An ENT Doctor Can Treat Your Ear Infection To Speed Healing And Relieve Pain

Although earaches are more common in children than adults, you can still get an earache as an adult. Earaches have several causes. The pain could be referred from a bad tooth, you might have a bug or other foreign object in your year, or you might have an ear infection following a bad cold. If your earache is severe or if it doesn't go away quickly on its own, see an ENT doctor for an examination and treatment. Here are three causes of earaches and how an ENT doctor might treat them.

1. Outer Ear Infection

An infection in your outer ear can be painful, and they often develop due to excess moisture in your ear. Your ears might hold moisture after swimming or sweating heavily while exercising. Bacteria and fungal infections thrive in moist environments, and that leads to infections and pain.

Trying to clean your ear with a cotton swab can actually make the condition worse. Your ENT doctor may prescribe prescription antibiotic ear drops for this condition. If your ears are swollen, the doctor might need to put in a wick that pulls the medication deeper into your ear.

2. Middle Ear Infection

An infection in your middle ear is often a consequence of a cold or flu that leads to congestion of the upper airway. Fluid and infection get behind the eardrum and press on the eardrum and cause pain. Pressure builds up behind the eardrum when your Eustachian tubes are inflamed and unable to open wide enough to relieve pressure.

A middle ear infection might clear up on its own as you recover from your cold, but since the infection can be painful, you may want to seek treatment right away. Your ENT doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics for this ear condition. They may also need to drain your ear or put in ear tubes to relieve ear pressure.

3. Inner Ear Infection

A cold or flu can also lead to an infection of your inner ear. This type of ear infection can have different symptoms than infections that affect the middle and outer ear. You might be dizzy and nauseous in addition to having an earache. Your ENT doctor might also treat this infection with oral antibiotics. However, they may need to treat your symptoms as well such as giving you steroids for inflammation and medications for nausea or dizziness.

Whether you have an earache for the first time since you were a kid or you have them regularly, an ENT doctor can treat your condition and put an end to your pain. Treating chronic earaches might even help you avoid hearing loss and other undesirable side effects from repeated infections. 

For more information, contact a local ENT.