Although they most often affect children, ear infections in adults are also very common. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about ear infections. We’ll discuss their types, causes, and symptoms, as well as the standard treatment methods.
Types of Ear Infections in Adults
There are three primary types of ear infections in adults. Each of them affects a different part of the ear. They are:
- Otitis externa (outer ear infection)
- Otitis media (middle ear infection)
- Labyrinthitis (inner ear infection)
What Are Their Symptoms?
Because they affect different parts of your ear, they also result in different symptoms.
- Outer ear infections usually start with a red rash around the ear. Over time, they can make your ear swollen and tender. You may also experience severe pain.
- Middle ear infections can also be very painful. Your ears will feel full, and you may experience some hearing problems as a result. Other common symptoms include fever, as well as pus-like fluid drainage from the ear.
- Inner ear infections can disrupt your balance and cause nausea and dizziness. Pain is also a very common symptom.
What Are Their Causes?
Different types of bacteria are among the main causes of ear infections. What part of the ear will become infected depends on where the bacteria are coming from.
With the middle ear infection, the bacteria often come from the inside. These infections usually occur following a cold or the flu. Over time, the infection from your respiratory system spreads across the body. In doing so, it can reach your ears, too.
On the other hand, outer ear infections are usually the result of the leftover water in your ears. As a rule, bacteria multiply more easily in moist conditions.
What You Can Do
To treat ear infections, doctors will most often prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is only affecting the outer ear, they will also clean it to drain the leftover fluids. Some mild infections can even resolve themselves after some time.
The important thing is to visit your doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms. This will ensure a timely treatment and help prevent potential complications.