Anyone who has ever had an ear infection will testify of the sharp, stabbing pain that strikes unexpectedly or a relentless dull, throbbing pain that makes hearing daunting. Though most ear infections resolve independently over time, recurring infections might dramatically impair your hearing. Besides bacterial and viral causes, an ear infection may also result from an infection of the adenoids. Unfortunately, the condition might spread to your Eustachian tubes, affecting your hearing ability. Are you or your child spending sleepless nights because of an ear infection? If so, an appointment with the professional team at Marrero ENT of New Orleans might be what you need. The expert team offers their patients advanced medical care and procedures for various ear, nose and throat conditions, including tonsils and sinusitis.
What are the signs you are likely to have with an ear infection?
Ear infections vary in severity. While some diseases are acute, painful and resolve within days, chronic ear ailments recur and respond slowly to treatment. Most ear infections affect the middle and inner ear, and can significantly impact your hearing failure to seek treatment. The signs you are likely to notice with ear infections include:
- Sudden stabbing pain followed by warm drainage from the ear canal
- A muffled hearing ability
- Unexplained ear drainage
- A full feeling inside the affected ear
- Earache that might be sharp, sudden, dull or continuous
- Loss of stability
- Reduced response to sounds
You might also notice the following signs in children:
- Irritability and restlessness
Crying during the night, especially with lying down
- Reduced appetite
- Poor sleep
Though fever is common with ear infections in children, do not ignore it if it shoots above 104.4º. The high body temperature might be a sign of a severe illness. Additionally, contact your otolaryngologist if the young child experiences bouts of ear infections since the ailments might result in deafness or more severe conditions that might need complex procedures to correct.
What are the possible complications with ear disorders?
Though ear infections might not have long-term hearing problems, recurring diseases might significantly affect your hearing, leading to complications like:
Though a torn eardrum might take approximately 72hours to resolve, some cases might require a surgical procedure to mend the damage.
Mild hearing impairment, common with an ear infection, resolves independently after the condition clears. However, recurring infections or fluid inside the ear (middle ear) might cause significant hearing loss. Severe damage to the eardrum or middle ear structures might also lead to deafness.
Spread of infection
An untamed ear infection that fails to respond to treatment might, over time, spread to other parts of the ear, affecting nearby healthy tissues. For instance, you are likely to have pus-filled cysts when the infection spreads to your mastoid (the bone-like protrusions behind your ear), affecting the overall appearance of the bone.
Developmental delays, especially in children
Ear infections can temporarily or permanently impair a toddler or infant’s hearing, resulting in speech delays and other developmental skills.
Ear drainage is common with infections. Unfortunately, bouts of ear infections might impair your hearing ability. Contact your otolaryngologist when you realize you or your child has an ear infection for professional help before the damage on your ear canal intensifies.