While ear infections in children are common, they can still affect adults and are caused by bacteria getting inside the ear.
Cause Of Adult Ear Infection
Bacteria enters the middle ear through what is known as the eustachian tube. When this happens, infection usually occurs. The resultant infection swells the lining which in turn causes blockage in the eustachian tube. This leads to the formation of fluid build up and as it increases, can cause temporary hearing loss and pain. Unchecked, the fluid build up can reach levels pressuring the ear drum and damaging it.
While there are several reasons infection can surface such as bacteria and viruses or from the common cold, it must be noted an adult doesn’t necessarily have to be ill to become infected. Water in the ears which is left to sit or mucous deposited into the eustachian tubes from blowing the nose can lead to infection.
Adult Ear Infection Symptoms
The following are the symptoms of adult ear infection:
– blockage – temporary hearing loss
– pain in the ear
– fever and dizziness
It’s important to see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms especially for any length of time. Caught early, infection can be treated quite comfortably and any further complications can be halted.
Adult Ear Infection Treatment
When infection is suspected, your doctor will conduct a standard examination to confirm whether the symptoms being experienced are as a result of adult ear. Bear in mind if the initial examination is a little clouded then further tests may be required.
Bacterial related infections are treated with antibiotics. If infection is diagnosed immediately or you go in to see your doctor at the first sign of symptoms, antibiotics could be delayed. This is because in adults, improvement can occur without the use of medication.
If the situation doesn’t improve following a couple of days, then a course of antibiotics will usually be prescribed. As with the use of any antibiotic treatment, a prescribed course should be completed from start to finish.
Viral infections are a little more troublesome to treat. In fact, in some cases, minor surgery could be recommended to help dissipate the build up and drain the fluid.
While using cotton buds is usually frowned upon by the medical profession, leaving water in the ear from either showering or swimming is not a good idea. The use of an approved flush could be recommended while nasal sprays, which have proven effective as a way of washing out bacteria, can also be effective against infection.