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Ear Infection in Adults: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis

While ear infections are more common among children, adults too can get them. Symptoms of being infected in adulthood tend to be more severe and can sometimes signal a serious illness. To understand how you can get ear infections, we first need to understand the basic types of infections that can cause them. These include: bacterial, viral, and fungal. But it’s not always easy to pinpoint what type of infection you have.


There are three main types of ear infections. The inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear infections correspond to the different parts of the human ear.

A condition diagnosed as an inner ear infection may be a case of inflammation, with symptoms including pain in the ears.
sudden hearing loss
Rarely, inner ear trouble may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as meningitis.

A middle ear infection is also known as otitis media. The fluid, or pus, which causes the infection gets trapped behind the eardrum. This may cause it to bulge and the person will experience an earache with this condition. Along with feeling fullness in their ear, they may also notice pain while chewing or swallowing. 

Ear Infection in Adults Symptoms

Otitis media can come with a fever. You will also have trouble hearing until the infection has cleared. If you experience any fluid draining from your ear, it could be a sign that you have developed a middle ear infection. If this happens, don’t worry: the condition is generally manageable and can heal on its own.

Out of all your ears, the outer ear is the one that sticks out from your head and extends over to where you can put in a plug. An outer ear infection is also known as otitis externa. The outer ear has a few important symptoms:


The type of ear infection you have will determine the type of treatment. In many cases of middle and outer ear infections, antibiotics are necessary. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is unlikely that you would only be recommended to take them orally. Others can be applied directly to the site of the infection. Certain medications for pain can also offer additional relief. If you have a viral infection, there’s nothing that needs to be done out of the ordinary–you may simply need to tend to any irritation on your ear and wait for the infection to resolve itself. Depending on the type of virus involved, more specialized treatments may sometimes be necessary.


To avoid an ear infection, make sure to dry your ears out thoroughly after swimming or taking a shower. If you smoke, smoking can sometimes increase the risk of getting an infection. And if you’re allergic to something, in particular, try avoiding it by all means possible. Every time your hands come into contact with something, wash them. It is also a good idea to limit contact with people who have colds or other respiratory problems. Make sure your vaccines are up to date.

The medicines and tips offered by Knoll Healthcare can help you fight ear infections.

Also read: 5 Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine

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