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What Causes Ear Infections And What Are The Symptoms, Treatment?

Our ear is made up of the outer ear, eardrum, and tympanic membrane, which divides the middle ear from the external ear.

A canal that connects our middle ear to the back of the throat is called the Eustachian tube. This equalizes the pressure in the middle ear, which is important for good sound transmission.

Structure And Functions Of The Ear:


Our Eustachian tubes are lined with mucus, just as our noses and throats are.

A sound is transmitted from the outer ear to the middle ear. Inner ear organs control hearing and balance. In the outer ear, you can find hair and glands that produce wax.

Middle ears are composed of three bone-like structures that transfer vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear.

Incidents of Ear Infections and Vulnerable Group:

Infants from 6 months to 2 years of age, and young children, are more susceptible to ear infections. A middle ear infection is caused by bacteria or viruses living in the air spaces that are present in the middle ear. A space of this type is an ideal place for an infection to spread.  Infections can be acute or chronic. An acute ear infection is painful but lasts only for a short time. Chronic ear infections cause hearing problems and even permanent damage to the ear over time. Their presence is less visible, however.


When we have an infection, one of our Eustachian tubes can swell or become blocked, resulting in fluid accumulation in the middle ear. Since children have smaller and narrower Eustachian tubes, they are more vulnerable. When bottle-fed children are not fed in an upright position, they are at greater risk of developing an infection. Several factors contribute to ear infections, including:


One should be vigilant of the signs of ear infections as they spread rapidly. A good ENT specialist should be consulted without delay when one exhibits the following classic symptoms:


Treatment begins with ear examination for inflammation, perforation of the eardrum, or presence of fluid by a health care provider. In case of advanced infections, the doctor will take a sample of the fluid to test the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A CT scan of the head may be advised to determine the spread of the infection beyond the middle ear. A hearing test may also be conducted to assess hearing impairment (if any).


Mild and acute ear infections are well-nigh-treated with antibiotics. It may not be necessary to seek medical attention in some cases. Here are some common home management techniques:

However, if there’s no marked improvement in pain, swelling, or discomfort, one must take medical assistance for correct diagnosis and line of treatment. In extreme cases with enlarged adenoids and multiple infections, surgery could be an option to remove the adenoids, restore hearing, relieve inner ear pressure, and reduce the tendency for repeated infections.

Few simple precautions like infant vaccinations, breastfeeding, and adhering to certain hygiene practices at home would prevent seasonal infections and respiratory illness. For smokers who have chronic ear infections, it’s best to stop smoking.

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