How Serious Are Ear Infections? The most common type of ear infection is otitis media. It occurs when the middle ear swells and is infected. In many cases, the problem will clear up in a short period without requiring medical attention. Yet, in other instances, particularly if the problem is chronic, your ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist will have to consider your options. This is true for all types of ear infections.
The culprit of infection may be a bacteria or a virus. Determining which causes it is important. It will determine what means of treatment your ENT specialist can employ. If you suffer from a bacterial ear infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. This should prove to be effective against the problem. However, if the source of your ear infection is viral, he or she will have to adopt another approach.
If you fail to address an ear infection, the result can be serious problems. Complications can follow what starts out as a simple ear infection. These include:
While it is true that many ear infections disappear in a short time without any indication of damages, it is important to monitor the condition. If you have an earache, make sure you talk to your doctor and follow his or her directions. If it becomes chronic ear infections, talk to an ENT. They are specialists in this field and can provide you with the help you need to ensure your simple ear infection does not evolve into a more serious condition.