What Are The Causes Ear Infections in The Adult?

There are two kinds of ear infections that adults can have got — acute middle ear infections, and outer ear infections. Most ear infections in adults are outer ear infections (otitis externa), but middle ear infections (otitis media) can occur and it really give us many regreted results.

Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear) in Adults

Outer ear infections are also known as swimmer’s ear because it is common among swimmers. It usually occurs when contaminated water enters the outer ear allowing germs to grow and thrive due to warm, moist conditions. There are some simple symptoms of swimmer’s ear that we can realize easily:

•           itchiness inside the ear

•           ear redness

•           flaking of the skin on the ear

•           drainage from the ear which may be pus

•           Fever

•           pain when moving the head or touching the ear

•           itchiness inside the ear

Swimmer’s ear is fairly easy to diagnose and usually treated with antibiotic ear drops. Sometimes pus and debris will need to be cleaned out by your physician. You can prevent swimmer’s ear by using ear plugs before swimming or bathing, gently drying your ears with a blow dryer on the lowest setting after swimming or bathing, not inserting objects in the ears, and not swimming in polluted water

Otitis Media (Middle Ear) Infections in Adults

Middle ear infections are most common in children because of the anatomical difference in the shape and size of the Eustachian tube, the tube that runs from the ear canal to the back of the throat. When fluid or bacteria become trapped inside the ear, an infection can occur. Adults who get frequent middle ear infections should see an ENT doctor because surrounding tissues in the nose or throat could be blocking the Eustachian tube and preventing drainage. Ear infections often occur after you’ve had a cold virus, a bout with seasonal allergies, or after flying on an airplane. It can also be caused by sticking foreign objects, such as Q-tips, in the ear. Some symptoms of a middle ear infection are identified such as:

•           fever

•           ear pain

•           hearing loss

•           drainage from the ear (occurs from a ruptured ear drum)

•           balance problems (vertigo)

•           a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear

We know that middle ear infections in adults are often treated with oral antibiotics. Recurrent adult ear infections caused by enlarged structures in the ear or throat, such as turbinates (tiny bones inside of the nose), or nasal polyps may have to be surgically removed or reduced in size. To prevent future infections, avoid cigarette smoke, take a decongestant when you have a cold or before getting on an airplane and avoid trying to clean your ear wax using Q-tips or other objects.

While it is unusual for adults to get ear infections, they can usually be treated without complications. Having consulted your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that’s best for you and it is necessary to go to your doctor to have the best advices for your health.

Source: ent.about.com

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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