Health & Fitness

Ear Infection

Ear infection is defined into 2 categories, otitis media with effusion and acute otitis media. For otitis media with effusion, it affects the middle ear and can are not painful. For acute otitis media, it also affects the middle of the ear and can be very painful due to the inflammation and build-up of fluids. It is also common in children.

Otitis media with effusion It is a result of a poor function of the Eustachian tube and it prevents normal drainage of fluid from the middle ear which leads to a build-up of fluid (no bacteria or virus caused this)
Acute otitis media It is caused by a bacterium or virus in the middle ear and usually a result from other illnesses like the flu or allergy.

Otitis media with effusion The doctor will perform a physical examination of the ear and the eardrum using an otoscope to determine the diagnosis.
Acute otitis media The doctor will perform a physical examination of the ear and the eardrum using an otoscope to determine the diagnosis.

Signs & symptoms:
Otitis media with effusion Difficulty in hearing, a tugging or pulling at either one or both ears, unable to balance and delayed speech development
Acute otitis media (in children) Pain in the ear especially when lying down, a tugging or pulling at the infected ear, difficulty falling asleep, crying more than usual, more irritable than usual, difficulty in hearing or responding towards sounds, loss in balance and of appetite, high fever, fluid being drained from the ear and a headache
Acute otitis media (in adults) Pain in the ear, the fluid being drained from the ear and loss of hearing

For acute otitis media, it is best to try and prevent common colds, avoid second-hand smoke, and get vaccinated against ear infections.

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