Ear infections are common in children, but adults are not immune. Bacteria is a common culprit, but the symptoms will depend on the part of the ear that is affected by the infection (outer, middle, or inner ear). The ear, nose and throat specialists at Spartanburg & Greer ENT in Spartanburg & Greer, SC advise parents to monitor a child's symptoms. Many pediatric ear infections often clear up on their own within a few days but should be examined by a doctor if there additional symptoms like difficulty hearing, fever, or discharge from the ear. Adults are advised to seek prompt treatment for symptoms of an ear infection to rule other problems.
Ear Infection Diagnosis and Treatment in Spartanburg, SC
An earache is the most common symptom of an infection. Other symptoms vary depending on the part of the ear in which the infection is located:
Outer ear infection (otitis externa) symptoms include:
- Itchy rash
- Pain and tenderness
Middle ear infection (otitis media) symptoms include:
- Fluid buildup with potential draining
- Temporarily muddled hearing
Inner ear infection symptoms include:
- Pain and inflammation
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Colds and respiratory conditions can often trigger middle ear infections, especially in children who are more susceptible to clogging and fluid buildup in the eustachian tubes (children's eustachian tubes are smaller than adults). Inner ear infections can be caused by inflammation or an underlying health condition.
Also known as swimmer's ear, outer ear infections develop when moisture or damage to the outer ear causes bacteria buildup. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics and cleaning out the ear.
If the symptoms do not clear up on their own within a few days or are accompanied by a fever, seek treatment right away.
Find an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor in Spartanburg, SC
In addition to being incredibly painful, ear infections can potentially damage your hearing if left untreated. For more information on the symptoms and treatment options for ear infections, contact Spartanburg & Greer ENT to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors by calling 864-582-2900 for Spartanburg or 864-699-6970 for Greer, SC.