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Inner Ear Infection (Otitis Media)

Find out when to see a doctor.

Dr. Rinde Faderipo with Doctors Express tells us about Otitis Media, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Urgent Care for Inner Ear Infection in Phoenix

The simplest form of ear infection, where the bacteria are in the outer ear, outside the eardrum, is known as “swimmer’s ear”. Beginning with a red, swollen and/or itchy ear, symptoms can progress to a feeling of fullness, temporary hearing loss, or yellow foul-smelling discharge from the ear. The infection can also spread across the eardrum into a middle or inner ear infection. Most of the time, if it’s diagnosed quickly, swimmer’s ear can be treated with ear drops from an urgent care center.

Otitis Media is an infection of the middle ear, specifically the air-filled area immediately behind the tympani (ear drum). This is often a seriously painful condition, since the eardrum is such a sensitive organ to perceive the tiny vibrations of sound in the air. Having the middle ear fill with fluid also interferes with hearing, causing temporary hearing loss. Middle ear infections can occur as a result of a cold or on their own, when fluid backs up in the middle ear and becomes infected with bacteria. Otitis media happens most often in children, but can also affect adults. While it will usually go away on its own, antibiotics will reduce the duration and severity of pain and pressure.

An inner ear infection, labyrinthitis, can have symptoms beyond pain and hearing loss. Since the eardrum is not affected, the intense pain and fullness associated with the middle ear is often not the first symptom, and a case of labyrinthitis can present as a sudden loss of hearing, balance or both. Unlike swimmers’ ear, which affects all ages and usually occurs after swimming, or otitis media, which affects mostly children, labyrinthitis occurs most often in older adults. Diagnosis can be somewhat more difficult, since the symptoms can be similar to a migraine or Menière’s disease, and recovery can take longer, a few weeks or even months, for the fluid to drain fully restoring your hearing and balance, but medical treatment at urgent care for inner ear infections in Phoenix is generally effective.

Treatment

Treatment for an ear infection typically includes oral antibiotics. Symptoms usually start to improve within 1-2 days. If you are experiencing the symptoms of an ear infection, please visit your local Phoenix Urgent Care Urgent Care. Walk-Ins are welcome.

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