Bacteria, viruses, or even fungi can cause infectious ear diseases. Otolaryngologist and neurotologist Ricardo Cristobal, MD, PhD, FACS, at Texas Ear Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, diagnoses and treats ear infections with medications, antibiotics, and, when required, surgery. If you or your child has an ear infection or suffers from them chronically, contact the office today to set up an appointment. You can also use this website to book a visit.
Your ear has three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Any part of the ear can become infected by viruses, bacteria, or fungi.
There are many types of ear infections, so symptoms depend on the type. Suspect an infectious ear disease if you experience:
Ear infections may develop along with an upper respiratory tract infection.
Common types of infectious ear disease include:
Otitis externa is an infection of the ear canal. It’s usually bacterial in nature and common to swimmers. The infection may show up as one-sided pain and tenderness of the outer ear. Antibiotics can help clear up the infection.
This type of ear infection usually affects immunocompromised people, such as people with poorly controlled diabetes or HIV/AIDS. The infection may start in the ear canal but can progress to involve the temporal bones and skull base. Treatment includes antibiotics and, in rare cases, surgery to remove damaged tissue.
This middle ear infection is caused by bacteria that reach the ear through the eustachian tube, which connects to the sinuses. Otitis media usually causes ear pain and fever. Treatment is usually with antibiotics or ear drops.
If a person develops chronic otitis media, they have pain and fluid accumulation lasting more than three months. Usually, it’s due to a malfunctioning Eustachian tube. Surgical implantation of tubes to help drain fluid better can resolve the issue.
This condition describes an accumulation of dead tissue within the middle ear space. You might experience dizziness, hearing loss, drainage, and hearing loss. Surgical removal is usually needed to clear out the excess tissue.
Mastoiditis is inflammation usually associated with the mastoid cells located behind the ear. Mastoiditis is a complication of a middle ear infection and can be life-threatening if not treated.
Mastoiditis is rare but requires surgical treatment.
Call Texas Ear Clinic to schedule an appointment if you suspect you or a loved one has an infectious ear disease. You can also schedule via this website.