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Ear Infection Treatment

Overview

 

Ear pain, of any severity, can occur in any part of the ear; it may be in one or both ears, and it can be temporary or constant. While pain may be a sharp and intense or dull and mild, it can also be experienced as a burning sensation. Ear pain can occur without any other symptoms, however it is commonly accompanied by ear drainage. More prominent in children, ear pain can also affect adults. In rare cases, ear pain can lead to hearing loss, so patients are advised to contact our offices when pain is persistent. Dr. Michael Sherbin is an expert in treating both children and adults experiencing ear pain and drainage. 

Causes

 

There are many possible causes for ear pain, and children often experience ear pain for different reasons than adults. 


Often an infection will lead to ear pain in children. Behind the eardrum is an area called the middle ear. A thin passage called the Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the nasal passages, which allows for natural fluids to drain out of the middle ear. When the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, these fluids cannot drain out of middle ear. A buildup of fluid or pressure in the middle ear results in ear pain. Allergies or a sinus infection can easily block the Eustachian tube due to excess buildup of secretions. The fluid pressure is painful and can be accompanied by temporary hearing loss.


Other causes of ear pain are not the result of an infection and must be treated differently. Other causes include but are not limited to:


• Pressure changes (high altitudes from flying)
• Impacted ear wax
• Ruptured eardrum 
• Ear canal Irritation (often from a cotton swab)
• Tooth infection
• TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome)
• Tooth infection
• Object stuck in ear
• Soap or shampoo stuck in ear


Swimmer's ear, which is an infection of the outer ear and ear canal, can also produce ear pain. Swimmer's ear is not uncommon in young adults and will include yellow or green ear drainage.

 

Symptoms

In addition to pain, noticeable symptoms of ear pain may include:


• Fever
• Dizziness
• Increased crying (in children)
• Irritability
• Temporary hearing loss

Treatments

 

Fortunately, the discomfort of ear pain is manageable and treatable. We offer a variety of treatment for ear pain and drainage including medical treatment and pain management. Ear drops may be prescribed, which will treat infections such as swimmer's ear and begin to relieve discomfort. Pain medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can also aid in pain relief. Ear wax removal is a relatively painless procedure that may be required based on your condition. Dr. Michael Sherbin will collaborate to diagnose your unique condition and provide treatment options specifically for your needs.

Although minor or infrequent ear pain may cause little discomfort, it should not be ignored. Dr. Sherbin and his team can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment.