Acute or chronic Ear infections occur when a virus, bacteria or a fungiaffects the inner, outer or middle areas of the ear, causing inflammation, redness and fluid buildup. Ear infections are very common in children. Children get ear infections about two out of every three times they have a cold.An infection of the ear canal (the outer ear) is sometimes referred to as swimmer's ear.
Risk factors for common ear infections are-
- Respiratory disorders
- Weather conditions
General Symptoms are:
- ringing, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear
- Children may rub their ears trying to relieve pressure
- Balance problems and dizziness
- Trouble hearing.
Inner ear infections symptoms include-
Middle ear inflammation is also called otitis media. This inflammation often begins with infections that cause sore throats, colds or other respiratory problems, and spreads to the middle ear. Infections can be caused by bacteria, virus and can be acute or chronic.
- Loss of hearing
Signs and symptoms in young children –
- Loss of balance
- Rubbing their ear
- Coughing or running nose
Ear infections can be prevented-
To help avoid inner ear infections:
- make sure your child is up to date with vaccinations
- keep your child away from smoky environment
- don't stick cotton wool buds or your fingers in your ears
- use ear plugs or a swimming hat over your ears when you swim
- try to avoid water or shampoo getting into your ears when you have a shower or bath
- treat conditions that affect your ears, such as eczema or an allergy to hearing aids
A middle ear infection can usually be diagnosed using an instrument called Otoscope.