North Hills ENT

Allergy Ear Infection

Otitis media (the medical term for an ear infection) is the inflammation and swelling of the middle ear, which occurs due to an infection in either one or both ears. Ear infections are a common diagnosis in children, but can affect adults as well, and often contribute to hearing loss.

In serious cases of ear infection, the ear drum may rupture, and then pus will leak out from the ear. Otitis media requires prompt medical attention to avoid lasting damage to the affected ears, and it is typically resolved with medical management including antibiotic treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Earache
  • Ear Drainage
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Balance
  • Feeling of Pressure or Fullness
  • Change in Hearing

Solutions and Options

When you come in to see one of our ENT specialists, he or she will diagnose your condition following a physical examination and testing if needed. The provider will look inside the ear using an otoscope or microscope to see if there is a buildup of fluid or pus. The provider may also use pneumatic otiscopy by puffing a small amount of air into the ear canal to evaluate the ear drum mobility. An audiogram may also be performed to evaluate the hearing. If otitis media is chronically recurrent, a procedure called Bilateral Myringotomy with pressure equalization tube placement may be recommended. This is done under general anesthesia. During this procedure, a small incision is made into the eardrum. Anything filling the middle ear, like fluid or pus, would then be suctioned out. A tiny tube is then placed into the opening in the eardrum. This helps to create a healthier middle ear and can help to prevent recurrent middle ear infections in the future.

Summary

Otitis media is an infection in the middle ear, and it can occur in one ear or in both ears at the same time. It is important to seek medical attention if you think you have an ear infection, as it can cause hearing loss and other significant problems if left untreated.

Call us at 817-595-3700 to schedule an appointment.

Additional Reading: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Earaches.cfm