10 Common Signs of Ear Infection (Otitis media)

Overview

An ear infection is called otitis media[1] in medical parlance. This means the infection of the middle ear. There are three groups of ear infections that are named based on the parts of the ear. They are outer, middle, and inner ear infections. Our focus is on the middle ear infection called otitis media.

The middle ear is situated directly at the back of the eardrum. It is an air-enriched enclosure that houses the tiny bones of the ear. This is a delicate part of the ear because of the presence of these bones that are necessary for sound transmission and amplification.

Ear infections are usually sequels of another infection. This infection is usually an upper respiratory tract disease where patients come down with a cold or the flu. Respiratory tract disease is caused by a bacteria or virus that multiplies in the tract rapidly spreading to other regions. One of these regions is the eustachian tube.

Ear infections are often self-limiting. This means that they can resolve on their own without any form of treatment. Thus, the first line of treatment given in this condition is often painkillers to decrease the pain. Antibiotics can also be administered to treat the infection-causing organism.

For some reason, children are more prone to having ear infections than their adult counterparts. Some individuals are often at the mercy of this infection, having multitudes within a short time frame. Usually, ear infections resolve on their own. You might want to hold on for a few days to see how it progresses. If it does not seem to be resolving, then you should see your doctor.

In children, an ear infection can be a result of an underlying condition so it is important to take them to the doctor if symptoms persist for more than a day. However, in a child not older than six months, if this is suspected, they should be taken to a physician as soon as possible.

Symptoms[2] and Signs of ear infections include: