Treatment of Nasal Disorders
Nosebleed (Epistaxis) Treatment
Salivary Gland Surgery
Reconstructive Middle Ear Surgery
Microsurgery Of The Larynx
Revision Ear Surgery
Revision Ear Surgeries
Scar Revision Surgery
Reconstructive Surgery Procedures
Pure Tone Audiometry
Canalith Repositioning (Cr) Procedure
Cysts Removal Procedure
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (Tens)
Laser Surgeries For Head And Neck Lesions
Treatment for Laryngotracheal Anomalies
Ear Micro Surgery
Micro Laryngeal Surgery
Ear infections are a common ailment that people suffer from during the monsoon season. These can infect any part of the ear including the external ear, middle ear and inner ear.
Symptoms of ear infections:
Whether it is the outer, middle or inner ear, some of the common symptoms affecting users are:
You may feel acute pain in the infected ear.
There may be some discharge from the ears.
Some people also suffer from decreased hearing Acute infection can also cause dizziness.
Along with the ear pain some people may suffer from severe headaches.
In case of children, they may cry and refuse to feed as well as constantly tug their ears.
Fever can also be a sign of ear infection.
It is important to keep things in mind for preventing ear infections:
Keep your ears clean: It is important not to put anything in the ears to clean them- this may cause injuries and infections It is important to clean your outer ears with a clean cloth to avoid a fungal infection while using a hairspray, swimming or if you are out in the rain.
Clean earphones once a week to avoid infections of ear canal
Avoid putting cotton in your ears: Avoid putting cotton swabs in your ears as it can lead to trapping of bacteria within.
Don't ignore a warning sign: If you suffer from any of the symptoms of ear infection it is wise to get tested by an ENT specialist.
An ear infection may need treatments and procedures or in some cases even surgery. The common treatments for ear infections include:
- Cleaning of the Wax: If there is a wax buildup in your ears, which leads to an infection, a professional cleaning may be required by a doctor under a head light with specialized micro instruments.
- Ear Drops: Using ear drops can also dissolve the ear wax and clean out the ear infection.
It usually takes a week to clear out an ear infection, but if still doesn't get better it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner. Sometimes ear infections may also require surgeries like Myringotomy, Tympanoplasty or Mastoidectomy, which can be an OPD procedure or might need a day's stay in the hospital.
The infection of the bone of the ear is Mastoiditis. This may be an acute infection needing hospitalisation and injectable drugs or may be in the form of slow bone eroding processes like cholesteatoma.
Let us learn more about this condition and its treatment
Understanding the mastoid bone: The mastoid bone is made up of air sacs and it looks a lot like a sponge. In this sense, it is different from the other bones that can be found in the human body. In order to function properly, this bone requires air from the other parts of the ear, including the Eustachain Tube which connects the middle part of the ear with the portion that lies at the back of the throat. If this tube gets infected due to any reason, the infection and bacteria can also travel to the Mastoid bone, leading to an infection in this area. Another form of the infection starts from the ear drum and a slowly progressive bone eroding process starts which spreads into the air sacs and can potentially spread to the brain.
Symptoms: Acute mastoiditis will present with earache, ear discharge and onset of fever and chills, as well as redness and inflammation behind the ear. Pain in the ear may be experienced along with headaches and swelling that may be experienced behind the eyes. At the very earliest sign, these symptoms must be reported to an ENT or ear throat nose specialist so that the treatment can happen at the earliest. Chronic mastoiditis may be due to repeated infections and bone eroding cholesteatoma which presents with repeated episodes of ear discharge which may be foul smelling and may even have blood.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis is mostly made on ear examination and may involve imaging tests like a CT scan as well as an MRI scan of the head and the ear. A simple X-ray of the mastoids can help in detecting the severity of the infection, and it spread.
Treatment: After diagnosing the problem with imaging tests as well as a detailed ear examination, the doctor will usually start the treatment by admitting the patient in the hospital. Antibiotic medication will be administered through intravenous methods, after which oral antibiotics will be prescribed for many days after the patient has been discharged from the hospital. Surgery may be required if the infection has not cleared up even after the use of antibiotics and is also done in cases of bone erosion. This surgery will be done to drain the infected fluid from the ear and remove a part of this Mastoid bone. Complications like facial paralysis and vertigo need to be discussed with the surgeon before the surgery.
The human ear is divided into three parts, namely the outer, middle and inner ear. All these parts function in coherence with each other and help us in converting vibrations into sound and information. The middle ear consists of the air space between the inner ear and the outer ear and contains the bones that transmit the vibrations of the outer ear and translate them into information. This area is prone to infections, especially among children and thus may cause discomfort or pain.
Symptoms of middle ear infections: Middle ear infections primarily tend to manifest themselves as inflammation of the tissues and buildup of fluids. Some of the symptoms are mentioned below.
Infections in children: Middle ear infections primarily occur in children although it can occur in adults as well. Some of the common symptoms could be:
- Ear pain either sitting or standing up and especially while lying down
- Irritability and crying, which in infants could translate to more than usual crying
- Problems with sound and difficulties in hearing
- Fluid buildup causing balance related problems
- Discharge of fluid in certain cases
- Unable to sleep and also loss of appetite
- In some cases children may have high fever
Causes of middle ear infections: The primary cause of middle ear infection is due to the presence of bacteria or virus in the area. The Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat, is connected to nasal passages as well. Any infection that affects the throat or the nose may also affect the middle ear through this tube. Primary causes for the infections could be
- Cold or flu like symptoms, which then infect the middle ear as well
- Otitis media, which is the buildup of fluid and inflammation either due to the presence of bacteria and viruses or even without it
- Seasonal infections, which are common during late autumn or winters
- Air pollution is also known to be a factor
- Infection from others, especially in the case of children when they are part of a group care
- Children from 6 months to 2 years are also susceptible to middle ear infections as their immune systems are much less developed.
Treatment of middle ear infections: Usually, middle ear infections resolve on their own within a day or so. You can try warm compress with a soft piece of cloth to ease the pain. However, if pain persists for too long then antibiotic medications may be required to fight the infection with pain relief medications to lessen the pain and discomfort.