There are number of health conditions that could develop owing to infections. Ear infection is one of such infectious condition. Ear infections are referred to as otitis media in medical terminology. In simple words, inflammation of ear (specifically middle ear) is called as ear infection. Ear infection may affect either one ear or both ears. Ear infections are most common amongst children. However, some adults may also experience ear infections. Though mild in nature, prolonged ear infections can lead to serious complications such as intense ear aches and hearing loss. Further, if left untreated, ear infection may spread to other parts like mastoid.
Symptoms: Children and adults face varying symptoms. Symptoms faced by children include hearing difficulties, scratching or pulling of ear, fever, vomiting and drainage from ear. Symptoms in adults (including adolescents and young children) include pain in ear (earache), hearing difficulties, and feeling of fullness/pressure in ear, fever, nausea, dizziness, omitting and drainage from ear.
Causes of Ear Infections: Blockage of Eustachian tube is considered as the main cause behind occurrence of ear infections. Such blockage may be resulted from factors like allergy, cold, accumulation of fluid (due to presence of viruses and bacteria) in the eardrum and infections of upper respiratory system. When the infection is caused as a result of accumulation of pus and mucus, due to viral or bacterial factors, behind the eardrum such a condition is referred to as acute otitis media. Accumulation of fluids in the eardrum leads to swelling, redness and earache. As a result of malfunctioning of eardrum we experience hearing problems. As the Eustachian tube is swollen and inflamed during infections, this creates hindrance in draining out of mucus and pus. This is termed as serous otitis media or middle ear effusion. Usually, such effusion remains even after infection has passed and may persist for prolonged periods. These effusions also increase the risk of recurrent infections and patient faces hearing problems.
Tests like audiogram and Tympanogram are conducted to diagnose the occurrence of ear infections.
Treatment: Generally, antibiotics are prescribed for treating ear infections. In some cases antihistamines and decongestants may be prescribed. Apart from the above medications your physician may prescribe pain relievers (usually ear drops) and other medications to relieve fever. Surgery is recommended rarely, only in cases where infections do not respond the medications. Use of liquid life supplements such as colloidal silver, colloidal gold etc may help in prevention and early relief from ear infections owing to their properties of ‘bacteria killing’ and immune system enhancing.
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