An ear infection occurs when a virus or bacteria enter the space behind the eardrum. While ear infections are often associated with children, they can occur in adults too. These infections are usually secondary to the flu, common cold, or seasonal allergies. That’s because these issues cause congestion that affects the nose, throat, and eustachian tubes. In healthy ears, eustachian tubes drain the middle ear, keeping it free from infection. When the flu, common cold, or allergies cause congestion, the tubes no longer drain. This causes buildup and can lead to infections.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has an ear infection, it’s important to get medical attention. When left untreated, some ear infections can lead to hearing loss or spread to other areas of the body, including the brain.
The most common symptom of an ear infection is ear pain. Adults may also notice that it’s more difficult to hear, and they have more wax in their ears than normal. Noticing ear infections in children can be more difficult, especially when the child is not able to say that they are in pain. Caregivers can look for the following signs of a possible ear infection.
You notice yourself tugging on your ear more often than usual
Trouble sleeping or difficulty getting comfortable, especially when laying on your ear
Especially in children, more frequent episodes of crying
An overall fussy attitude, mostly prominent in children
Symptoms or signs of a fever, especially one over 100°F
Decreased appetite and / or less eating
Leakage or drainage of fluids from the ear
Sudden difficulty maintaining your balance while walking
There are some basic examinations and tests that your provider will perform when an ear infection is suspected.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an ear infection, contact your local Center for Advanced Wellness to schedule an appointment. Then, follow these easy steps: confirm your appointment, check-in, arrive 15 minutes early. When we call your name, come back and visit with one of our friendly, experienced medical professionals.
Have questions about some ear issues you're having or need to know something about your upcoming ear infection exam? We've got you covered.
No. If you have insurance, your cost will depend on your coverage. If you don’t have insurance or your deductible is simply too high, consider our membership plans. Options start at $50 per month for adults and bring your copays at our clinic to just $10.
Usually, ear infections resolve on their own or with prescribed antibiotics. In some rare cases, they persist. If you continue to have symptoms, follow up with your medical provider. It could also mean recurrent ear infections, which sometimes require surgery.
Yes. Although ear infections are more common in children, adults can get them. In general, ear infections tend to be more serious in adults than in children.
Ear infections can be caused by either bacterial or viral infections, typically from fluid in the ear not draining. Allergies and common colds can cause this to happen.
If you or your child are experiencing any symptoms or warning signs of an ear infection, visit one of our wellness centers in Texas today for diagnosis and treatment!