How Do You Fix An Inner Ear Infection
Sometimes, your healthcare provider may prescribe antivirals or antibiotics to treat your inner ear infection. More often, however, theyll focus on treating your symptoms rather than the infection itself. For example, steroids are often prescribed to ease inflammation.
Additionally, if youve developed vertigo or dizziness as a result of your inner ear infection, your provider may recommend antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, fexofenadine or loratadine.
If your symptoms include nausea and vomiting, your provider may prescribe an antiemetic or a vestibular suppressant .
What Are The Symptoms Of Ear Infection In Toddlers
A toddler with an ear infection will display the following signs of the condition .
- Fluid Discharge From Ear: A clear or yellowish discharge from the ear could indicate pus, which is a collection of white blood cells that attack a pathogen. This occurs when the ear drum bursts open and the pus from the middle ear comes out.
- Unpleasant smell from the ear: An unpleasant odor emanates from the ear canal even if the toddler is otherwise clean. The smell comes from the infected middle ear fluid if it drains out.
- Tugging of ears due to pain: The toddler would pull or pinch the ear due to severe earache and discomfort. The ear ache is quite severe.
- Fever: An ear infection can cause fever without any signs of other visible illnesses. It means the toddler would seem otherwise fine. The fever due to ear infection would be greater than 100.4°F .
- Loss of appetite: A swollen eustachian tube can make swallowing painful due to high pressure within the middle ear . Therefore, the toddler develops a loss of appetite and disinterest in food.
- General irritability and trouble while sleeping: The toddler will seem irritable and fussy while having trouble sleeping due to acute pain in the ear. While lying down, every time the toddler turns his head to the side of the infected ear, he would squeal in pain.
Take your toddler to a doctor to understand the exact cause of the ear infection.
Inner Ear Infection : Symptoms Causes & Treatment
- Labyrinthitis is an inner ear condition that causes dizziness, spinning sensation and problems with balance. Inner ear infections and/or other ear problems can trigger labyrinthitis.
- Symptoms of labyrinthitis include:
- Ringing in the ear
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Causes Of Cat Ear Infections
Ear infections in cats can have many different causes. These causes include parasites, bacteria, yeast, or allergies. Its important for your vet to determine the cause of your cats ear infection, in order to prescribe effective treatment.
The most common cause of ear infections in cats is ear mites. The parasite Otodectes cynotis is a tiny, bug-like parasite that is about the size of a pinhead. These mites feed on wax and skin cells within the ear, causing significant irritation. Cats acquire ear mites from close contact with another infected cat or dog.
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Yeast and bacteria also contribute to cat ear infections. Unlike ear mites, yeast and bacterial infections are not contagious. Even healthy cat ears contain a small amount of yeast or bacteria.
These organisms only cause an infection when something upsets the balance within the ear. In some cases, inflammation caused by ear mites leads to a bacterial or yeast infection. In other cases, it is allergies that trigger inflammation and swelling within the ear, allowing bacteria and yeast to proliferate to greater-than-normal levels.
Less common causes of feline ear infections include foreign materials trapped in the ear canal, tumors, and polyps .
What Causes Ear Infections In Toddlers
There are several reasons behind a toddlers ear infection. However, some reasons are far more common and widespread.
- Common cold is the leading cause for ear infection among toddlers . The cold virus can traverse through the eustachian tube along with the mucus and land in the middle ear, causing an infection.
- Pneumonia and influenza: The pathogens of pneumonia and influenza or flu can lead to an ear infection.
- Sinonasal infection, which is the infection of the nasal sinuses called sinusitis, can lead to a swollen eustachian tube, which can increase the pressure within the middle ear. The swelling also prevents the middle ear from draining its secretions thus causing pain and infection .
- Tonsillitis is an infection of the pair of tonsil tissue that lies on either side of the throat. Tonsillitis caused by streptococcus bacteria can quite commonly lead to otitis media .
- Adenoid infection: Adenoids are related to tonsils and together are part of the lymphatic system that plays a vital role in the immunity system. Adenoid is located right behind the nasal cavity, and an infection there causes the tissue to inflame and mount pressure on the eustachian tube, eventually blocking it. The trapped fluids within middle ear get infected by bacteria .
Some toddlers are at a higher risk than others in developing a middle ear infection.
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When Should I Go To The Doctor For An Ear Infection
While many ear infections can be treated at home, some need medical attention. Youll want to talk to a doctor or nurse if:
- Your baby has a fever, especially if they are younger than 3 months old, or if your older babys temperature is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The ear infection symptoms arent getting better after a couple of days.
