Can An Ear Infection Be A Sign Of Something More Serious?

Why am I getting ear infections?

Ear infections in adults are typically caused by germs, such as viruses, a fungus, or bacteria.

The way a person becomes infected will often determine the kind of infection they get.

People with weakened immune systems or inflammation in the structures of the ear may be more prone to ear infections than others..

What happens if you dont treat an ear infection?

Ear infections can lead to more serious complications, including mastoiditis (a rare inflammation of a bone adjacent to the ear), hearing loss, perforation of the eardrum, meningitis, facial nerve paralysis, and possibly — in adults — Meniere’s disease.

How many ear infections are too many?

How many ear infections are too many? One or two ear infections a year is fairly normal (never fun to handle, but normal nonetheless). However, if your child has three episodes in six months or four in a year, then you’ve got a case of chronic ear infections.

Can an ear infection last for months?

Chronic otitis media- This is a middle ear infection that does not go away, or happens repeatedly, over months to years. The ear may drain (have liquid coming out of the ear canal). It can often be accompanied by a tympanic membrane perforation and hearing loss. Usually chronic otitis media is not painful.

Will ear infection go away on OWN?

Many infections will go away on their own and the only treatment necessary is medication for pain. Up to 80% of ear infections may go away without antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed for any child younger than 6 months and for any person with severe symptoms.

When should I worry about ear infection in adults?

A good warning to remember is if the symptoms of an ear infection have not improved or completely gone away within three days, if there are new symptoms (e.g. fever, loss of balance, etc.), or if there is discharge coming from the ear, then a trip to the doctor’s office should take place.

Why is my ear infection not going away?

If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up. When this happens, infection can occur. A chronic ear infection develops when fluid or an infection behind the eardrum does not go away.

Can ear pain be a sign of heart problems?

Jaw Pain, Earache, Headache or Toothache Pain from a heart attack can spread down both arms and to the jaw or head. Some people report a headache, earache, or tooth pain as a symptom during a heart attack. You can experience this pain with, or without, chest pain when you have a heart attack.

When should I be concerned about ear pain?

When to Speak to a Doctor About Ear Pain A sticky or bloody discharge coming from the ear. Increased pain when wiggling the ear lobe. Nose blowing that results in ear pain. Pain that worsens or does not improve over 24 to 48 hours.

How do you drain fluid from your middle ear at home?

How to remove water from your ear canalJiggle your earlobe. This first method may shake the water out of your ear right away. … Make gravity do the work. … Create a vacuum. … Use a blow dryer. … Try alcohol and vinegar eardrops. … Use hydrogen peroxide eardrops. … Try olive oil. … Try more water.More items…•

How long can an ear infection go untreated?

Eustachian tubes do not work properly when filled with drainage from the nose or mucous from allergies, colds, bacteria, or viruses because the drainage presses on the eardrum, which is what causes the pain. A chronic ear infection can last for 6 weeks or more, but most go away on their own after 3 days.

Can an ear infection get worse while on antibiotics?

However, antibiotics can have side effects, so taking them unnecessarily can make a person feel worse, rather than better. Also, over time, the bacteria that cause some ear infections can become more resistant to antibiotics.

How do I get my hearing back after an ear infection?

If you’ve had an ear infection and are still having difficulties hearing, see your doctor. Other things can cause conductive hearing loss, but it may be possible that you may have some damage. If it turns out it’s permanent, hearing aids will help you hear again.

Can ear pain be a sign of something more serious?

If you experience ear pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse within 24 to 48 hours you should call your doctor’s office, according to the NIH. Also call your doctor if you have severe pain that suddenly stops, according to the NIH. This could be a sign that your eardrum has ruptured.

How long do ear infections last in adults?

Most ear infections that affect the outer or middle ear are mild and go away within one to two weeks. Inner ear disorders can last longer. Chronic ear infections can last 6 weeks or more.

How do I stop recurring ear infections?

PreventionWash hands frequently to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria—often the root cause of the infection in the first place.Breastfeed infants to reduce upper respiratory illnesses, recommends the AAP.Stop smoking and eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke.More items…•

When an ear infection is serious?

This infection can result in damage to the bone and the formation of pus-filled cysts. Rarely, serious middle ear infections spread to other tissues in the skull, including the brain or the membranes surrounding the brain (meningitis). Tearing of the eardrum. Most eardrum tears heal within 72 hours.

What happens if an ear infection doesn’t go away after antibiotics?

Recurring use of antibiotics may lead to resilient bacteria. Infections caused by a virus usually go away on their own. If the ear infection or middle ear fluid doesn’t go away or comes back often, an otolaryngologist – an ear, nose and throat doctor, may suggest ear tubes.