Children are the most susceptible to ear infections, but it can also happen to adults as well. And just like any infection, an ear infection in adults can pose as a serious health condition. For this reason, if you’re entirely sure that you are suffering from an ear infection, it’s important you familiarize yourself with key symptoms.
24 Hour Docs has listed below common symptoms that are associated with an ear infection.
Symptoms of Ear Infection In Adults
Your ears have three main parts: an inner, an outer, and a middle.
Any of these parts can get infected, but the symptoms vary depending on which part has the infection.
Infection in the Inner Ear
Generally, when a medical professional says the term “inner ear infection”, they are referring to the inflammation in the inner ear. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the affected ear
Any inflammation or infection in the inner ear may be a sign of meningitis or some other serious condition.
Infection in the Outer Ear
Also known as otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear, an outer ear infection in adults usually starts as an itchy rash. Symptoms include:
- Redness and/or swelling in the ear
- A feeling of tenderness in the ear
- Pain in the ear
Infection in the Middle Ear
When fluids get trapped behind the eardrum, it causes the eardrum to swell, leading to a condition called otitis media or middle ear infection. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the affected ear
- A sense of fullness in the affected ear
- Trouble in hearing
A little bit of pain in the ear is typically nothing to worry about. If all you are feeling is an earache, you may want to wait 1-2 days before seeing a doctor. But if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms as well, don’t delay in speaking to a doctor.
When children get an ear infection, it mostly goes away on its own. However, an ear infection in adults is almost always a sign of something more serious if it lasts more than a couple of days.
What Causes an Ear Infection In Adults?
An outer ear infection usually occurs due to the presence of moisture in your ear, providing a thriving environment for harmful bacteria. This is why an outer ear infection is also called “swimmer’s ear” as the infection can occur after swimming or even bathing.
A middle ear infection often occurs after recovering from a flu or a respiratory ailment. So, if you are someone who suffers year-round allergies or seasonal allergies, you are at an increased risk for this sort of infection.
Can Ear Infection Be A Sign Of COVID-19?
Ear infection and coronavirus have similar symptoms, such as headaches and fever. But besides those two, ear infections are not a common symptom of COVID-19. If you are displaying signs of an ear infection, it is highly unlikely that you have contracted the novel coronavirus.
Contact 24 Hour Docs To Talk To An Ear Specialist Today
If you have an ear infection and reside in California, don’t wait too long. At 24 Hour Docs, our team of otolaryngologists or Ear-Nose-and Throat (ENT) doctors is available 24/7 to provide quick medical assistance.