Ear infections can occur when there are blockages of the eustachian tube to the middle ear, resulting in a breeding ground for bacterial or viral infections. Colds, flu and allergies commonly contribute to middle ear infections (AKA acute otitis media), which can result in ear pain and other complications. While many ear infections can clear on their own without treatment, others may require medication or other therapies to resolve. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we provide diagnosis and treatment for ear infections at our medical clinic in Alpharetta, GA.
The middle ear is usually dry due to air flowing through it from the eustachian tube. When this tube is blocked due to inflammation in the throat, nasal passages or sinuses, it can result in a warm, moist middle ear. This is very common in infants and children who have very small eustachian tubes that can easily be blocked.
Symptoms of Ear Infection
The most common symptom of an ear infection is pain. An earache combined with hearing loss and possibly drainage from the ear is common for adults with an ear infection. For children or infants, you may need to look for signs of ear pain or discomfort, as well as check for a fever over 100 F. Small children may display the following symptoms when they have an ear infection:
- Pulling on their ears
- Balance issues
- Crying or fussy
- Trouble sleeping
- Minimal appetite
Many ear infections in children and adults can resolve on their own within 24 hours – if the infection lasts more than a day, visiting an ENT specialist is recommended. Infants six months or younger should see a doctor if they have signs of an ear infection.
Treatment for ear infections depends on the cause. Bacterial ear infections may be treated with antibiotics, but it depends on the patient and type of infection. Dr. Zweig performs a thorough examination to determine the best treatment plan to resolve the infection.
Ear infections can increase risks of hearing loss and other complications. Chronic or frequent ear infections may be due to structural abnormalities or other related health conditions. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we offer a holistic approach to resolving chronic ear infections to provide long-term relief and overall wellness for our patients. Contact our office in Alpharetta, GA, to schedule an ear infection consultation.