Ear Infection Symptoms in Adults and Babies
The ear infections are more common in children, although even adults are still susceptible to the problems. Ear infection in adults and in children will cause an earache that is usually very painful and causing discomfort. The ear infection is usually as a result of exposure to bacteria or could also be as a result of virus infection. Ear infection in adults and children could affect various parts of the ear. These parts include the inner, middle, and also the outer ear. The inner ear infection in adults is usually a sign of a serious condition and therefore requires immediate medical treatment. An example of a medical condition that could result in an inner ear infection is meningitis. A very serious and also a rare ear infection that affects the inner ear is meningitis.
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Then we have the middle ear infection, which affects the section behind the eardrum. This is the condition that is referred to as Otitis Media and it is usually caused by the fluid that is usually trapped behind the eardrum. When the fluid is trapped behind the eardrum, this causes the eardrum to bulge. This is what results to an earache and also causes some discomfort accompanied by a feeling of fullness in the ear. The last section of the ear that can have ear infection is the outer year. This is basically the part that extends out from the eardrum to the outer part that is visible. An infection that occurs in this part is known as Otitis externa. So what are some of the ear infection symptoms? Signs of ear infection might vary based on the part of the ear that is affected. Also, it is common that ear infection in adults could have different symptoms from an ear infection in kids. It is important to know the various signs of ear infection as might appear in adults and also in children. Let’s discuss some of the most commonly reported signs of ear infection in adults and also in children.
Ear Infection in Adults
First, we will begin with looking at some of the signs of ear infection in adults. When adults have ear infections, they will experience the following signs.
When you have an earache, it is one of the signs of ear infection in adults. Therefore, it is important that you get checked which part of the ear could be infected. This is because infections on the inner part, the middle part and outer part of the ear could be causing you to have ear pain. In each of these three sections of the ear, there are different processes and bacteria that are common in each of them. Also, the levels of sensory innervations are different and the pain might, therefore, differ in these parts. When this happens, it might be experienced in the two of the ears or it could also be in just one ear.
An earache that is as a result of ear infection in adults is usually in the form of a pain that comes and goes, or it can be pain that lasts for an extended period of time. So what causes pain in cases of ear infection in adults? The outer part of the ear is prone to bacteria that affect the canal of the ear. This bacterium can be bad enough such that it affects the bone. When the bone is affected, there will be pain coming from the part that is affected and spreading to the other parts of the ear. When the ear infection is affecting the middle ear, the eardrum will feel the associated pressure and will also have some drainage. The pressure on the eardrum will cause some sharp pain depending on the extent of the infection.
Drainage of Fluid From the Ear
The second ear infection symptom is a fluid that flows from the inner part of the ear to the outside. Normally, the fluid has some pus-like characteristics from the initial days and as the infection worsens the fluid becomes thicker and has coloration. When bacteria and viruses find their way to the middle ear, an ear infection will occur in the part that is affected. When this happens, the ear infection in adults causes a fluid to build up in the ear. This fluid will then lead to ear discharge which might have pus coming from the part that is affected. Also, if there is a ruptured area, there is the likelihood that the fluid will contain bloody stains.
Ear infection in adults might lead to some degree of hearing loss. This is after the problem has been left unattended for a long time leading to a conductive hearing loss. When fluid fills the middle ear, hearing loss can be treated by draining the liquid. Another form of hearing loss is one that affects the inner ear and is referred to as sensor neural hearing loss and affects persons of all ages.
Ear Infection in Children
Children are the most affected by an ear infection. There are various ear infection symptoms that can be seen when your child is facing the problem. Some of the ear infection symptoms in adults are common also in children. So how can a parent be able to know the child has an ear infection? Here are some of the signs of ear infection in children.
Earache in Children
In most cases, earache will be reported and could be mild to severe ear pain. For infants, you will see the kid tug at the ears when experiencing an earache. For children above two years, you will see the child crying holding the ears. When you see these ear infection symptoms in children, it is important to take the child to a pediatrician so that they can examine the child for a possible ear infection. The reason the child experiences an earache during ear infection is that of the bacteria infecting the ears leading to a breakage of the skin and infection of the bone as well. Just like discussed in signs of ear infection in adults, the pain will differ depending on the area that is affected.
Fever in Children Could Be Ear Infection Symptoms
In some cases, children who have ear infection will have cases of fever as well. To confirm that Fever is a sign of ear infection, you might also notice an earache, drainage from the ears, and also other ear infection symptoms. Normally, the fever is as a result of the earache leading discomfort and extended crying. Therefore, when you see these signs of ear infection accompanied by fever, you should consult a pediatrician for further treatment.
Another sign of ear infection in children is difficult in sleeping. Normally, when a child has an earache due to ear infection, it is difficult to sleep at night. Secondly, the accumulated fluid in the ears could also lead to discomfort causing the child to cry throughout the night. Note that the excess fluid causes the child to feel some form of fullness in the ear which is usually very uncomfortable leading to lack of sleep especially at night. Also, the pressure applied to the eardrum is another cause of discomfort which affects the child. Ear infection in adults and children causes a certain degree of discomfort and therefore sleeping becomes difficult. Even adults with severe ear infection symptoms will face lack of sleep due to the discomfort.
Difficulties Hearing or not Responding to Sounds
The first test that parents do to determine if the children are hearing is calling the child or even making some sound to see if there is a response. If the child doesn’t respond to sounds, this could be an ear infection symptom. It is important that the issue is looked at urgently so that it is treated early. This could be a partial hearing problem or acute hearing problem. If detected early, this is a problem that can be corrected.
Drainage of Fluid From Ears
When you notice fluid coming from the ears, this is a sign of ear infection. Normally, ear infection in adults will also lead to a fluid passage from the ear. When it happens, it is important to ensure that it is treated so as to prevent acute hearing loss. There is the likelihood that the liquid discharged has some color depending on the extent of the infection. If the infection is on the outer part, there is also the likelihood that it might have affected the bones and if so a bloody discharge might be noted. The above ear infection symptoms should alert you there is need to be treated for ear infection immediately when noticed. Serious infection could lead to permanent hearing loss and therefore it is necessary to seek treatment. When you notice severe ear infection symptoms such as coloration of ear discharge or partial loss of hearing, see the doctor immediately so as to advice on further treatment options that are available.
For infants, it is advisable that any slight sign of ear infection should be treated by a pediatrician immediately it is noticed. Therefore, consult your pediatrician don’t ignore the ear infection symptoms even if it is not clear. There are various earache home remedies that can help in reducing the pain. These can as well be tried and if you don’t notice any healing, then you should consult a specialist.