Ear Infection

Pinnacle Health Group

Primary Care Practice located in Tampa, FL

Ear infections affect infants, children, and adults, and they can cause health complications if left untreated. The experienced team of providers at Pinnacle Health Group can diagnose ear infections and offer solutions for pain and other symptoms. If you think you or your child may have an ear infection, call the Tampa, Florida, office to schedule an appointment right away, or book online.

Ear Infection Q & A

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection within the middle ear, the space behind the eardrum. They are frequently a secondary infection that arises when a cold, flu, or other respiratory illness creates congestion in the nasal passageways, throat, and ears.

Ear infections are most common in children, but adults often get them, too. The following factors are associated with an increased risk for ear infections:

  • Age between 6 months and 2 years
  • Group child care
  • Bottle-feeding of infants
  • Second-hand smoke exposure
  • Air pollution
  • Seasonal allergies

Ear infections are more likely to occur during fall and winter when upper-respiratory illnesses are more prevalent.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Ear infections cause a variety of symptoms in children. Some of the most common of these include:

  • Ear pain
  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive crying
  • Irritability
  • Loss of balance
  • Fluid drainage
  • Headache
  • Reduced appetite
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds

Ear infections in adults are typically characterized by ear pain, fluid drainage, and diminished hearing.

How is an ear infection diagnosed?

The experienced providers at Pinnacle Health Group can usually diagnose an ear infection in you or your child based on your symptoms and by examining your ears, throat, and nose with an otoscope. They’ll also listen to your breathing with a stethoscope. In some cases, diagnostic imaging or other tests may be needed to rule out other causes of symptoms.

How is an ear infection treated?

A viral ear infection will resolve without antibiotics so your provider may recommend you wait a day or two to see if your symptoms improve. If your symptoms persist or worsen, antibiotics may be necessary to treat your ear infection. Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve your discomfort as you rest and allow your body to heal.

In the cases of frequent or recurring ear infections, your provider may perform a procedure to drain fluid from your middle ear, which may include the insertion of a tiny tube that prevents your ear from becoming congested in the future.

If you think you or your child may have an ear infection, don’t wait to schedule an exam with Pinnacle Health Group. Call the office today to make an appointment, or book online.

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