Chronic ear pain and infections can be very troublesome, especially for children. These middle ear infections can affect hearing, which may impact one’s ability to learn or perform tasks at work. In addition to the temporary hearing loss, the pain caused by the chronic infection could be difficult to tolerate, causing irritability and distractions. Here’s what you need to know about chronic ear infections.
What Causes Ear Infections
A middle ear infection, also called acute otitis media, is most often caused by fluid build up behind the eardrum. There are thin tubes that run behind the eardrum to drain off such fluid. But when the fluid builds up due to illness or a blockage in the tubes, it can cause an ear infection and severe ear pain. If you have frequent recurring ear infections or if you have ear infections that do not clear up completely with traditional treatment from your primary care doctor, you may need to see a specialist.
What Can Be Done
In some cases, middle ear infections can cause so much swelling that the medicated ear drops necessary to treat the infection cannot reach their intended destination. Wicks can be placed in the ears to open up the Eustachian tubes to allow the drops to go where they will do the most good. This is not a process that every primary care doctor can manage on their own without causing extreme pain for the patient.
In some cases, there may be a deformity in the tubes behind the eardrum or a recurring blockage that is causing the chronic ear pain and infections. This is most commonly found in young children. This problem can also be resolved using medical devices and procedures to keep the tubes open and functioning properly.
If you or your child has been suffering from chronic ear pain or ear infections, contact us today for more information about how we can help or to schedule an appointment.