Does your child have a headache that they just cannot get rid of? If so, they may have an ear infection. As one of the multiple symptoms of an ear infection, headaches can indicate a need for further examination. Other symptoms accompanied by a headache help medical professionals to diagnose and treat ear infections in children. Headaches are not typical symptoms of ear infections in adults.
AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst can treat patients beginning at six months. If your child is suffering from an ear infection or other illness this winter, visit our center for treatment.
Symptoms of an Ear infection
Some of the symptoms of an ear infection may surprise you. While inner ear pain is a prominent symptom, there are a few that you may not have expected. The known signs of an ear infection in a child are:
- Ear drainage
- Balance issues
- Inability to sleep well
- No appetite
- Not responding to sound
When it comes to symptoms in adults, you should be on the lookout for ear pain, drainage, and hearing concerns. Adults can experience some of the same ear infection symptoms as children, but those symptoms are less common.
Causes of Ear Infections
If you find yourself or your child getting frequent ear infections, it can be essential to understand its cause. In basic terms, an ear infection is caused by a blockage that fails to allow fluid to drain. The fluid gets contaminated with bacteria or a virus, and the infection grows.
How does the fluid get trapped in the middle ear? Imagine the ear canal, throat, and nasal passages like a connected system of pipes. When a pipe gets blocked, the fluids travel easily to the other pipes and have no escape. This is what happens before an ear infection. When congestion blocks the tubes connecting the throat, nose, and ears, fluid builds up in the middle ear, resulting in an ear infection.
The treatment for an ear infection is dependent upon its cause. A viral infection will not respond to antibiotics, but a bacterial infection can be treated with such a prescription. It is not always necessary to see a doctor, but if your child does not see any change in a couple of days, reaching out to his pediatrician is a good idea. Typically, a doctor will wait out the infection to see if it goes away on its own. If several days pass with little to no improvement, an antibiotic is likely necessary for quick healing.