Infants and small children cared for outside the home in group day care settings are exposed to more germs and bacteria. Ear infections are often preceded by an upper respiratory infection. For this reason, if your child is exposed to more germs, that makes them more vulnerable to ear infections. However, that does not mean older children and adults are exempt from ear infections. Seasonal factors can be responsible as well. During allergy, cold and flu season ear infections are common.
While they are not as routine as ear infections in children, ear infections in adults can happen. Bacteria and/or viruses that get inside the ear are common causes of adult infections. Symptoms can include fever, earache, ear pain, hearing loss, a feeling of blockage in the ear, and dizziness. In many cases, antibiotics are used to treat the infections.
Outer Ear Infection
Sometimes referred to as “Swimmer’s Ear” affects the part of the ear that is outside the eardrum. The ear canal becomes inflamed and sensitive. The pain may worsen when the earlobe is pulled or touched. Other symptoms can include a slight fever and discharge from the ear.
Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infections are common in infants and children. The site of this infection is behind the eardrum. If bacteria or viruses get back there, the area becomes inflamed and can cause a build up of fluids creating pressure and throbbing pain. Other symptoms can include fever, drainage from the ear, and loss of balance or a headache. Small children that are unable to describe their symptoms might pull and tug at their ears, cry and act more irritated than usual, have a loss of appetite, be unresponsive to sounds.
If left untreated earaches can create more serious problems. Signs of an ear infection can signal many things. Therefore, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Come into QuestCare Urgent Care to speak to our skillful physicians. They are well acquainted with ear infections, especially in infants and small children. Immediate relief from the pressure and pain is just a visit away. Let us get you started on the right treatment so you can rest well and begin healing.