Otitis media is a known ear infection or inflammation that occurs in the middle ear. This is also more commonly referred to as the middle ear infection or simply ear infection. This kind of inflammation will usually begin during infections which will cause sore throats, colds, other respiratory or breathing problems that will spread to the middle ear. This problem can either be viral or bacterial infections.
Ear infection in children are oftentimes hard to detect since a lot of children with the symptoms do not yet have adequate skills in speech and language to inform someone what is bothering him.
The common symptoms of an ear infection that occurs in children are:
- Unusual irritability
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Loss of balance
- Tugging or pulling one or both ears
Not being responsive to quiet sounds or other possible signs of hearing difficulty just like sitting very near to the television or being inattentive.
On the other hand, ear infections are less common in adults. When symptoms will occur in adults, they will include:
- Hearing loss
- Feeling of blockage in the ear
- Ear pain
When an individual shows the above mentioned symptoms of ear infection, the physician will perform a physical exam and will also recommend further tests in order to understand well the severity of the infection. During the physical exam, an otoscope is being used by the doctor in looking into the ear of the patient. Once he sees inflammation inside the eardrum, he will then know that there is an infection. When it comes to checking the middle ear fluid, the doctor will blow a puff of air into the eardrum in order to test its movement.
Tympanometry is an evaluation which is done to check the function of the middle ear. This will involve the insertion of a small, soft plug inside the opening of an individual’s ear canal. This test can provide information about the middle ear condition. The doctor will usually recommend a hearing test for children who frequently encounter ear infections. This is performed by an audiologist to determine the degree of hearing loss.