Ear infections don’t just affect children. Adults can get them as well.
Ear infections occur because a person’s Eustachian tubes become difficult or impossible to get through, meaning that fluid becomes trapped in part of the ear. These can range in intensity from minor to serious, although both may cause stabbing pain in ear canals.
Minor infections are the most common type, and will often disappear on their own. However, a chronic or recurring ear infection can cause damage to the ear and affect hearing.
How do you know if you have an ear infection, and whether or not it’s a serious one? We’ll talk more about that in the paragraphs below.
1. Stabbing Pain in Ear
We’ve already mentioned that pain is often a symptom of ear infections. However, the pain is not always sudden or intense. It can also be a mild but constant pain.
If the pain is immediately followed by liquid coming out of the ear, that’s another red flag.
Keep in mind that pain in the ear is not necessarily proof of an ear infection. It can be caused by other conditions, such as strep throat or sinus infections. Some causes are as simple as pressure changes resulting in plane rides, and even the use of cotton swabs.
Make sure you’re not overreacting before scheduling a doctor’s visit.
2. Fullness of Ear and Poor Hearing
Does your ear feel like it has a cotton ball shoved in it even though you know it doesn’t? That’s another symptom of an ear infection.
This is because of the Eustachian tube being clogged. In a healthy person, the function of the Eustachian tube is used to expel fluids from the ears by sending them to the throat, where they’re swallowed. This prevents infections by moving harmful bacteria out to other parts of the body before they can breed.
In an infected ear, this tube is swollen or blocked off, so harmful materials are trapped there to infect our ears. Our ears feel full because they are full.
They are also located quite close to the eardrum, and when they swell, they push up against the eardrum, limiting its ability to move. This makes it more difficult for the eardrum to pick up sound.
3. Dizziness, Nausea, and Vomiting
The Eustachian tube is also responsible for regulating our sense of balance. When we can’t balance properly, we often become dizzy. Dizziness can lead to nausea, and nausea can cause vomiting.
Those who have been on the teacup ride at the fair have first-hand experience with this particular domino effect.
Symptoms of Ear Infections
Stabbing pain in ear canals can be a symptom of an ear infection, but it’s not the only symptom. We’ve talked about some of the others in the paragraphs above, but there are a few others. We encourage you to do more research on your own.
If you want more information and advice on various health topics please visit our site. Ear infections aren’t the only kind out there. It’s important to know about upper respiratory infections as well.