- Theres fluid draining from the ear.
- You or your child is experiencing changes or loss of hearing.
- The infection has lasted for more than six weeks.
- You or your child is experiencing frequent or recurrent ear infections.
Can You Get It From Bath Water
Its unlikely that a yeast infection can be transmitted directly through bath water, but there are some caveats that you should keep in mind.
As a rule, showers are better than baths when youre in the process of treating a yeast infection. If you do take a sitz bath with Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, boric acid, or any other home remedy while youre treating your yeast infection, dont soak for more than 10 minutes at a time. Also make sure to pat the area of the infection completely dry once youre out of the water.
Avoid sexual intimacy in a bath or hot tub when either partner has a yeast infection. The conditions of sex in a water environment might make it easier for a yeast infection to spread through sex.
If two young children are bathing together and one has a yeast infection, be careful not to use the same cloth or sponge to wash them both. If possible, avoid bathing your child at all when they have a yeast infection, opting for quick showers and sponge baths instead.
Keep in mind that scented soaps or bubble bath may irritate or prolong yeast infections.
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What Is Fungal Infection
Fungal infections can affect anyone, and they can appear on several parts of the body. A jock with athletes foot, a baby with thrush, and a woman with a vaginal yeast infection are just a few examples.
Fungi are microorganisms characterized by a substance in their cell walls called chitin. Some fungi, like many types of mushrooms, are edible. Other types of fungi, like aspergillus, can be extremely dangerous and lead to life-threatening diseases.
Different types of fungi can cause fungal infections. In some cases, fungi that arent typically found on or inside your body can colonize it and cause an infection. In other cases, fungi that are normally present on or inside your body can multiply out of control and cause an infection.
Fungal infections can be contagious. They can spread from one person to another. In some cases, you can also catch disease-causing fungi from infected animals or contaminated soil or surfaces.
If you develop signs or symptoms of a fungal infection, make an appointment with your doctor.
What Are The Goals Of Chronic Otitis Media Surgery
- The goals of surgery are to first remove all of the infected tissue so that it can be safe from recurrent infections.
- The second goal is to recreate a middle ear space with an intact eardrum.
Finally, hearing is to be restored.
- This may seem strange that hearing is the last priority, but if the first two priorities are not met, anything that is done to improve hearing will ultimately fail.
- If hearing is restored, but the infection returns, the hearing will be lost again.
- Likewise, if hearing is restored, but the middle ear space is not recreated, the eardrum will re-stick to the middle ear or the ossicles.
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Diagnosis Of Ear Infections In Cats
A thorough veterinary examination can confirm that your cat has an ear infection.
When your cat shows signs of a possible ear infection, a veterinary visit is essential. Your veterinarian will begin by performing a thorough physical exam.
This includes an otoscopic exam, in which the veterinarian uses an instrument, called an otoscope, to look into your cats ear canal. An otoscopic exam will allow your veterinarian to look for a foreign body or masses within the ear canal. The veterinarian will also evaluate your cats eardrum. If your cat is extremely painful, sedation or anesthesia may be required.
Microscopic examination of the debris within your cats ear is often required to obtain a diagnosis. Your veterinarian will obtain a sample of debris on a cotton swab, then prepare slides that can be examined under the microscope. Ear mites, bacteria, and yeast can all be seen using the microscope.
In some cases, especially in the case of repeated ear infections, more advanced testing is necessary. Bacterial culture and sensitivity testing may be required to identify and address resistant infections. Allergy testing and food trials may be used to identify underlying allergic causes of recurrent infections. Imaging, such as radiography , computed tomography , or magnetic resonance imaging may be recommended, to rule out middle or inner ear infections as well as tumors or polyps.
What Causes Ear Infections In Dogs
Your dog’s ear infection can be caused by yeast, bacteria, or parasites. Yeast infections are the most common, and these are generally not contagious between dogs–phew! Bacterial infections are also not generally contagious, however, ear infections caused by parasites like mites are contagious and can transmit between dogs and other animals. Unfortunately, even pet owners can be affected by some parasites!
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How Are Ear Infections In Toddlers Diagnosed
A pediatrician uses the following procedures to determine the presence of an ear infection :
- Ask questions about medical history: The doctor will ask you about the toddlers medical history to know if he suffered from a cold or throat infection recently. Cold and throat infections commonly lead to ear infection.
