Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that causes inflammation redness and swelling and a build-up of fluid behind the eardrum. The main symptoms include:. In some cases, a hole may develop in the eardrum perforated eardrum and pus may run out of the ear. The earache, which is caused by the build-up of fluid stretching the eardrum, then resolves. As babies are unable to communicate the source of their discomfort, it can be difficult to tell what's wrong with them.
Why do adults get ear infections?
Ear infection (middle ear) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
The Eustachian tube, which drains fluids away from the middle ear, may become plugged due to a viral or bacterial infection, allowing a buildup of fluid to press against the eardrum. Adults are more likely to get infections from swimming, injuries such a foreign body in the ear , or following upper respiratory illnesses. The symptoms may be milder for recurring ear infections compared to more acute forms, may come and go, and affect one or both ears. In infants, outside of fever, trouble sleeping and eating as well as increased fussing, or pulling on the affected ear are often the only indicators of an ear infection.
Everything You Should Know About Ear Infections in Adults
When talk turns to ear infections, a crying toddler or infant might come to mind. While these painful bugs do strike little ones in bigger numbers, adults can also suffer from ear infection symptoms, so if you feel you have one, don't ignore it. Some ear infections may be acute, meaning they come on quickly for a short stint; others can be a chronic nag, lingering for a long time or constantly recurring. The organs linked to hearing and balance reside in the inner ear.
Chronic ear infection is fluid, swelling, or an infection behind the eardrum that does not go away or keeps coming back. It causes long-term or permanent damage to the ear. It most often involves a hole in the eardrum that does not heal.