Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection) in Adults
What is otitis media (ear infection)?
Otitis media is infection or inflammation in the middle ear. Most kids have at least one ear infection by the time they are 3 years old. But, adults can also get ear infections.
What causes ear infections?
Inflammation in the middle ear most often starts after you’ve had a sore throat, cold, or other upper respiratory problem. The infection spreads to the middle ear and causes fluid buildup behind the eardrum.
What are the symptoms of ear infection?
These are the most common symptoms of ear infections in adults:
- Ear pain
- Feeling of fullness in the hear
- Fluid draining from the ear(s)
- Hearing loss
These symptoms may look like other conditions or health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is ear infection diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will review your health history and do a physical exam. He or she will check the outer ear(s) and the eardrum(s) using an otoscope. The otoscope is a lighted tool that lets the healthcare provider see inside the ear. A pneumatic otoscope blows a puff of air into the ear to test eardrum movement. When there is fluid or infection in the middle ear, movement is decreased.
Your provider may also do a tympanometry. This is a test that directs air and sound to the middle ear.
If you have ear infections often, your healthcare provider may suggest having a hearing test.
How is an ear infection treated?
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
- How old you are
- Your overall health and health history
- How sick you are
- How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- How long the condition is expected to last
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
- Pain relievers
- Insertion of small tubes in the eardrum for chronic ear infections
What are the complications of an ear infection?
Untreated ear infections can lead to:
- Infection in other parts of the head
- Permanent hearing loss
- Problems with speech and language
Can ear infections be prevented?
Cold and allergy medicines do not appear to prevent ear infections. And, currently, there is no vaccine that can prevent the disease. However, do check with your healthcare provider and make sure your vaccines are up-to-date. Living in a home where cigarettes are smoked can increase the chances of ear infections.
Key points about otitis media
- Ear infections can affect both children and adults.
- Pain and fever can be the most common symptoms.
- Without treatment, permanent hearing loss may happen.
- Take antibiotics as prescribed and finish all of the prescription. This can help prevent antibiotic resistant infections or incomplete treatment with the infection returning.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
1351Baby shower guest sign in ideas
2533Boy baby shower decorations ideas
1607Girl baby shower favors ideas
1791TOP 10 Girl baby shower themes ideas for 2017
600Baby shower fruit tray ideas
3923Baby shower snack ideas pinterest
4319Baby shower afternoon tea ideas
1909Purchase The Special Twin Baby Shower Cakes From Your Local Stores
4291High tea baby shower ideas – 10 ways to have a High tea baby shower party!
2553TOP 10 Baby girl baby shower food ideas
218710 Useful Triplet baby shower ideas for you!
2463Baby shower ideas pinterest boy
554Welcoming a Baby Angel in Style with the Best Baby shower souvenir ideas
2041Planning a Baby shower program ideas – detailed guide
4315Baby shower centerpieces ideas pictures – 10 methods to brighten your baby shower party
23689It is Safe to Eat Raw Meat – A Guide to Choosing the Right Type
3165Baby shower charades ideas
4327Baby shower onesie ideas – 10 secrets to know
3453Baby shower decorations for a boy ideas
1120Jungle baby shower food ideas
2051Neutral baby shower theme ideas
1833Flower themed baby shower ideas
23795Instantly Know More Than 10,000 Health Books…
3755Baby shower gift ideas for mum
556Baby shower ideas decorations
620Blue safari baby shower ideas
2963Baby shower diaper decoration ideas
4071Baby shower theme party ideas
342Centerpiece ideas for baby shower
3355Curious george baby shower ideas
1669Baby girl baby shower decoration ideas
21043Week 2 – Mommy Got Pregnant
3053Baby shower decorating ideas pictures
3791Shower ideas for baby
250Baby shower invitations ideas
21823Week 29 of Pregnancy – The Making of a Little Genius