Ear Infection: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Best Hospitals or Doctors For Ear infection in Ghaziabad & Delhi NCR
Ear infection, also known as acute otitis media, is an infection that occurs when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear- the part of ear just behind the eardrum. On infection, the narrow tube called the eustachian tubs that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat becomes inflamed and blocked which leads to mucus build-up in the middle ear. Although children are more prone to get ear infections than adults, there are some people who often get multiple ear infections which when not treated on time, may lead to early hearing problems and severe complications. Our otolaryngology specialists at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad are fully trained with years of expertise in all types of ear infections and are ever ready to help you identify the onset of ear infections, make accurate prognosis and give you the best treatment.
Causes of Ear infection
Ear infections can either be chronic or acute. While acute ear infections are painful but short in duration, chronic ear infections occur over a long period and may recur many times causing permanent damage to the eustachian tube. In either case, the infection is caused by a bacterium or virus and from some very common illnesses such as flu, cold or allergy which cause swelling and congestion in the eustachian tubes, nasal passages and throat. Here are some of the most common causes of eustachian tube blockage due to its infection:
– swollen adenoids or infection at the tissue near your tonsils that hampers immune system activity
– sinus infections
– flu or colds
– lack of air pressure regulation in the middle air
– fluid build-up in the middle ear due to blockage that inhibits draining of normal secretions
– any dysfunction or non-infectious blockage of the eustachian tubes
Signs & Symptoms of Ear infection
Symptoms may vary depending on the parts of the ear that are infected and may also differ in case of adults compared to children. Reach out to our experts if you have any of the following symptoms:
– discomfort or pain inside the ear
– recurring sensation of pressure inside the air
– trouble sleeping or fussiness in young infants
– pus-like ear drainage or secretion from the ear
– hearing loss or trouble responding to sounds
– unusual loss of balance in children
– fever of 100 F or higher
– loss of appetite
Risk Factors of Ear Infection
Below are listed some of the factors that can make one more vulnerable to ear infections
Seasonal allergy: Since ear infections are most common during fall and winter, people with seasonal allergies have a greater risk of ear infections when the pollen counts are high.
Age factor: Lower the immune system and narrower the size and shape of eustachian tubes, higher the risk of its blockage. This makes children below 2 years more vulnerable to ear infections.
Colds: Having cold increases the chances of getting an ear infection.
Chronic illness: People with immune deficiency are more likely to develop ear infections. This makes people with chronic illness such as asthma and cystic fibrosis more susceptible to ear infections.
Bad air quality: Exposure to polluted air increases the risk of ear infections.
Cleft palate: The bone structure and muscles in children who have cleft palates may make it more difficult for the eustachian tube to drain.
Diagnosis of Ear infection
For diagnosis, our Yashoda experts will review your medical and family history, observe your symptoms and perform a thorough physical examination through the following:
Otoscope: Our specialists use an instrument called otoscope to examine your ear. A clear and pinkish grey in colour will mean a healthy eardrum while an inflamed, swollen and red eardrum indicates infection.
Pneumatic otoscope: This instrument is used to check for any presence of fluid in the middle ear.
Tympanometry: Although this test does not test hearing, it uses air pressure to check for fluids in the middle ear.
Hearing test: Our specialist may recommend hearing test from an audiologist to examine any trace of hearing loss or recurring ear infections or fluid build-up.
Stethoscope: Using a stethoscope, our specialist will examine your throat and nasal passage and listen to your breathing for any signs of upper respiratory infections. They may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan of your head to determine if the infection has spread beyond the middle ear.
Treatment of Ear infection
Antibiotics: Although most mild ear infections clear up without any medical intervention, after examining your symptoms, our specialists may recommend antibiotic treatment. It is highly essential that antibiotics courses are completed.
Medication: In certain cases, over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be recommended to relieve pain.
Anesthesia: Anesthetic drops may be used to relieve pain if the eardrum has no injury.
Surgery: In more severe cases such as enlarged adenoids, surgical removal may be needed. If ear infections persist or many infections occur over a short time, surgeries may be recommended.
Tympanostomy tube: In case of long-term ear infections (chronic otitis media) or continuous fluid build-up in the ear after an infection clear up (otitis media with effusion), this treatment of draining fluid out of the ear may be recommended.
Whom to consult?
Since symptoms indicate several conditions of ear infections, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment are highly essential for effective treatment. On and after consultation with specialists, constant and regular check-ups are a must for which our ENT specialists at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad are always ready to provide the best services.