Treating an ear infection is a relatively straightforward process that provides you with the relief that you need from pain and discomfort. Lack of prompt treatment for an ear problem could lead to further complications, including hearing loss, so it is best to see your ENT in Des Peres, De Paul, or St. Peters, MO, for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible if you suspect that you may have the condition!
Ear Infection Causes
There are three different types of ear infections: outer (Otitis Externa), middle (Otitis Media), and inner (Otitis Interna). The type of ear infection that you have will likely indicate the cause. Outer ear infections are usually caused by contact with outer elements (water, dirt, or allergens) that cause inflammation. Middle ear infections can be viral or bacterial, and are often caused by an allergic reaction from food or blockage inside the ear. Inner ear infections are related to other types of infections that are present in the body, such as sinusitis or tooth decay.
Treatments for Ear Infections
The way that your ENT in Des Peres, De Paul, or St. Peters, MO, decides to treat an ear infection will vary depending on the cause. In most cases, the solution will be antibiotic therapy (pills or eardrops). An analgesic eardrop medication may also help with pain. Some middle ear infections may have to be resolved by having a drainage tube surgically inserted to release fluids.
Ear Care Information
After diagnosing and treating your ear infection, your ENT will provide you with information about how to best care for your ears. Observe these simple tips to avoid future ear infections:
- When swimming, use earplugs to minimize the amount of water that sits on the ear.
- Keep objects out of your ear (especially children, as they are more prone to ear infections).
- Wash and sanitize your hands and fingers often.
- Avoid tobacco smoke.
- Have sinusitis, colds or the flu, tooth decay, and other infections promptly treated.
Your ENT Can Help
If you’re having symptoms that could be related to an ear infection, let an ENT check you out. Call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Burk at one of his offices in Des Peres, De Paul, or St Peters, MO. Dial (314) 821-5002 for St. Peters/Des Peres, and (314) 770-0708 for De Paul.