Ear Infection – Associated Risks And Treatment

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Ear infections can be of many types. It is not recommended by the healthcare consultant to go ahead and use antibiotics when ear infections affect you. Only once the cause of the infection is detected the appropriate kind of medicine is suggested for the treatment. The common tendency is not to take the situation seriously, and it might get worse as time passes by. But it is always important to get proper treatment without delay as the ear infection can be otitis media with effusion or acute otitis media which are one of the major kinds of ear infections that can result badly if not treated appropriately. Let us take a look at some of the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods for otitis media with effusion and acute otitis media in the following.

Causes of Otitis Media with Effusion

One of the major symptoms of otitis media with effusion is the formation of fluids in the ear without any symptoms such as the pain of redness. The fluid buildup in the ear can be caused by:

  • cigarette smoking which has been irritating the ear
  • laying on your back and drinking
  • allergies
  • air pressure changes due to elevation change or travelling
  • effects of previous respiratory infections like colds

The effects of otitis media with effusion would normally go away in some time and do not require any medication to cure it. The fluid might take a month or so after the affect cold or the flu to get off from your ear. But at times it does not happen, and the infection can get worse which might lead to acute otitis media.

Causes of Acute Otitis Media

Acute Otitis Media is not as common as Otitis Media with Effusion. AOM is the type of infection that is a result of the buildup of infection in the fluids that is already there in the ear. It can be painful but can be cured without antibiotics if the case is mild. High fever and ear pain are the commonly associated symptoms. If it does not go within two or three days, it is recommended to consult a doctor.


Most of the symptoms given below are associated with AOM because OME does not show many symptoms as it is not painful:

  • fluid draining from ears
  • fever
  • hearing issues
  • pulling at ears
  • headache
  • ear pain
  • irritability
  • disturbances while sleeping
  • crying excessively

Risk Factors

Risk factors associated with AOM and OME are:

  • daycare attendance
  • exposure to smoke or air pollution
  • drinking while laying down
  • age
  • season

Diagnosis and treatment

Ear infections can be diagnosed by consulting a doctor who would resort to the instrument called otoscope. It will make the eardrum visible and shows whether there is fluid in the ear and whether it is infected or not.

Depending on the severity of the condition, age, and other factors, the doctor will determine the kind of treatment to be taken. Antibiotics are prescribed only when the condition is severe. For OME, antibiotics are not required as it goes away in a few days.


Isabel Carroll Photo Isabel Carroll is a health and wellness enthusiast from the UK. When she’s not reading the latest low fat recipe book or listening to a meditation podcast, she’s writing blog posts to others improve their own wellbeing and lifestyle. Visit The Independent Pharmacy

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