Ear Infection Treatment

What is an ear infection?

We’ve all heard of and probably experienced an ear infection at least once in our lives, particularly during childhood. However, what exactly is it? An ear infection is an infection caused when bacteria or a virus, usually from a cold or allergy attack, gets trapped inside the middle ear. This often results in the build up of fluid and swelling of the middle ear.

Ear infections are referred to as either acute or chronic. Acute ear infections are those that are painful, yet short in duration. In contrast, chronic ear infections refer to those that won’t resolve or are recurrent. Chronic ear infections can sometimes cause more severe, long-term damage, particularly when left untreated. Possibilities include:

  • Loss of hearing
  • Mastoid bone (the bone behind the outer ear) infection
  • Development of a cyst inside the middle ear called a cholesteatoma
  • Damage or disintegration of the middle ear bones that conduct sound
  • Rarely, spread of the infection to the brain or spinal fluid

What are the symptoms?

Commons symptoms of an ear infection include the following:

  • Ear pain and fever – more often with acute infection
  • Drainage from the ear and hearing loss – more often with chronic infection


What are the treatment options?

While some infections clear up on their own, others may require further treatment. These treatments may include antibiotics by mouth or topically (ear drops). In more severe cases of chronic infections, the physician may recommend Tube placement or more advanced ear surgery.

If you suspect that you or your child(ren) are experiencing symptoms of an ear infection, call us or fill out our contact form for further evaluation. Prompt treatment can prevent the infection from worsening.