When children repeatedly suffer from ear infections, unidentified allergies are often to blame. At Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology in Rancho Mirage and La Quinta, California, Majid Torabi, MD, FACS, and Ryan Salvador, MD, provide children and adults with effective treatments for chronic ear infections. To find the cause of ear infections, call the office or schedule an appointment online at a convenient location near you.
Ear infections, whether viral or bacterial, typically occur behind the eardrum in the middle ear. As the infection develops, it causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the ear, leading to pain.
Common symptoms of ear infections include:
While anyone can develop ear infections, they’re most common in children.
Ear infections are often the result of another illness, like a cold or the flu, which causes swelling or congestion in your throat, nasal passages, or eustachian tubes.
The eustachian tubes run from each of your middle ears into the back of the throat behind your nasal passages. They help refresh the air in your ear, drain normal ear secretions, and regulate pressure.
In many cases, frequent ear infections in children come from undiagnosed allergies. Allergies can create inflammation in your ear that leads to fluid accumulation. When fluid builds up, you’re at risk of decreased hearing and ear infections.
Allergies can also cause symptoms in your ear that include:
When left untreated, recurrent ear infections and fluid buildup can lead to hearing loss.
Your Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology provider uses an instrument called an otoscope to look inside the ear. They check for fluid behind the eardrum, look for redness and inflammation, and test to see if the eardrum moves.
This exam is usually all they need to make a diagnosis. But if they have any doubt or any concern about hearing in the ear, they do other diagnostic tests and a hearing test.
When deciding about the best treatment for an ear infection, Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology considers how long you or your child have had the earache and if you have a fever. In many cases, they manage the pain while taking a wait-and-see approach.
Most ear infections clear up on their own without medication. Allowing time for the infection to heal saves you or your child from taking an antibiotic. After waiting about 48 hours (or less for some children), your provider may go ahead and prescribe an antibiotic.
Though it’s more common in children, anyone who has recurrent ear infections may need temporary ear tubes to prevent fluid from accumulating in the middle ear.
If you or your child need help with an earache or ear infection, call Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology today or book an appointment online.