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Ear Infection

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:
    • ear pain,
    • fullness in the ear,
    • hearing loss,
    • ringing in the ear,
    • discharge from the ear,
    • nausea,
    • vomiting , and
    • vertigo.
  • 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.

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Wilderness: Ear Infection - Symptoms

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Otitis Media »

Otitis media (OM) is the second most common disease of childhood, after upper respiratory infection (URI).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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