Allergy Ear Infection
Ear infections are often caused by bacterial or viral infections. However, they can also occur from allergies. Ear infections occur in the middle ear, when fluid becomes trapped in the middle ear, small space behind the eardrum that is usually air-filled. Fluid build-up occurs when the Eustachian tube does not work properly, as seen with inflammation due to an upper respiratory infection. This fluid buildup leads to pain and other symptoms, such as reduced hearing.
Causes and concerns
Otitis media (the medical term for an ear infection) is the inflammation and swelling of the middle ear. This occurs due to an ear infection in either one or both ears. An ear infection is a common diagnosis in children, especially those with allergies. Otitis media can affect adults, too, and these disorders are the most common reason of hearing loss in both children and older people.
Otitis media is a serious condition, as hearing impairment can lead to more problems such as a speech and language deficit or learning disorders. If you or your child has an ear infection, you should seek medical attention immediately. If the infection is healed promptly, long-term effects are unlikely to occur.. Otitis media should also be treated promptly as prolonged infections may spread to other areas of your body.
When an allergy ear infection occurs, there is typically the presence of fluid in the ear. Otitis media can be acquired by having a cold or flu and allergies. The infection causes the lining of the middle ear to become inflamed and keeps the Eustachian tube from opening and closing properly. This means the pressure in the middle ear cannot normalize and any fluid buildup cannot be drained. In serious cases, the eardrum may rupture, and then pus will leak out from the ear.
Symptoms and signs
The symptoms vary somewhat between children and adults. Infants can experience hearing problems, tugging at the ears, pain in the ear, irritability, fever and ear drainage. In adults, the symptoms are as follows:
- Ear drainage
- Loss of balance
- Feeling of pressure or fullness
- Difficulty hearing
Solutions and options
When you come in to see one of our competent allergy specialists, he or she will diagnose your condition through a physical examination and testing. The doctor will look inside the ear to see if there is a buildup of fluid or pus. The doctor will also check the mobility of your eardrum.
An audiogram (hearing test) may be performed, as well, to document any hearing loss due to the infection. A tympanogram may be performed to measure the mobility of your eardrum and the pressure of air in the middle. Along with they tympanogram a Eustachian tube function test may also be performed
If otitis media due to persistent allergies reoccurs, your doctor may decide to drain the pus or fluid. Sometimes, ototubes are necessary to accomplish this. Also, the doctor may request that one or both of your tonsils or adenoids be removed, as they can sometimes be the cause of reoccurring problems.
Otitis media is a serious infection in the ear, and it can occur in one ear or in both ears at the same time. It is important to seek medical attention if you think you have an infection due to allergies, as it can cause hearing loss and other significant problems. If the pus is left to buildup for too long, the eardrum could rupture causing significant pain. Call today for an appointment with one of our ear, nose and throat specialists, and let us offer a solution.