of blockages are the common cold, influenza, and allergies with respiratory symptoms. 

5 signs of an adult ear infection

The symptoms of ear infection are often similar to other conditions, so it’s a good idea to see a specialist to assure an accurate diagnosis. Though these five signs may not exclude other medical conditions, they’re common with ear infections. 

Some ear infections can affect your balance or cause dizziness. This usually points toward an inner ear infection, but sometimes it can be present with a middle ear infection. 

Ear infection complications

Without prompt treatment, you could be at risk of permanent hearing loss, spread of the infection to other parts of your body, or nerve paralysis in your face. In serious cases, you may need surgery to add temporary drainage tubes to an infected ear.

Call the nearest office of Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates in Lawrence or Ottawa to make an appointment when you suspect you have an ear infection. We’re standing by to help you sidestep permanent damage, so call as soon as possible.  

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