The earaches resulting from ear infections can be very uncomfortable. There might also be concern about hearing loss. However, most ear infections can be easily treated or prevented altogether. Your Palm Coast, Florida ENT doctor at Coastal Ear Nose & Throat offers some information about ear infections, their causes and the best treatments.
Signs of an ear infection
The typical signs of an ear infection seen by your Palm Coast ENT doctor include a feeling of fullness, a popping or ringing sensation, diminished hearing and dull pain. Itching, drainage, tenderness on the outside of the ear and nearby swollen lymph nodes can accompany these symptoms. Children that are too young to verbalize their symptoms will often pull at their ears and display irritability or trouble sleeping.
Causes of ear infections
There are a number of reasons that your Palm Coast ENT doctor may diagnose an ear infection. Infections of the middle ear can be brought on by the common cold, especially in children. The tube that connects the inside of the nose to the ear, called the Eustachian tube, can trap fluid buildup. Children are more susceptible to this type of ear infection because their Eustachian tubes are naturally shorter and more narrow than an adult's.
Swimmer's ear can produce similar symptoms to a middle ear infection, but they affect the structures of the outer ear, including the eardrum and the ear structures against the head. When the ears are submerged in water and do not completely dry, bacteria can build up and cause an infection.
How to prevent ear infections
Health experts, like your Palm Coast ENT doctor, suggest:
- Maintaining a clean environment by washing your hands frequently.
- Infants not use pacifiers after one year of age, as this can promote ear infections.
- Before and after swimming, applying a solution of one part white vinegar to one part rubbing alcohol can help keep bacteria at bay and promote proper drying.
- Always avoiding placing foreign objects in the ears.
If you think you might have an ear infection, or you'd like some more information on how to prevent them, contact the ENT doctors at Coastal Ear Nose & Throat in Palm Coast, Florida today!