Posts for tag: ear infections
Dealing with an earache can be quite painful. Children are often more likely to develop ear infections than adults, which is why it’s important to understand why ear infections happen and how to spot the warning signs. After all, the majority of children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they turn three years old.
Causes of Ear Infections
Within the ears lie Eustachian tubes, which are small passages that connect the middle ear to the back of throat. Every time you yawn or swallow the Eustachian tubes open, which is why when an ear infection occurs this causes pain and pressure whenever you sneeze or swallow. During an infection, the Eustachian tube either swell or become blocked, which causes fluid buildup within the middle ear.
There are many things that can cause an ear infection but the most common causes include:
- Changes in air pressure
- Common cold
As we mentioned above, children are more likely to experience ear infections because they have narrower Eustachian tubes. Children are also more likely to develop ear infections if they are dealing with another illness or infection such as a cold, are exposed to smoke or experience changes in climate or altitude.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
Unfortunately, young children can’t always tell us when they are experiencing an ear infection; however, there are signs you can lookout for. A classic sign is pulling or tugging at the ear. You may also notice that your child is fussier than usual or cries when lying down. Your child may also become clingier.
If you notice pus draining from the ear or if your child is displaying sudden symptoms of hearing loss (e.g. not responding to vocal cues or sounds) then it’s time to bring them to an otolaryngologist as soon as possible. If your child’s ear infection is accompanied by a fever over 102 degrees F, it’s also important that you seek immediate medical care.
Of course, older children will be able to complain about pressure or pain in their ear, common signs of an infection. The pain may be dull and achy or it can be sharp and stabbing. Any ear pain warrants seeing an ENT doctor just to be on the safe side.
Treating Ear Infections
A simple ear exam is often all that’s needed to be able to diagnose an ear infection. While some ear infections will clear up on their own sometimes your ear, nose & throat doctor will provide you with antibiotic drops or even drops to help soothe pain. Children under 2 years old who have an ear infection will likely receive antibiotics.
Dealing with an ear infection? Think your child may have an infection? If so, an ENT doctor is the right person to turn to when these infections start brewing.
At some point in your lifetime, you may end up dealing with symptoms or issues that affect your ears, nose or throat. While some people may exhibit obvious symptoms this doesn’t mean that everyone will. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s going on with your ear, nose and throat health. Here are just some of the most common ENT problems and how they are addressed.
This is by far the most common ENT problem that a doctor will diagnose and treat. While ear infections are more likely to develop in young children, people of all ages can develop this infection. One of the classic symptoms of an ear infection is ear pain, discharge, muffled or reduced hearing, and a red, inflamed ear. If you are experiencing an earache, it’s important that you visit your otolaryngologist. Not treating an ear infection could lead to serious long-term complications.
Many people will face a sinus infection at some point during their lifetime, but most of the time it will be completely innocuous and self-limiting. Of course, you may need help managing your symptoms or making sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are truly due to a sinus infection and not something else.
While a sinus infection can easily be diagnosed just by going through the symptoms you are experiencing, we may also need to perform an endoscopy to be able to look inside the nasal passageways to determine if there is a blockage. While sinus infections will often go away on their own, there is the possibility that you may face chronic sinusitis (which lasts more than 12 weeks and doesn’t respond to self-care measure). If this happens it’s important that you turn to your doctor for help.
This infection leads to painful, inflamed tonsils (the tissue in the back of the throat). While a sore throat may also be the result of a viral infection, if you are faced with a severe sore throat that doesn’t go away, it’s important that you visit an ENT doctor who can provide a proper diagnosis. Just by swabbing the back of the throat and looking for the presence of streptococcal bacteria, an ENT specialist can easily diagnose strep throat. If we detect strep throat, you will be prescribed a round of antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria.
Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially dangerous sleep condition that causes a person to stop breathing many times while asleep. Some people can experience hundreds of breathing cessations throughout one evening. Those with sleep apnea find themselves extremely exhausted when first waking up (even if they got enough sleep) and may struggle to get through the day. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure or stroke if left untreated. If you are a loud snorer if you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, if you wake up with headaches or if you find yourself feeling excessively tired throughout the day then it’s time to see a specialist.
