An ear infection is not something people worry about much until they get one. When it happens, though, it can be quite serious. While ear infections are more common in children, who may be careless about what dirty things they put in their ears, adults can and do get these infections as well. If you feel you have an infection and are in need of care, our Santa Barbara team can provide you with the attention you deserve on your terms.
What Are Ear Infections?
An ear infection occurs when viruses or bacteria become trapped inside the ear. You can develop infections on your outer ear, inner ear, or middle ear. In all cases, this issue is characterized by redness of the ear, soreness that is hard to the touch, ear pain, and difficulty hearing.
What Are The Types of Ear Infections?
You may be struggling with otitis externa, also called Swimmer’s Ear, which, as you would expect, is more common among swimmers, an inner ear infection, or labyrinthitis, or a middle ear infection, otitis media. Your symptoms will vary depending upon the type of ear infection you have.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of infections vary based on the specific condition you’re struggling with. Swimmer’s Ear, for example, may result in itching of the ear, redness, fluid drainage, and some muffled hearing. With an inner ear infection, you can experience dizziness and possibly ear pain, nausea, tinnitus, and difficulty walking. In otitis media, bacteria can become trapped inside the ear, causing the area to swell and interfere with proper mucus drainage, which can lead to intense pain, redness, and difficulty hearing.
What Are the Causes?
Most ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses getting into the ear. An outer infection is called Swimmer’s Ear because it often occurs when someone scratches their ear after getting dirty pool water in it. Diet can also affect infections. Being overweight leads to more fatty deposits around the eustachian tubes. If they become inflamed, they can swell up and create a blockage that can lead to an advanced infection.
How Do We Treat an Ear Infection?
When you get in touch with our team, we will begin with an evaluation to determine the nature of your infection. Afterward, we can usually offer treatment with antibiotics and over-the-counter pain medication. While recovering from an infection, we recommend you do not put anything inside the ear canal, as this is the best way to exacerbate your symptoms and make things worse.
Help With Ear Infection Concerns at Montecito Concierge Medicine
When you have a membership with Montecito Concierge Medicine, we always have your health information close at hand. If you are dealing with an infection, we can find out why and the best way to treat it more effectively. For a FREE 15 minute consultation where you can learn more, call (805) 892-6500 or click below to schedule an appointment with Dr. Alan J. Viglione.