A Guide to Ear Infection Causes and Symptoms

Posted on February 11, 2019

Pain

Earache season isn’t over in Suffolk County, NY. In fact, there may not be a definitive season for earaches because they have more than one cause. The most common is associated with the common cold, and that can happen any time of year. Take a minute and read up on earaches so that next time you or someone you love complains of pain in their ear, you know what to do before seeking treatment at a medical center in Suffolk County, NY.

Ear Infections and Tubes

The medical name for an ear infection is otitis media. You might be surprised to learn that the most common cause of ear infections is a blockage in the tubes inside the ear. The eustachian tube runs from the back of your nose and throat to your middle ear, which is located behind your eardrum. The eustachian tube has a special job—it’s responsible for air pressure regulation in your middle ear. It also makes sure any fluids in the middle ear get drained properly. When the tube gets blocked, bacteria can’t get out and you end up with an ear infection. Though commonly associated with children, adults can have eustachian tube problems too.

Bacteria and Viruses

Certain strains of streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria can be blamed for ear infections, as can haemophilus influenzae. Don’t confuse this with the flu; they're not the same thing. These bacteria can make adults sick but it's more common for it to cause illness in babies and young children. Your doctor can give a vaccine that does a good job of protecting little ones. Viruses associated with the common cold, the flu, and some respiratory viruses also cause ear infections. It’s best not to self-diagnose an ear infection. Instead, make an appointment at one of the best medical care centers in Suffolk County, NY, and let a physician help you.

Doctor

Ear Infection Symptoms

The obvious symptom of an ear infection is ear pain. It’s normally a dull, sharp, or burning pain. What’s confusing is that you might have ear pain when you have a cold and have no infection in the middle ear. The first clue that ear pain is caused by a cold is that it gets better as your cold symptoms improve. Colds cause your ear to feel stuffy, and you may feel like you can’t hear well. Those symptoms go away as the cold goes away. Ear pain that sticks around once cold symptoms leave your body usually indicates an ear infection. You’ll likely to also feel like you have an earplug in your ear.  If you have a fever and intense pain that won’t go away even if you take an aspirin or acetaminophen, you’ll need to see a doctor.

Both children and adults get ear infections. If your ears hurt, let one of the doctors at Peconic Bay Medical Center help. Make an appointment today.

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