Whether you are experiencing symptoms or you just have questions about ENT health, it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who can answer all of your questions and prevent, diagnose and even treat a host of ENT issues.
Your ears are so important. What would you ever do without your sense of hearing and your balance--both major functions of your outer, middle, and inner ear structures? Your Sun City West and Sun City, AZ, ear doctors at Arizona ENT help you care for your hearing and balance. If something seems awry, they help diagnose and treat those disconcerting otolaryngology difficulties so you feel and function at your very best.
Your primary caregiver
Of course, that's your primary care physician. On an annual basis, your family doctor checks your vital signs, weight, and reflexes. He or she also looks checks your vision and does a basic assessment of your eyes, ears, and soft tissues of the mouth and back of the throat. Blood work checks metabolism, cholesterol, blood sugar, and other important measures of health.
If you see your physician with symptoms indicating a problem with your ears, you may be referred to your Sun City West and Sun City ear doctor at Arizona ENT. Our professional team of four board-certified otolaryngologists understands ear symptoms and how to diagnose and treat their causes.
Troublesome ear-related symptoms
Your Arizona ENT doctors can help you if you persistently exhibit these symptoms:
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Hearing loss
- Motion sickness
- Tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears)
- Ear pain
- Cerumen (wax) build-up
- Decreased hearing
- Drainage from the ear
- Facial pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
A complete ear exam includes visual inspection of the outside of the ear (auricle), interior inspection of the canal and eardrum with a lighted otoscope and a tuning fork test, a rudimentary hearing exam. The doctors also conduct audiology examinations to understand the degree and kind of hearing loss, tympanoplasty procedures to repair eardrums, and placement of ventilating ear tubes for prevention of otitis media, or middle ear infection.
Patients frequently come to Arizona ENT with motion sickness, vertigo, or other balance-related ear symptoms, Your ENT doctor can prescribe in-office or at-home exercises which can correct balance issues.
Come see us
At Arizona ENT, we care for your ears, nose, and throat as if they were our very own. Our highly skilled otolaryngologists pay close attention to symptoms and work diligently to track down and treat their causes. Call us today for an individualized consultation in Sun City West and Sun City, AZ. For the West Meeker Boulevard office, phone (623) 975-1660. For the West Thunderbird location, call (623) 972-2951.
Are you worried that your ear pain could be a sign of an infection? Ear infections are very common and can be caused by viral and bacterial infections. Ralph E. Bassett, MD, is here to explain ear infection symptoms and treatment options. Dr. Bassett, your ear doctor in Sun City West, and his colleagues, Drs. Sanford Hoffman and Paul Borgesen, treat ear infections and other ear, nose and throat problems.
What is an ear infection?
An ear infection also called acute otitis media, causes inflammation in the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum. Fluids normally drain out of your ear through the eustachian tube, a passage that leads to the upper throat and back of the nasal cavity. If you have a viral or bacterial infection, the eustachian tube lining starts to swell and fills up with mucus, which prevents drainage and causes pain and pressure.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Pain is the primary symptom of an ear infection, although you may also notice trouble hearing, pressure in the affected ear and fluid drainage from the ear. Children are more prone to developing ear infections because they have shorter eustachian tubes. Common symptoms of ear infections in young children, in addition to pain, include:
- Pulling on the ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Balance issues
- Drainage from the ear
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty hearing
- Fever of 100 or higher
How is an ear infection treated?
Many ear infections improve on their own in a week or two. In some cases, antibiotics can be helpful. When your doctor makes the decision to prescribe antibiotics, they'll consider a variety of factors, including age, duration of the symptoms and the presence of a fever. As you or your child recover from an ear infection, using warm compresses and taking over-the-counter pain medications can help reduce pain. If your child suffers from chronic ear infections, your doctor may recommend ear tubes. These tubes help prevent fluid from accumulating in the ear.
Concerned about ear pain or another ear, nose and throat issue? Call Ralph E. Bassett, MD, your Sun City West ear doctor, at (623) 975-1600 and schedule an appointment today.