Earaches

Earaches are a symptom of inflammation of the middle ear usually caused by infection.  While earaches are most common in children, adults can occasionally suffer from earaches in the winter and early spring months. If you experience pain in your ears, it is very important to address the issue.  It is possible for the infection to spread to nearby structures of the head.

Most often, earaches will clear up with proper medication and home treatment. In some cases, however, further treatment may be recommended. Dr. Leeman specializes in surgical procedures such as a myringotomy, which involves a small surgical incision (opening) into the eardrum to promote drainage of fluid and to relieve pain. The incision heals within a few days with practically no scarring or injury to the eardrum. In fact, the surgical opening can heal so fast that it often closes before the infection and the fluid are gone. A ventilation tube can be placed in the incision, preventing fluid accumulation and thus improving hearing.

Otitis media may recur as a result of chronically infected adenoids and tonsils. If this becomes a problem, your doctor may recommend removal of one or both. This can be done at the same time as ventilation tubes are inserted.

Common symptoms in infants and toddlers include:

  • - Ear drainage
  • - Hearing problems
  • - Pulling or scratching the ear
  • - Fever
  • - Crying and irritability
  • - Vomiting

Common symptoms in older children and adults include:

  • - Ear drainage
  • - Feeling of pressure or fullness
  • - Hearing problems
  • - Dizziness or loss of balance
  • - Fever
  • - Nausea and vomiting
 

Frequently Asked Questions