What Are the Causes of Ear Infections?

Ear infections are a common medical issue that occurs when the space behind the eardrum gets infected. The infection will cause inflammation and fluid buildup in the ear, which leads to several troubling symptoms. An ear infection’s primary symptoms are pain inside the ear, fluid discharge, pressure, and hearing troubles. These symptoms are so distinct that it is easy to know if you are dealing with an infection in the ear.

It is important to seek treatment as soon as you experience these symptoms because prolonged inflammation can cause some severe issues in the future. Permanent hearing loss and tears in the eardrum are just a few of the long-term side effects of an untreated ear infection. While the symptoms are always the same, several different things can cause an ear infection. These are the three primary causes of ear infections.

Common Illnesses

Several common illnesses can cause bacteria to enter the middle ear. The common cold, allergies, and the flu can cause swelling in the nasal passages and Eustachian tubes. This swelling causes fluid to buildup in the middle ear. While it does not always happen, this extra fluid in the middle ear can quickly become infected. Once this happens, you will start to experience the painful symptoms associated with ear infections. Treating the ear infection and your other illness simultaneously is the only way to get back to normal quickly.

Swollen Adenoids

The adenoids are small pieces of tissue located in the back of your nose. The adenoids are used to trap germs before they can reach the rest of the body. Since they are regularly exposed to germs, the adenoids get inflamed regularly. This can disrupt the ear because the adenoids sit right next to the eustachian tubes. Swollen adenoids block the opening of the eustachian tube, which causes fluid buildup in the middle ear. This is far more likely to cause ear infections in children because their adenoids are much larger than adults.

Cigarette Smoke Exposure

The final leading cause of ear infections is exposure to cigarette smoke. Since it contains many harmful chemicals, cigarette smoke easily irritates the ears when it enters the body. The damage is far worse when you are smoking a cigarette, but secondhand smoke is also very harmful to the ears. Prolonged exposure to smoke causes inflammation and swelling in the ears. If this swelling lasts long enough, then you can potentially get an ear infection.

Call Us Today

If you have any questions about the symptoms, causes, and long-term effects of ear infections, do not hesitate to call us. We will be happy to provide you with all the information you need.