Ear Infection Symptoms

During childhood, it is common to have an ear infection or two. An ear infection occurs when the lining/membrane of the middle ear becomes inflamed, causing a hole to form in the eardrum, from which various problems within the ear result, including diminished hearing, inflammation, pain and dizziness.

Ear infections are usually the result of a respiratory or sinus infection, as the nasal and ear passages become congested and inflamed. Other viral and bacterial infections can also cause ear infections. Yet another cause of ear infections is when the inner ear does not function properly and excess fluid is produced.


Additional Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Symptoms of an ear infection include pus, inflammation and excess fluid present in or draining from within the ear. Hearing loss, pain and fever may be present as well. Young children may demonstrate fussiness, insomnia, difficulty hearing and/or loss of appetite. If not properly treated, the ear infection could progress in severity, causing the eardrum to rupture, which is intensely painful and, if not treated, can mean permanent hearing loss.

Ear Infection Treatments

Studies show that about 80 percent of ear infections heal on their own, but if the infection persists past a period of a week or two, it is advised to visit an ENT or your child's primary physician. After being diagnosed with an ear infection, your doctor will probably prescribe necessary antibiotics to fight the bacteria causing the infection. Ear infections are not contagious, but sometimes the bacteria that can cause an ear infection can be contagious. A good rule of thumb is to basically keep your child away from other children if you suspect any infection is present.

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