Ear infections are common and painful, so how are they caused, what are the symptoms and more importantly what can you do to resolve ear infections?
Symptoms Of Ear Infections
Otitis Externa or an infection of the outer ear, has three symptoms. Blockage of the ear, discharge and pain from the affected ear. Swimmers often get it when swimming pool water mixes with ear wax, causing it to expand and block off the ear canal.
Ear infections usually come on after some sort of trauma, which can be scratching the ear, itching the ear, putting objects in the ear, removal of wax, etc. This trauma causes damage to the lining of the ear, which causes an infection. Sometimes the infection can be so bad the whole ear swells up, and the face in front of the ear can become very inflamed.
The main alternative diagnosis to Otitis Externa is furunculosis of the ear, which is when a hair follicle in the ear canal becomes inflamed and forms an abscess, effectively creating a boil within the ear.
Senior insulin dependent diabetics can also develop infection of the bone of the deep part of the canal, this osteitis is also known as malignant otitis externa, and can be life threatening.
Treatment For Ear Infections
The most common treatment of ear infections are topical antibiotic and steroid drops or sprays.Sometimes the ear canal is so swollen, a sponge ear pack needs to be temporarilyinserted.An Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon is usually needed, to remove the debris from deep in the ear canal. This is called microsuction, and is performed using an operating microscope.
The main pathogens causing this condition are either bacteriaor fungal. Antibiotic and steroid drops are very effective at killing these pathogens. Once the infection has settled, the use of mild steroid creams for the ear canal may help prevent itching.
For more information about ear infections, contact Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield today at 203-259-4700.