Ear infections are a common disorder suffered by most people at some point. The can vary in severity often the first person to see would be the local GP however when symptoms persist it may be worth a referral to an ENT Consultant for them to investigate.
Ear infections are commonly found in the ear canal or the middle ear, in the space behind the ear drum.
Common symptoms associated with ear infections are:
- Ringing in the ear
Occasionally the inner ear can be affected by an infection which will usually cause severe dizziness and sometimes difficulty hearing.
Sometimes ear infections can be the sign of serious underlying ear disease – especially if any associated discharge is particularly smelly.
The Consultant will have the facilities to clean out the ear canal thoroughly using a microscope and suction machine. This allows a detailed assessment of the ear canal and ear drum and often just the procedure of cleaning the infected debris from the ear canal will allow the infection to settle.
Ear pain can be a common symptom of ear infections; however pain in the ear may not always be from the ear itself but from one of the structures surrounding the ears. Simple tests can be undertaken to ascertain the exact cause and then a suitable treatment can be chosen.