Ear Infections

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If you have ever had a middle ear infection, you know how painful it can be. When your child has one, it is even worse. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill explains the cause of these infections and treatment options.

Dr. Hill:

Ear infections include a broad range of diseases that can affect any of the ear structures. A middle ear infection, or otitis media, is an infection of the middle ear. This condition is most common in young children, because their eustachian tubes that connect the throat and the middle ear are shorter, more horizontal and more easily blocked than those in older children and adults. A middle ear infection frequently occurs after a cold or other upper respiratory infection.

The space in the middle ear, behind the eardrum, is normally filled with air. Any accumulation of fluid in the middle ear space is called an effusion, which may lead to infection.

Symptoms usually begin two to seven days after a cold or other upper respiratory infection and include ear pain, fever, drainage from the ear and loss of hearing.

Symptoms of fluid buildup may include popping or ringing in the ears, loss of hearing, balance problems and dizziness.

Treatment involves therapy for symptom relief and in some cases antibiotics.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.