- Ear inspection with otoscope: The doctor inserts a specialized camera equipment called otoscope into the ear canal to inspect the eardrum. A reddened or inflamed eardrum indicates an ear infection. This is the most common way to diagnose otitis media.
- Acoustic reflectometry: Pneumatic otoscope sends short puffs of air to the eardrum. A healthy eardrum flutters due to the air, but an infected middle ear stays stiff. This procedure is called acoustic reflectometry.
- Tympanometry: A tiny speaker with a sensor is placed within the ear canal, and sound waves of different frequencies are emitted. The sensor measures the movement of the eardrum at various frequencies. The extent an eardrum moves can determine the severity of the ear infection. Tympanometry requires the patient to stay still, and not talk. Therefore, it is better suited for older toddlers who can understand instructions.
Depending on the cause behind the ear infection, the doctor suggests the treatment methods.
Other Risk Factors For Children Include:
- Lying on the back while drinking or feeding
- Using a pacifier
- Cleft palate or Down syndrome
- Premature birth
For very young children recurring ear infections can have longer term effects. The temporary hearing loss and disruption balance, sleep, and eating that comes with ear infections in very young children can lead to language and developmental delays. Repeated ear infections can also lead to permanent hearing loss.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection its best to see a doctor as soon as possible and have it diagnosed.
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Who Is At Higher Risk For Ear Infections
- Children less than 5 years old, because they have shorter eustachian tubes.
- Children who attend daycare, because they tend to have more colds.
- Children with allergies.
- Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke. Smoke causes inflammation of the eustachian tube, making ear infections more likely.
- Children who were not breastfed. Breast milk has antibodies that help fight infections.
- Babies who are being bottle-fed, especially if they swallow milk while lying too flat. Milk can enter the eustachian tube and cause inflammation, which increases the risk of an ear infection. Children should be held upright while drinking a bottle. When they are old enough to hold their own bottle well, they should be taught to drink from a regular cup and no longer given a bottle.
- Children with cleft palates, as their eustachian tubes are often inflamed.
- Children of First Nations and Inuit descent, though its not clear why.
- Children with Down syndrome.
How Long Does An Inner Ear Infection Last
Inner ear infections can last longer than other types of ear infections. When treated right away, most inner ear infections go away in one to two weeks.
When can I go back to work or school?
Its generally safe to return to work, school and other routine activities once your healthcare provider treats you.
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Final Thoughts On Ear Infections & Treatment
Even though they are uncomfortable, ear infections are relatively common and easy to treat.
If you are in the Starkville, Mississippi region and considered about you or your childs health, be sure to contact us today. We are here for all your needs and concerns.
Ear conditions are usually caused by viruses or bacteria. But the question is, are ear infections contagious? Click here to learn more about them.
What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis Media
Symptoms of ear infection include:
- Ear pain: This symptom is obvious in older children and adults. In infants too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, acting fussy/irritable.
- Loss of appetite: This may be most noticeable in young children, especially during bottle feedings. Pressure in the middle ear changes as the child swallows, causing more pain and less desire to eat.
- Irritability: Any kind of continuing pain may cause irritability.
- Poor sleep: Pain may be worse when the child is lying down because the pressure in the ear may worsen.
- Fever: Ear infections can cause temperatures from 100° F up to 104° F. Some 50% of children will have a fever with their ear infection.
- Drainage from the ear: Yellow, brown, or white fluid that is not earwax may seep from the ear. This may mean that the eardrum has ruptured .
- Trouble hearing: Bones of the middle ear connect to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain. Fluid behind the eardrums slows down movement of these electrical signals through the inner ear bones.
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What Is An Inner Ear Infection
The term inner ear infection may refer to any condition that causes inflammation in your inner ear. Colds and flu can cause inflammation. Or it can develop when an infection in your middle ear spreads to your inner ear. Many people with inner ear infections experience problems with hearing and balance. The medical term for an inner ear infection is otitis interna.
Who can develop an inner ear infection?
Inner ear infections can occur at any age, but theyre most common in adults aged 30 to 60. Children can also develop inner ear infections as a symptom of bacterial meningitis.
What are the different types of inner ear infections?
There are two primary types of inner ear infections: labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis.
Labyrinthitis is an infection of the labyrinth, which is the part of your inner ear that controls hearing and balance. The condition is most commonly caused by viral infections.
Vestibular neuritis is an infection of the vestibular nerve, which is the part of your inner ear that controls balance and eye movement. Vestibular neuritis often develops before or alongside a viral infection.