Chronic Ear Infections: Causes and Treatment

chronic ear infectionsAn ear infection is caused by fluid or bacteria trapped in your middle ear. When someone repeatedly gets an ear infection, or their ear infection seems to clear up and come back again, it is known as chronic otitis media, or chronic middle ear infection.

At Del Rey, MD, patients with this issue receive expert care from an experienced ENT who can find the underlying cause for their symptoms. Before you can treat an ear infection successfully, it’s important to understand what causes these chronic ear infections.

Chronic Ear Infection Causes

Middle-ear infections are caused by fluid building up in the eustachian tube, a passage that runs from the middle ear to the throat. There are several possible causes of chronic or repeat ear infections, including:

  • Untreated sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • A bacterial infection
  • Viruses like the cold or influenza
  • Repeat upper respiratory infection
  • Ear trauma

Chronic ear infections are more common among infants due to their developing immune systems and higher susceptibility to infection. Their smaller eustachian tubes are also in a more horizontal position than adults’.

Treatment Options

Chronic or long-lasting ear infections indicate a deeper problem that likely needs professional care to fully resolve. Reaching out to an ENT can help find the right solution for you. Possible treatments include:

Antibiotic Medication

If the doctor can determine your ear infection is caused by a bacterial infection, they may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help the immune system fight off the infection-causing bacteria and heal.

Ear Drops

Ear drops can help soothe pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve fluid drainage. This is easy to do at home and can be a good solution for patients who have not seen improvement waiting for symptoms to abate on their own.

Allergy Management

Patients whose chronic ear infections are caused by allergies can benefit from personalized treatment to get their symptoms under control, reduce inflammation, and decrease their chance of infection.

Surgical Treatment

In severe cases, the ENT may recommend patients receive a surgical procedure called bilateral myringotomy to reduce the frequency and severity of chronic ear infections.

Schedule an ENT Appointment Today

If over-the-counter pain relief and at-home remedies do not work, it’s best to seek out the care of a knowledgeable ENT near you. Del Rey, MD provides treatment for chronic ear infections to patients throughout Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Long Beach, CA. Please contact Del Rey, MD, today at (310) 823-4444 to schedule an appointment.

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