If you have ear infections that occur repeatedly, it’s time to find out the cause and get effective treatment.
An ear infection here and there is normal for most people to experience. Sinus drainage or any kind of irritation in the ear can cause an infection, but with proper medical treatment, it will usually go away. Chronic infections occur repeatedly, usually due to an underlying cause.
Fortunately, there are medical treatments available if you seek treatment as soon as you notice that there is a problem. Infections in the ear can be caused by bacteria that enter the inner ear or an illness that impacts the ears, such as a sinus infection or an infection in the mouth. Swollen or infected tonsils can cause ear infections as well.
Symptoms of Chronic Ear Infections
When you have experienced chronic ear infections, the symptoms usually tend to dwindle over time as you become accustomed to the pain and how the ear feels. Pressure is often felt inside the ear. There could be pain associated with a chronic infection, but if you take medication for the pain, then you likely won’t notice this symptom each time an infection occurs.
Fluid can drain from the ears, which sometimes means that there is a blockage somewhere inside the ear. There is often a fever associated with an ear infection, but it’s usually a low-grade fever. If you experience a high fever, then the infection in the ear has likely spread to another area of the body.
You usually won’t be able to put any kind of pressure on the ear that is affected, making it difficult to sleep at night. Children often have more difficulties sleeping and completing daily tasks with an ear infection than adults. Children will sometimes pull at the ear that hurts because they don’t know what’s happening and might not be able to tell you what’s hurting.
Treatments for Chronic Ear Infections
One of the treatments for a chronic ear infection is to remove the tonsils and adenoids. When the tonsils stay swollen, they can hold bacteria. The bacteria can then spread to the ears, leading to repeated ear infections. Antibiotics can also be prescribed to treat infections.
Some of the symptoms that you experience can be soothed for a short time by putting a warm compress on the ears or putting ear drops inside the ears. You can also take pain medication that you get over the counter to help relieve some of the pressure and pain associated with the infection.
If the infection doesn’t respond to treatment, then surgery might be an option to consider. Left alone, ear infections can result in scarring inside the ear and hearing loss. A tube can be placed inside the ear to help with drainage to keep fluid from settling in one place. This is a common procedure in young children. Bones that are affected by ear infections can be replaced or repaired if there is no significant damage. The eardrum can also be surgically repaired if it has been damaged by recurring infections.