Ear infections are commonly associated with children, but the reality is that they also impact 20% of adults. This is normal because adults can be affected by bacteria and viruses, just like children. People with weak immune systems and ear inflammation need to be particularly cautious. In any case, ear infections are unpleasant, and it’s important to recognize them quickly for prompt treatment.
We want to inform you about the signs of an ear infection and how to prevent them. However, it’s important to note that for any medical issues, you should always consult with your doctor to find a solution.
It might begin with a slight itchiness inside your ear canal, and if left untreated, it can become more severe.
2. Redness inside and outside the ear.
It might begin with a bit of mild redness in the inner ear canal. However, if it gets worse, the redness can become more noticeable not only inside but also outside the ear.
3. Discomfort or pain
Initially, you may experience general pain in your ear, especially after pulling the earlobe or pushing the tragus. Over time, you might feel like there’s something filling your ear. In more severe cases, the pain can extend to your face, neck, or the side of your head.
4. Drainage of odorless fluid
Similar to the other symptoms, the odorless fluid may be minimal at first, but as the infection progresses, it can become more pronounced.
5. Muffled hearing or ringing
In mild cases, this symptom may not be present, but in more serious cases, your hearing could be impacted. You might notice a difference in your ability to hear, experiencing a constant ringing deep inside your ear.
6. Swollen neck lymph nodes
If the infection is not treated, it can lead to visibly swollen lymph nodes. This can result in a fever because your entire ear canal is likely completely blocked.
HOW TO PREVENT IT
1. Don’t use cotton swabs or foreign objects
Cotton swabs might seem like they clean your ears, but they can actually push earwax further inside. If using them makes you uncomfortable, it’s best to stop. Also, avoid using foreign objects such as keys, hairpins, or paper clips to scratch your ears, as they can push earwax deeper, irritate the skin, and even cause injury.
2. Use a swimming cap or earplugs
If you are more prone to ear infections, there are measures you can take. Consider wearing a swimming cap to keep water out of your ears. Trying comfortable earplugs is another option. Consult your doctor or physician for additional precautions that may be suitable for you.
3. Keep your ears dry using a blow-dryer
After leaving the water, ensure that you dry your ears thoroughly by tilting your head and cleaning them with a towel. Tilt your head and pull the earlobe in different directions to help water escape safely. If you still feel like there’s water in your ear at home, you can use a blow-dryer on low speed and low heat to dry them.
Have you had an ear infection before? If yes, how long did it take to get better? Did you see a doctor, or did you use over-the-counter treatments?