Infection Symptoms: Ear Ache, Hearing Loss and More
Did you know there
are at least three different areas in which your child’s ear,
or your ear, may become infected? Depending on what type of ear
infection your child has, the ear infection symptoms will be different.
Whether your child suffers from an ear ache, headache, dizziness,
or swelling, it’s best to understand which ear infection symptoms
are possible and what those symptoms suggest.
An outer ear infection,
or otitis externa, would involve the visible part of the ear and
the outer ear canal. Outer ear infections are often called “swimmer’s
ear" because exposure to water may easily lead to an infection
of the outer ear canal. If your child has an outer ear infection,
the ear infection symptoms he or she may experience include earache,
itching in the ear, hearing loss, ringing in the ear, drainage of
the ear, and the feeling of ears being blocked from sound.
The next area of
the ear that may become infected is the middle ear. The middle ear
has a tube inside it that provides drainage into the throat. One
common way a child experiences a middle ear infection, or otitis
media, is when the tube in the middle ear becomes blocked by fluid.
Bacteria or viruses are then able to grow in the middle ear tube
and create a middle ear infection.
Ear infection symptoms for the middle ear are ear ache (which may
be severe), hearing loss, fever, discharge, and a feeling that the
ear is plugged. Small children with a middle ear infection may also
experience ear infection symptoms like vomiting, poor appetite,
pulling at the ears, and difficulty sleeping.
Finally, the next
most common ear infection is an inner ear infection, or labyrinthitis.
Located deep within your ear, the inner ear contains a network of
fluid-filled tubes. These tubes help your ear and brain with two
functions: (1) distinguishing sounds, and (2) being aware of the
position of your head. When you have an inner
ear infection, the ear infection symptoms are vertigo, nausea,
and vomiting. Reminiscent of motion sickness, an inner ear infection
will give you the sensation of whirling or spinning, especially
when you move your head suddenly or turn over in bed.
All symptoms you
experience are a sign that your body is trying to tell you something.
Any time you or your child suffer from what you believe are ear
infection symptoms, you should investigate the cause of the symptoms
to make sure they do not indicate a more serious health problem.