Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the health care provider. The most common type of ear infection is called otitis media. It is caused by swelling and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum. An acute ear infection starts over a short period and is painful. Ear infections that last a long time or come and go are called chronic ear infections. The eustachian tube runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. Normally, this tube drains fluid that is made in the middle ear.
Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection) in Adults
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Ear infections are not as common in adults as they are in children, although they can be more serious. The symptoms of ear infections in adults should be closely monitored and diagnosed by a doctor to avoid any complications. Certain situations and actions put some people more at risk for ear infections than others. However, there are several useful steps that can be taken towards prevention and treatment. Learn more about them in this article. The ear is a complicated part of the body, made up of several different chambers. Ear infections can strike in any one of these chambers and cause various symptoms. Infections are most common in the middle ear and outer ear.
What is a middle ear infection?
Back to Health A to Z. Ear infections are very common, particularly in children. You do not always need to see a GP for an ear infection as they often get better on their own within 3 days. Some otoscopes blow a small puff of air into the ear. This checks for blockages, which could be a sign of an infection.
An ear infection sometimes called acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment may begin with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Sometimes, antibiotics are used to clear the infection. Some people are prone to having multiple ear infections.