Common Causes Of Ear Infections

Common Causes Of Ear Infections

Common Causes Of Ear Infections, Ear infections may be more common in children than in adults, but grown-ups are still susceptible to these infections. Unlike childhood ear infections, which are often minor and pass quickly, adult ear infections are frequently signs of a more serious health problem.

Common Causes Of Ear Infections

If you’re an adult with an ear infection, you should pay close attention to your symptoms and see your doctor.

Symptoms

There are three main types of ear infections. They correspond to the three main parts of the ear: inner, middle, and outer.

Inner Ear Infection

 

A condition diagnosed as an inner ear infection may actually be a case of inflammation, and not an actual infection. In addition to ear pain, symptoms include:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Inner ear trouble may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as meningitis.

 

Middle Ear Infection

 

The middle ear is the area right behind your eardrum.

A middle ear infection is also known as otitis media. It’s caused by fluid trapped behind the eardrum, which causes the eardrum to bulge. Along with an earache, you may sense fullness in your ear and have some fluid drainage from the affected ear.

Otitis media can come with a fever. You may also have trouble hearing until the infection starts to clear.

>Outer ear infection

The outer ear is that part of your ear that extends out from your eardrum to the outside of your head.

An outer ear infection is also known as otitis externa. An outer ear infection often starts as an itchy rash. The ear may become:

  • painful
  • tender
  • red
  • swollen

Causes

Ear infections are often caused by bacterial infections. But whether you get an outer or middle ear infection depends on how you become infected.

>Middle ear infection

A middle ear infection often originates from a cold or other respiratory problem. The infection moves to one or both ears through the eustachian tubes. These tubes regulate air pressure inside your ear. They connect to the back of your nose and throat.

An infection can irritate the eustachian tubes and cause them to swell. Swelling can prevent them from draining properly. When fluid inside these tubes can’t drain, it builds up against your eardrum.

>Outer ear infection

An outer ear infection is sometimes called swimmer’s ear. That’s because it often starts as a result of water that remains in your ear after swimming or bathing. The moisture becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. If your outer ear is scratched or if you irritate the outer lining of your ear by putting your fingers or other objects in your ear, a bacterial infection can occur.

 

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