Chronic Ear Infection

What are the symptoms?
  • Ear pain
  • Ear itching
  • Decreased hearing
  • Foul-smelling or persistent drainage
What’s going on behind the scenes?
There are two major types of Ear infections: Outer versus middle ear infections.

Outer ear infections (swimmer’s ear)
This is an infection of the skin in the ear canal, which is outside the ear drum. This is usually due to moisture, debris, or trauma to the ear canal. Infection may be caused by bacteria or fungus.

Outer ear infections (swimmer’s ear)
This affects the space deep to the eardrum. This occurs more commonly in children because of eustachian tube dysfunction. In adults, middle ear infection can happen sporadically from a head cold, allergies, nasopharyngeal obstruction. Chronic middle ear infections suggest more pathology like a cholesteatoma (skin cyst) hiding behind the eardrum.
How Tucson ENT can help
Outer ear infections
Oral medications are usually not effective for outer ear infections. The best treatment is careful cleaning of the ear canal using a microscope and application of topical medication.

Middle ear infections
These are best treated with oral antibiotics; sometimes ear tubes are necessary.
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Chronic ear infection