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Ear infections are uncomfortable, but in many cases, they clear up on their own with at-home care. However, some people — especially children — experience frequent ear infections that can increase the risk of hearing loss when left untreated. At Austin ENT Associates in Round Rock, Texas, the team of ear, nose, and throat specialists provides comprehensive care for ear infections, including placement of ear tubes. For a consultation, call or book online today.
Ear infections are infections that affect the middle ear, which is the open space behind your eardrum. They’re caused by a virus or bacteria, usually resulting from another illness that causes congestion in the nose, throat, and eustachian tubes.
Your eustachian tubes go from your middle ear to your throat and help regulate ear pressure and drain fluid. When your eustachian tubes are swollen or blocked, fluid gets trapped in your middle ear, creating a moist, warm environment that enables germs to grow.
You can develop an ear infection at any age, but they’re more common in children because their eustachian tubes are narrow and more horizontal.
Symptoms of ear infections vary in type and severity. Common symptoms include:
In children, ear infections may cause fussiness, loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping.
Though your ear infection may clear up on its own, you should seek medical attention if you think you have an ear infection. It’s important to get the right diagnosis and treatment to prevent more serious complications.
It’s especially important if you or your child develops ear infections often. Frequent ear infections may increase the risk of hearing loss, speech delays, or tearing of your eardrum.
When you visit the specialists at Austin ENT Associates for an ear infection, the team conducts an in-depth clinical exam so you get the most accurate treatment plan.
Austin ENT Associates also provides comprehensive hearing evaluations and care, including hearing aids, when needed.
Austin ENT Associates creates customized treatment plans for ear infections based on the type and frequency of infections and the severity of your symptoms.
Treatment may include pain medication or an antibiotic. For children with chronic ear infections, the specialists at Austin ENT Associates may recommend myringotomy, or placement of ear tubes.
During the outpatient procedure, the surgeon creates a hole in the eardrum and removes the fluid, then places a tiny tube in the opening to improve fluid drainage.
For comprehensive ear infection care, call Austin ENT Associates or book an appointment online today.