Ear Pain Treatment

There are two common locations for ear infections. The Outer Ear, called Otitis Externa and the Middle Ear, called Otitis Media.

Otitis Externa or Swimmer's Ear is an infection of the ear canal. The ear canal is usually protected by a thin layer of earwax which prevents bacterial infections. As long as water is free to enter and exit the ear there will be no problems. However, if the ear canal remains wet, perhaps from a lot of swimming, bacteria may grow causing the ear canal to become red and swollen.

Ear pain is the most common symptom. Even touching or bumping the ear can be painful. It may also be difficult to hear if the canal is very swollen.

To make a diagnosis we will exam the ear with an otoscope. Once we determine if you have an infection we will begin treatment with antibiotics. Based on the severity of the infection, we may use drops or we may need to place a wick or tiny sponge in the ear that contains antibiotics to fight the infection.

Otitis Media or Middle Ear infections usually affect children under three. Almost all kids this age will have at least one ear infection. Middle ear infections can be caused by both bacteria and viruses. The middle ear is located right behind the ear drum. When germs get into this location, it can fill with fluid or Pus which can be very painful.

Young children get ear infections because their eustachian tubes, the link between the nasal passages and the ears, are very small and less able to keep germs out.

To make the diagnosis the otoscope will be used to examine the ear drum and test its flexibility. If you do have an infection, we will begin treatment with antibiotics.

Although less typical these infections can occur in adults. Additionally, if a child has frequent ear infections there are other treatment plans.

Ear Diagram Image

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