Chronic Ear Infection

An ear infection, also known as otitis media, is a very common condition that develops as a result of a buildup of fluid in the Eustachian tubes, the tubes which connect the eardrum to the nose. Patients with an ear infection may experience earache, hearing loss, fever, ear discharge, headache and dizziness.

Most ear infections go away on their own within two or three days. But some patients may experience chronic ear infections, which involve long-term damage to the middle ear from frequent infection and inflammation. To diagnose a chronic ear infection, your doctor will examine the affected ear. In some cases, hearing tests are performed and a sample of ear fluid may be taken to check for the presence of bacteria.

Chronic ear infection treatment may include antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection and steroids to reduce swelling. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may be necessary to remove tissue or bone that has become infected, repair damage to the middle ear bones, repair a hole in the eardrum or place ventilation tubes to prevent fluid from accumulating again.

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