Know the Symptoms of an Ear Infection
An ear infection, or otitis media, is an infection that develops in the middle ear. If fluid is present in your eardrum, it can allow bacteria, fungi or a virus to grow, which can cause inflammation, pain and general discomfort.
Adults and children can get ear infections, and most children have had a least one by the time they are three years old. Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to the doctor.
Our ENT services include:
Ear Infection Symptoms
The most common symptoms of an ear infection in adults are:
- Ear pain
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- Fluid draining from the ear(s)
- Hearing loss
The following signs may be a good indication of symptoms for ear infection in children:
- Clumsiness or difficulty with balance
- Fever (especially in infants and younger children)
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Fussiness and crying
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds
- Trouble sleeping
- Tugging or pulling at the ear(s)
Speak with a doctor a UPMC to receive the right diagnosis if you or your child are experiencing ear infection symptoms.
Ear Infection Causes
If you have had a sore throat, cold or any other type of upper respiratory problem, it can cause fluid to build up in your middle ear (behind your eardrum), leading to inflammation.
Ear Infection Treatment at UPMC
When you meet with a doctor at UPMC, he or she will assess your medical history and perform a physical exam. Your doctor will examine your outer ear(s) and eardrum(s) using a special lighted tool (otoscope). To further evaluate your symptoms, your doctor may perform a tympanometry test, which directs sound and air to your middle ear and measures the movements of your eardrum.
Depending on the severity of the ear infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection, or pain relievers for discomfort. If you or your child is prone to chronic ear infections, your doctor may recommend ear tube surgery. An ear tube creates an airway that ventilates the middle ear and prevents a buildup of fluid.
UPMC provides compassionate care for patients of all ages with ear infections in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.