An ear infection is basically an inflammation of the middle ear. It is generally caused by the bacteria, which occurs when the fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Any person can be affected with an ear infection, but children are more prone to it than adults. 5 out of 6 children suffer at least once from an ear infection by their 3rd birthday. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to a doctor. The scientific name for ear infection is otitis media (OM).
Mainly there are three popular kinds of ear infections. Each one of them come up with a different combination of symptoms.
Acute otitis media-This is the most common infection in the ear. Parts of middle ear get infected and swollen and the fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. It causes pain in the ear. The child often has fever when AOM persists.
Otitis media with effusion-This sometimes happens after the ear infection has run its course and the fluid stays trapped behind the eardrum. Children having OME usually have no symptoms. Only a doctor is able to see the fluid behind the eardrum using a special device.
Chronic otitis media with effusuion-This kind of infection occurs when the fluid remains in the middle ear for long or return time and again. It affects the hearing ability of a child and makes harder for them to fight new types of infections.
Most of the ear infections occur to children before they have even learned how to speak. If your child is not quite old enough to say that his/her ear hurts, there are a few things that you should look for. They include pulling or tugging at the ear, fluid draining from the ear, fever, trouble sleeping, trouble hearing, fussiness, crying and so on.
To see whether any ear infection persists, audiologists in Bulleen makes use of a lighted device called otoscope to have a look at the eardrum. If there is a red, bulging eardrum, it indicates that infection persists. The audiologists sometimes even use a pneumatic otoscope that blows the puff of air into the ear canal. This is done to check for the fluid behind the eardrum. However, tympanometry makes use of the air pressure and sound tones. It is a diagnostic test that an audiologist uses if the diagnosis still isn’t clear.