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James David Hearing Care – Hartlepool’s leading ear wax removal specialist

Middle ear infections (Otitis media) and what you can do to help

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Middle ear infection

Middle ear infections are a common condition that occurs when the middle ear becomes inflamed or infected and can be incredibly painful. It is most commonly seen in children, but adults can also develop it. Otitis media can have several effects on the ear, including hearing loss, earwax buildup, and tinnitus.

Hearing Loss

One of the most common effects of otitis media on the ear is hearing loss. This is because the inflammation in the middle ear can cause a buildup of fluid that interferes with the movement of the eardrum and the tiny bones in the middle ear. As a result, individuals may experience a decrease in hearing and difficulty understanding speech.

Earwax Removal

Otitis media can also lead to a buildup of earwax. This is because the inflammation in the middle ear can cause the skin to produce more earwax, which can then become impacted and block the ear canal. This buildup can exacerbate hearing loss and other symptoms of otitis media.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, can also be a side effect of otitis media. This is because the inflammation in the middle ear can cause pressure changes in the ear, leading to the perception of sound when there is no external noise present. While tinnitus is not usually a serious condition, it can be annoying and disruptive to daily life.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for individuals with otitis media who are experiencing effects on their ears. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat the infection and reduce inflammation in the middle ear. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be effective in reducing pain and discomfort.

In cases where hearing loss or earwax buildup is a concern, individuals may need to undergo earwax removal or even surgery to correct any structural issues in the middle ear.

You can find out a little more in our ‘How to manage an ear infection’ page.

Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to otitis media. To reduce your risk of developing the condition, it is important to maintain good ear hygiene, avoid smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and receive recommended vaccinations.

In conclusion, otitis media can have several effects on the ear, including hearing loss, earwax buildup, and tinnitus. It is important for individuals to be aware of these potential complications and seek treatment when necessary to maintain their ear health. By following the appropriate treatment plan and taking steps to prevent the condition from developing, you can reduce the impact of otitis media on your ears and reduce your recovery time.

Still concerned about your hearing?

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You can find the NHS link with further info on ear infections here.