Ear infections are a very common yet painful ailment people experience every day. There are two main types of infections, otitis and swimmer’s ear. Otitis is an infection of the middle ear behind the eardrum. Swimmer’s ear occurs in the ear canal, the part that connects the outer ear to the eardrum
Otitis is most common in young children and is cause by illness. Swimmer’s ear it is caused by water that remains in canal after swimming or showering. This water allows harmful bacteria to grow and cause pain.
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Symptoms of Otitis
Ear infections are common, especially among children and while the symptoms may present mildly, they can progress to more serious pain. Symptoms often start as a cold with a runny nose and cough and progress to a fever, decreased appetite, and in more serious cases vomiting and diarrhea. A child will also appear uncomfortable and pull on their ear.
Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear
The initial symptoms of an ear infection from swimmer’s ear are itching and redness inside the ear, mild discomfort that is aggravated by pulling or pushing the outer ear, or by fluid or drainage of the ear. When not treated, these symptoms will become more intense and you may feel as if something is blocking your ear, and a decrease in your ability to hear. Advanced cases will cause severe pain that spreads to the face and neck, swelling of your ear and a fever.
How to Prevent an Ear Infection
Unfortunately otitis can only be avoided by preventing your child from getting a cold, so washing toys and hands regularly. Since they are a common ailment in childhood, there is little you can do to prevent them. Swimmer’s ear, however, can be prevented in many ways. Drying ears thoroughly after swimming or showering with a soft cloth can help prevent infection. Alcohol drops can also dry out the inner ear if you feel water trapped inside. You should never put object inside your ear as these will push irritants further into your ear.