Though ear infections incline to disturb kids—5 out of 6 children will experience thisdisorder by the time they’re 3 years old—adults are not immune. And no matter the ageof the patient, one thing is certain: an earache is not pleasant.
Types of ear infections
There are two main types of ear infections, explains Dr. Foster. A middle ear infection, or otitismedia (OM)—the most shared type—is inflammation and fluid buildup behind the ear producedby eustachian tube dysfunction. “The eustachian tube is the passageway between the ear andthe back of the nose that matches pressure in the space behind your ear drum. We experienceit working every time our ears pop,” he remains. Otitis media can be viral or bacterial and leads
to the following symptoms:
Causes and risk factorsIn maximum cases, OM stems from a viral higher respiratory infection—a cold thattends to contain sneezing, congestion, and post-nasal drip. The distinctive risk factorsinclude cyclical or year-round allergies, smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke,and having a cooperated immune system. “And having kids in daycare, which is a hugeone,” adds Foster.
Treatments for ear infections
Foster indorses consulting with your primary care physician if ear pain or muffled hearingpersists or worsens after three days. “But you should refer with an ENT doctor if an ear infectionoccurs more than twice a year or perseveres, despite antibiotics or an over-the-counterremedy.”'
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