Otitis media (middle ear infection)

November 28, 2011

A middle ear infection is the most common of all ear infections and is also known as Otitis Media. Otitis meaning inflammation of the ear and Media meaning middle. These types of ear infections usually take place behind the eardrum in the middle ear. Ear infections usually occur after a cold, flu or respiratory infection has been present for a few days.

When you have a cold, flu or an allergy attack the tube that connects the throat to the middle ear (Eustachian tube) becomes swollen and air is prevented from going inside the middle ear. This can create a suction that pulls liquid from the throat into the ear. This is called Otitis Media with effusion. The fluid then becomes stagnant in the middle ear causing bacteria to flourish, resulting in an ear infection.

Middle ear infections can affect any person at any age but are more common in babies and children under the age of three years old and less common in older children and adults. It is more common in babies because their Eustachian tubes are very small and easily infected.

There are three types of ear infections

 

  1. An Acute ear infection, which usually occur in children or babies after a cold or flu. Symptoms may include :
  • Irritability.
  • Fever .
  • Pain in the ear.
  • Pressure or fullness of the ear.
  • Popping sound in the ears when swallowing.
  1. Serous Otitis Media, which is the build up of fluid in the middle ear due to a blocked and swollen Eustachian tube. Symptoms may include:
  • Temporary hearing loss in the affected ear.
  • The symptoms of an acute infection.
  1. A Chronic ear infection is recurrent ear infections that can be caused by a perforated (hole in the) eardrum or the various other causes of Otitis Media. A few things that can cause recurrent ear infections are:
  • Swimming (swimmers ear).
  • Allergies.
  • Colds and flu’s.

Those who are at risk of developing an ear infection are those with:

  • A Cold/flu.
  • Active and passive smokers.
  • Respiratory illnesses.
  • Children who have a cleft palate.
  • Allergies.
  • Chronic congestion.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Pressure in the middle ear caused by an airplanes ascent and descent or when scuba diving.

Chronic Infections can be caused by:

  • Acute infections.
  • Blocked Eustachian tubes.
  • Sudden air pressure changes.
  • Incorrect earwax removal.

The general symptoms of otitis are:

  • Ear pain.
  • Fever.
  • Thick or yellow drainage from the ear (indicating that the eardrum has burst).
  • Irritability.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • Potential hearing loss.
  • Pressure in ear, especially when lying down.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.

Complications of untreated ear infections may result in:

  • Chronic ear infections can cause severe damage to the bones in the middle ear resulting in long-term hearing loss.
  • More rare complication that includes the infection spreading to the bones in the middle ear (mastoiditis), inner ear or brain.

Treatment for ear infections:

  • Antibiotics are especially good for those who are younger than 2 years old or very ill. Antibiotics should only be used when ear problems are quite serious because using antibiotics can result in forming resistant bacteria making it harder to treat the infection with antibiotics again.
  • Surgery for recurrent infections where tubes are inserted into the middle ear for drainage and ventilation, this type of surgery is called a Myringotomy.
  • SinusWars4. This SinusWars remedy will treat all ear and mastoid infections. SinusWars products work on the underlying conditions of the problem giving you long term relief. All SinusWars products are 100% safe, natural and have no side effects.

Ear infections can cause minor symptoms from pressure and fullness in the ear to major symptoms like severe pain and loss of hearing. Treat Otitis media before it leads to more serious conditions like mastoiditis or meningitis (brain infection).

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