CommunityHealth Fix


Chronic Ear Infection – When to see an ENT

Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-26 13:34:29-04

An ear infection, or otitis media, occurs when the Eustachian tube, which is the passage from the back of the nose to the space behind the eardrum, becomes blocked by inflammation or infection. In some cases, chronic ear infection, meaning those that are recurring or persistent, can become a serious problem.

Symptoms of an ear infection
  • Ear pain or discomfort
  • Pressure in the ear
  • Discharge from ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in ear
Chronic ear infections may show less severe symptoms in the beginning stages. Also, symptoms may be continuous or intermittent.
When to see an ENT
  • Hearing impairment
  • Persistent earache
  • Balance problems/dizziness
  • Recurring ear infections
  • Infection symptoms that move outside of the ear

Common treatment options

  • Antibiotics
  • Pain management with OTC pain medication
  • OTC or prescription ear drops for pain
  • Warm salt water gargling
  • Apply warm compress to affected ear
  • Minimize risk factors
  • Surgery: This may be a treatment option in severe cases