Ear Infections

Ear infections are caused by bacteria and viruses that get into the middle ear.

What Causes Ear Infections? (Adults & Kids Explained)

Ear infections happen when bacteria or viruses enter the middle ear. Kids get them often, but adults aren't immune. Why?

  • Developing Immune Systems: Children are more prone to infections in general.
  • Eustachian Tubes: These tubes drain the middle ear. In kids, they're smaller and more horizontal, making blockages easier. Fluid buildup then lets infection take hold.
  • Illnesses: Colds, flu, etc. can inflame the tubes, setting the stage for ear infections.

Ear Infection Symptoms: Kids vs. Adults

Symptoms can vary, but common signs include:

  • Children:
  • Fussiness, excessive crying
  • Sleep problems
  • Ear pulling
  • Balance issues
  • Reduced appetite
  • Trouble hearing
  • Fever
  • Ear drainage (fluid)
  • Adults
  • Ear pain
  • Drainage
  • Feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Reduced hearing

Note: Symptoms overlap with other ailments, so see a doctor for diagnosis, especially if severe, lasting over a day, or with pus/blood.

Why Do Ear Infections Keep Coming Back?

Recurring infections can stem from:

  • Allergies
  • Colds and flu
  • Bacteria or viruses not fully cleared by the body
  • Leftover fluid in the ear

Kids with frequent ear infections need close monitoring for underlying causes or hearing issues.

How Are Ear Infections Treated?

  • Diagnosis First: A doctor checks symptoms, uses tools to see inside the ear.
  • Mild Cases: Often clear up on their own. Over-the-counter pain relief can help.
  • Severe Cases: Especially with fever, antibiotics might be prescribed.

Don't Ignore Ear Infections

Untreated ear infections can damage the eardrum or even lead to hearing loss.

Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care: Here When Ear Trouble Strikes Click Here to Book Online