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:
Commons symptoms of an ear infection include the following:
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.