More than 80% of children will have an ear infection before they turn three. The team of Indiana-based ear, nose, and throat doctors at Otolaryngology Associates, LLC has years of experience diagnosing and treating ear infection in patients of all ages. If you or your child is experiencing ear pain, make an appointment at one of the clinics in Indianapolis, Greencastle, Greenfield, Kokomo, Noblesville, and Carmel, to get checked out. You can book over the phone or through the online scheduler.
An ear infection occurs when a bacteria or virus infects the air-filled space behind the eardrum. They can be acute (a one-off occurrence) or chronic, which means they keep coming back or last longer than usual.
Children are more prone to ear infections than adults. If left untreated, chronic ear infections can lead to hearing problems and other complications. Have the team at Otolaryngology Associates, LLC check out any ear pain.
An ear infection is often a symptom of other illnesses that block the eustachian tubes. The eustachian tubes are pathways that run from the middle ear to the back of the throat. They allow fluid in the ear to drain, but if they become swollen, the fluid remains in the ear and becomes infected.
Illnesses that can cause blocked eustachian tubes include:
The team at Otolaryngology Associates, LLC assesses your infection so they can prescribe the best course of treatment.
Ear infection comes on quickly. Symptoms vary between children and adults and are usually more severe in children. If a younger child has an ear infection, you might see them tugging or pulling at their ear. Other signs to look out for include:
Adults typically experience ear pain, trouble hearing, and fluid leaking from the ear. Call the team at Otolaryngology Associates, LLC if ear pain lasts longer than 24 hours, if the pain is severe, or if you measure a fever over 102 F. For children younger than six months, see the doctor right away.
Most ear infections improve after a day or two and usually clear completely after two weeks. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and holding a warm cloth over the affected ear can make you more comfortable.
If the symptoms are severe, your provider may prescribe antibiotics. Be sure to finish the full course to reduce the risk of infection returning.
An ear infection is unpleasant, but not serious if caught early. If you have any concerns about your ear health, call the team at Otolaryngology Associates, LLC to schedule an appointment, or use the online booking portal.