Lake Grove ENT
Board Certified Otolaryngologist & Otolaryngologic Allergy located in Lake Oswego, OR
An ear infection can be terribly painful, but that’s only part of the problem. Untreated chronic ear infections can potentially cause hearing loss, so you need fast and effective treatment. The ear specialists at Lake Grove ENT have treated ear infections in people of all ages since launching their Lake Oswego, Oregon, clinic in 1999. They offer all-encompassing ear infection solutions, including medical and surgical treatments. Call the office or schedule your appointment online now.
Ear Infection Q & A
What is an ear infection?
An ear infection occurs when fluid gathers behind your eardrum, triggering discomfort and a variety of additional irritating issues.
Although anyone can have an ear infection, they're far more common in children. Ear infections are the number one reason that children visit the doctor today.
What causes ear infections?
The two most common causes of ear infections are bacteria and viruses that go along with colds, the flu, strep throat, or respiratory infections.
These conditions often cause congestion and swelling in your nasal passages, throat, and in the eustachian tubes that connect the middle ear and throat. The swelling allows the fluid to accumulate behind your eardrum, triggering the ear infection.
Children are especially vulnerable to ear infections because they have very narrow Eustachian tubes with fairly flat positioning. That makes fluid drainage harder than it is in adults, who have longer, wider, and more sharply angled eustachian tubes.
Children also have weaker immune systems than healthy adults, which can make them more vulnerable to infections.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
An ear infection usually causes ear pain, fluid drainage, and decreased hearing in adults. Symptoms in children often include:
- Ear pain
- Rubbing or pulling on ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fussiness or irritability
- Decreased hearing
- Lack of response to noise
- Poor balance
- Increased clumsiness, such as tripping and falling frequently
- Lack of appetite
If you have ear infection symptoms or suspect that your child has an ear infection, contact Lake Grove ENT as soon as possible to ease the symptoms and hasten recovery.
How are ear infections treated?
Treatment can vary based upon the severity, duration, and cause of the ear infection. For bacterial ear infections, like those related to strep throat, your Lake Grove ENT physician may prescribe an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin or penicillin.
Antibiotics eradicate the bacteria and typically ease the pain within a few days or less. But, you must complete the entire prescription, or your infection could return. Your doctor may also recommend pain relievers.
For chronic ear infections, a common issue in children, your doctor may recommend a long-term solution. Constantly taking antibiotics can create resistance, which can cause problems if your child gets sick later.
Ear tube surgery is effective for children with chronic ear infections. The ear tubes ventilate the ear and encourage fluid drainage.
If you or your child needs help with an ear infection, you can get the education, guidance, and treatment you need from the esteemed specialists at Lake Grove ENT. Click the scheduler or call the office now.
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