Ear infections are more common in children because their eustachian tubes are smaller and less developed, but adults are susceptible too. There are three main types of ear infections: inner ear, middle ear and outer ear.
An inner ear infection may actually be a case of inflammation, and not an actual infection. In addition to earache, symptoms include dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
A middle ear infection, also known as otitis media, is caused by fluid trapped behind the eardrum. In addition to earache, symptoms include a sense of fullness in the ear, fluid from the infected ear, and fever. A middle ear infection is often caused by a cold or other respiratory problems where the infection moves to one or both ears through the eustachian tubes.
An outer ear infection, also known as otitis externa, starts with an itchy rash and the ear can become painful, red and swollen. It is often caused by moisture that remains in the ear after swimming or bathing and a bacterial infection can occur.
What Treatments are Available?
Treatments options will vary according to where in the ear the infection is, what’s causing it, and the severity of the infection. A doctor will use an otoscope to examine your outer ear and your eardrum and ask you to describe your symptoms. Antibiotics can be prescribed if bacteria has caused the infection but won’t help viral infections. Pain relief medication will help with discomfort, and ear drops may be advised. Most ear infections will resolve on their own within three days.
If ear infections are frequent, aren’t responding to treatment or are causing hearing problems, speak to a specialist. To reduce the number of infections and the severity of symptoms there are a number treatments a specialist may recommend:
Grommet Insertion to help the fluid in the middle ear drain.
Myringoplasty, also known as a Type 1 Tympanoplasty, to repair a perforated eardrum.
Mastoid Surgery to treat middle ear infections, or chronic middle ear conditions such as cholesteatoma, that have spread to the mastoid bone.
Treatment for Hearing Loss
For children especially, hearing problems can be problematic, causing delays in the development of their speech and language. Children’s Hearing Tests and Adult Hearing Tests can assess Deafness and inform any Hearing Loss Management plan.
You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Ear Infection treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance please do contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at either the One Ashford Hospital or One Hatfield Hospital.
Why One Healthcare
- Modern purpose-built hospital opened in March 2016 (Ashford) December 2017 (Hatfield)
- Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, Xray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
- Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little or no waiting time
- ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
- Freshly prepared food
- Calm, dignified experience