Middle ear infection
Infection of the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum) is one of the most common reasons that children go to see a doctor. Middle ear infections can affect adults, but they are much less common in this population. Symptoms of an ear infection can include fever, ear pain, reduced hearing, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and drainage from the ear (otorrhea) if the eardrum ruptures. Children will often pull at their ears when they have an ear infection, but it is important to note that ear pulling alone without any other signs of illness is seldom indicative of an ear infection.
Factors that can predispose children to ear infections are many and include allergies, daycare, tobacco smoke exposure, bottle feeding, and pacifier use. Most middle ear infections are diagnosed and treated by the child's pediatrician but repeated ear infections warrant the attention of an ENT specialist. Adults with middle ear infection should be evaluated by a specialist because this condition is relatively rare in adults and may signal that something more serious is going on.
At The Voice Clinic, we can evaluate your or your child's ears to help determine if there is an active infection, and establish a treatment plan to help clear the infection and prevent recurrence.