What is the difference between an ear infection and a middle ear infection?

An infection of the ear canal is called otitis externa, commonly referred to as “swimmer’s ear”. The middle ear is the air-filled space between the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the inner ear. The middle ear contains the ear bones and the Eustachian tube. Infections of the middle ear are called otitis media.

How do you know what kind of ear infection you have?

Ear infections are diagnosed by physical examination and laboratory analysis of pus or discharge. In some cases, CT scans may also be taken. Types of ear infection include: otitis externa.

How does a middle ear infection feel?

Middle ear infections

The result is pain and a feeling of plugged ears. Some people may have trouble hearing, as an inflamed eardrum is not as sensitive to sound as it needs to be. There is also a buildup of fluid or pus behind the eardrum, which can make hearing more difficult.

How is having an inner ear infection different from having a middle ear infection?

Inner ear disorders can last longer. Most ear infections are infections of the middle ear (otitis media). Symptoms of middle ear infection are slightly different from inner ear infection and include ear pain, fever, and discharge from the ear canal.

What are the 3 types of ear infection?

There are three main types of ear infections, all classified according to where they occur in relation to the three main parts of the ear: inner, middle, and outer.

What happens if a middle ear infection goes untreated?

Untreated chronic ear infections can also cause tears in the eardrum. These tears will typically heal within a few days, though in more extreme cases, surgical repair might be required. The other primary risk of leaving an ear infection untreated is that the infection could spread beyond the ear.

How do middle ear infections start?

A middle ear infection usually happens because of swelling in one or both of the eustachian tubes (which connect the middle ear to the back of the throat). The tubes let mucus drain from the middle ear into the throat. A cold, throat infection, acid reflux, or allergies can make the eustachian tubes swell.

What kills an ear infection?

Antibiotics are strong medicines that can kill bacteria. For ear infections, doctors often prescribe oral antibiotics that you swallow in pill or liquid form. However, eardrops can sometimes be safer and more effective than oral medicines.

What’s the worst ear infection?

Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common type of ear infection. Parts of the middle ear are infected and swollen, and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. This causes pain in the ear—commonly called an earache. Your child might also have a fever.

Can you have an ear infection for months?

Chronic otitis media- This is a middle ear infection that does not go away, or happens repeatedly, over months to years. The ear may drain (have liquid coming out of the ear canal). It can often be accompanied by a tympanic membrane perforation and hearing loss. Usually chronic otitis media is not painful.

How long does inner ear infection last?

Inner ear infections will usually clear up by themselves within a few weeks, although some can last for six weeks or more. If the symptoms are severe or they don’t start to improve within a few days, then you should see a doctor. The doctor might prescribe antibiotics if the infection appears to be caused by bacteria.

How long does a middle ear infection last?

Most middle ear infections (otitis media) clear up within three to five days and don’t need any specific treatment. You can relieve any pain and a high temperature using over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Which antibiotic is best for inner ear infection?

  • Amoxil (amoxicillin)
  • Augmentin (amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate)
  • Cortisporin (neomycin/polymxcin b/hydrocortisone) solution or suspension.
  • Cortisporin TC (colistin/neomycin/thonzonium/hydrocortisone) suspension.

How painful can an ear infection be?

Ear infections can be painful because of inflammation and fluid buildup in the middle ear. Ear infections can be chronic or acute. Acute ear infections are painful but short in duration. Chronic ear infections either don’t clear up or recur many times.

When is an ear infection serious?

If your only symptom is an earache, you may want to wait a day or two before seeing a doctor. Sometimes ear infections resolve on their own within a few days. If the pain isn’t getting better and you’re running a fever, you should see your doctor as soon as you can.

How do I know if my ear infection is bacterial or viral?

  1. Symptoms persist longer than the expected 10-14 days a virus tends to last.
  2. Fever is higher than one might typically expect from a virus.
  3. Fever gets worse a few days into the illness rather than improving.

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