Ear Infection Overview
Infection can affect the ear canal (otitis externa), the eardrum, or the middle ear (otitis media). Most ear injuries are caused by pressure changes during direct injury (such as a blow to the ear) or sport scuba diving, but, a persistently painful ear may signal an infection that requires treatment. Because an ear scope (otoscope) may not be available to examine the canal and inner ear in remote locations, starting therapy may be appropriate until a doctor can be reached.
Ear Infection Symptoms
Symptoms of ear infection include:
Symptoms may follow a respiratory infection such as the common cold.
Discharge from the ear canal is often caused by the infection known as swimmer's ear (otitis externa). A painful ear with decreased hearing is often the result of otitis media, an middle ear infection.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2014
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