It is more common for children to develop an earache, but adults can suffer from them as well. Although rarely serious, earaches can be miserable and extremely painful. When adults develop an ear infection, it is usually one of two categories: acute middle ear infections or outer ear infections. If you believe you are suffering from an earache, read below to find out the differences and where to seek treatment.
Outer Ear Infections aka Swimmer’s Ear
Commonly known as swimmer’s ear, an outer ear infection commonly affects swimmers who have been exposed to germs that grow in warm, moist conditions. Symptoms of an outer ear infection include ear redness, itchiness inside the ear, drainage from the ear, pain when moving the head and a fever.
If you’re suffering from an outer ear infection, it can usually be treated with antibiotic eardrops. Depending on how severe the infection is, a doctor may need to remove some pus and debris from inside the ear. To avoid swimmer’s ear, try drying your ears with a blow dryer (on the lowest setting) after you’ve been swimming.
Middle Ear Infections
Although most common in children, middle ear infections can plague adults as well. Any time fluid or bacteria gets trapped inside the ear, it leaves the ear at risk of an infection. A middle ear infection can be identified by a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, hearing loss, balance problems, ear pain, fever and drainage from the ear.
Most of the time, this type of ear infection can be easily treated; however, if you suffer from regular earaches, you should see a doctor to determine the root of the problem. To avoid middle ear infections, try to avoid cigarette smoke, don’t clean your ears with Q-tips and take a decongestant when time you have a cold, as suggested by your doctor.
If you suffer from recurrent ear infections, consider seeking medical care at Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.