Ear Infection Treatment in Rockwall, Forney & Wylie
How does Lakeside Allergy ENT treat ear infections?
Lakeside Allergy ENT in Rockwall, Forney, and Wylie is home to the top otolaryngologists in Texas who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all ear, nose, and throat disorders, including middle ear infections and swimmer’s ear. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you may have an ear infection. Our board-certified otolaryngologists will first diagnose your condition and then suggest treatment options, which include antibiotics, ear drops, and surgery in severe cases.
Request an appointment today using the form on this page, or learn more about ear infections and our treatment options below.
What are ear infections?
Most ear infections are middle ear infections, also known as otitis media (OM). The majority of middle ear infections occur in children under age five, although they can happen in adults, especially after a cold, flu, or sinus infection. OM is the most common condition that causes pain and hearing loss in children, which is why parents often seek an ENT doctor for earache treatment.
Another type of ear infection that can occur is an outer ear infection, also known as otitis externa or “swimmer’s ear”. Swimmer’s ear is caused by excessive water in the ear.
What causes ear infections?
A middle ear infection is caused by a bacterium or virus in the middle ear. This infection often results from another illness — cold, flu or allergies — that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes. Ear infections themselves are not contagious, but the illnesses that lead to them are. Middle ear infections are more common in children than adults because their eustachian tubes are narrower and more horizontal, making it more difficult for the tubes to drain and more likely to get clogged.
Factors that may impact the development of middle ear infections include:
- Age – Children 6-24 months are most likely to develop middle ear infections
- Middle ear structure & developmental stage – When eustachian tubes and immune systems are immature, OM is more likely to develop
- Group childcare – Childcare environments often expose children to more infections and colds that can lead to middle ear infections
- Bottle-feeding – Bottle-feeding a child while he/she is lying down has been linked to development of middle ear infections
- Seasonal allergies – Changing seasons and high pollen counts can lead to allergic reactions that increase the chances of developing an ear infection
- Winter and cold weather – Colds and flu are more common in cold weather and when seasons change, making middle ear infections more likely
- Air quality – Exposure to tobacco smoke and high air pollution also increase risk
An outer ear infection (swimmer’s ear) is typically caused by bacteria that’s commonly found in water and soil.
What are the symptoms of ear infections?
Middle ear infection symptoms may include:
- Ear pain* (especially when lying down)
- Tugging or pulling at an ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty hearing* or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Fever of 100o F or higher
- Drainage of fluid from the ear*
- Loss of appetite
- A child that is crying more than usual
- A child that is acting more irritable than usual
*These symptoms may indicate a middle ear infection, but they are also common signs of outer ear infections (swimmer’s ear). Symptoms of swimmer’s ear also include itching and redness in and around the ear.
Many ear infections are not severe and may clear up on their own. However, for infants and toddlers who have symptoms of an ear infection, it’s important to seek medical care from an ENT doctor as soon as possible and receive ear infection treatment.
Other ear infection signs to look for in babies and toddlers include:
- Symptoms that last for more than a day
- Symptoms that develop after a cold or other upper respiratory infection
- Pain that is severe
- Symptoms that cause your infant or toddler to become sleepless or irritable
- A discharge of fluid, pus or bloody discharge from the ear
What does ear infection treatment involve?
Ear Infection Treatment for Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection)
Otitis media in children and adults may be treated with therapies including:
- Applying a warm compress and taking acetaminophen to reduce pain
- If infection persists or if there is fever, Antibiotics may be prescribed
- Monitoring children for any effect on hearing or possible hearing loss
- If ear infections are chronic, surgery may be suggested
Ear Infection Treatment for Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear)
Swimmer’s ear treatments for children and adults may include:
- Antibiotic ear drops and possibly corticosteroids
- A surgery called debridement,
- only in severe cases
What does ear infection surgery for otitis media involve?
In severe cases of middle ear infection, ear infection surgery may be recommended in order to achieve long-lasting symptom relief. This type of surgery will be performed in a hospital or surgical center. The procedure involves inserting a tiny tube into the eardrum to equalize pressure and prevent the accumulation of fluids. Some tubes are intended to stay in place for 6-12 months and then fall out on their own. Other tubes are designed to stay in longer and may need to be surgically removed. Depending upon each patient’s unique needs, our ENT doctors will determine the best treatment option for your middle ear infection.
Lakeside Allergy ENT is home to three board-certified otolaryngologists who specialize in diagnosis and treatment of all ear, nose, and throat related disorders for patients of all ages, including both middle ear infections and outer ear infections. Ear infection treatment requires expert care. With our on-site Hearing Center, we are also equipped to monitor and diagnose hearing loss associated with ear infections. If you or your child has any of the symptoms of an ear infection, call our office at 972-771-5443 or get started by requesting an appointment using the form on this page.