Ear Infections: A Variety of Causes and Consequences

Ear infections are quite common and can have a variety of causes: viral, bacterial, and fungal. They can also affect different parts of the ear, including the outer ear (such as what’s commonly known as “swimmer’s ear”), the middle ear, and the inner ear.

Ear Infections Can Develop Easily

An outer ear infection can be caused by something as simple as scratching the ear canal while cleaning it, especially if a cotton-tipped applicator—or a dangerously sharp small object, such as a hair clip—is used. In other cases, an outer ear infection can develop because of pus from a middle ear infection draining into the ear canal through a hole in the eardrum.

Infections of the Ear Can Cause Pain…or Worse

An ear infection can be either acute—developing quickly and of short duration—or chronic. Either can be painful due to inflammation or pressure from fluid buildup in the middle ear.

A common cause of ear infections is swelling or blockage of the small Eustachian tube, which allows fluid to drain from the middle ear to the throat. Allergies, colds, and smoking can cause these tubes to become blocked, causing fluid to build up.

Chronic infections that occur (and recur) frequently or never clear up are chronic, and they can cause permanent damage to the structures of the middle and inner ear.

Know the Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Ear pain is a common symptom of ear infection, but it isn’t the only one. Sometimes, pain or discomfort may come later, if at all. To protect your or your loved one’s hearing (and development, if they are child), it’s important to be watchful for these signs and symptoms:

  • Mild to severe pain
  • Tugging at the ears (a response to pain for infants and toddlers)
  • Fever
  • Drainage from the ear – can be thick, yellow, or bloody
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hearing loss
  • Balance problems
  • Feeling of pressure inside the ear

How Ear Infections Are Diagnosed and Treated

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your Amory Urgent Care provider any day of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Not sure if it’s urgent? Call us at 662-256-5612. Also, come in if you’ve been self-treating your symptoms and it has proven ineffective. Your Amory Urgent Care provider will examine your ears with special instruments that measure fluid buildup and test the eardrum’s movement.

Depending on the type and severity of your ear infection, the provider will prescribe the appropriate type and dose of medication to provide fast relief.

At Amory Urgent Care, we provide a wide range of urgent care services to address medical issues, from ear infections and bladder infections to cuts and bruises.

Still have questions? Simply give us a call at 662-256-5612 or just walk in between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. any day of the week. We aim to make your healthcare experience efficient, quick, and as pleasant as possible.