Ear infections can be an isolated and easily treatable illnesses or they can be symptoms of larger issues. The signs of an ear infection often evolve rapidly. Whether you are experiencing minor pain, severe sinus issues, a balance disorder, or drainage issues, you should consult an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to see what can be done to diagnose and resolve the problems at hand.
Related Blog: How to Reduce Wax Build-Up with EarKare
According to The Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms of ear infections in adults are ear pain or irritation, fluid drainage from the ear, and diminished hearing. For children, the symptoms are more vast and may include:
- loss of appetite
- a high fever
- loss of balance
- heightened irritability or an escalation of crying
- difficulty responding to vocal commands or sounds
- pulling at the ear
- difficulty sleeping, and pain in the ear, especially when attempting to sleep.
When should you consult an ENT?
- When you observe a discharge from the ear that is bloody or includes pus
- When your child is irritable and sleepless following an infection elsewhere (other than the ear), a cold, or an upper respiratory infection
- When the pain becomes severely limiting to daily functions
- When symptoms are present in an infant less than six months of age
- When the symptoms last more than a day and when they continue to intensify
An ear infection is usually caused by some sort of bacterium or virus that exists in the middle ear. It may have resulted from other illnesses such as a cold, the flu, or allergies. All three may cause congestion and intense swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and Eustachian tubes.
If an ear infection lingers without medical attention, certain risks can become more pronounced. You may experience:
- impaired hearing and/or hearing loss
- speech or developmental delays (especially in children)
- the spread of the infection elsewhere in the body
- possible perforation of the eardrum which may require surgical repair to heal.
The Silverstein Institute is the leading ENT on the West Coast of Florida. With locations in Sarasota, Venice, and Lakewood Ranch, Dr. Herbert Silverstein and his world-renowned team of doctors are leaders in the field of ENT. Before you allow a problem to escalate into a medical emergency, contact the Silverstein Institute. Your health and your hearing should never be at risk.