Ear infections, medically known as otitis media, means inflammation of the middle ear. During an episode, infected fluid fills the usually air-filled space behind the eardrum. Symptoms include ear pain, fever, irritability, and decreased hearing. In many cases, ear infections are limited and clear up without complication, however, for recurring infections or ones that are extremely painful, we recommend making an appointment with our office. If a child suffers from more than 3 ear infections in six months or 4 in a year, they may be a candidate for ear tube placement.
Ear pain can present itself in one or both ears and can be dull, sharp, or burning. Earaches are more common in children but can occur in adults. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, fever, fullness, itching, drainage, muffled hearing, or ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Temporary earaches are not a concern, however, if your symptoms continue to persist, you should seek treatment immediately.
Earwax blockages are often caused by an overproduction of earwax. Usually, earwax makes its way out of the ear naturally. If you wear hearing aids or earplugs, this can prevent the earwax from coming out of the ear canal, resulting in a blockage. Symptoms of earwax blockage include earaches, clogged ears, muffled hearing, and tinnitus.
To remove excessive earwax, our ENT will have to first perform an ear exam. Then, once he has identified the blockage, he will use a curet to flush or suction the wax out using water.
Our eardrums are thin membranes that separate our ear canal and middle ear. They are delicate, and if traumatized or affected by chronic infection, they could rip or tear. In many cases, a perforated eardrum can be coupled with hearing loss, discharge, and possibly pain if it becomes infected. Perforated eardrums generally heal on their own, although it can take several months to do so. During this time, the ear should be protected from water and any further trauma. If the eardrum does not repair itself, emergency surgery may be needed.
Implantation of small tubes in the eardrums allows built-up fluid to drain out of the middle ear. This procedure is commonly performed on young children who get frequent ear infections. The tubes stay in for up to 18 months and fall out on their own.
What Is Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation?
Many of the current treatment options for eustachian tube dysfunction are limited or invasive, but a newer treatment option using balloon dilation can restore eustachian tube function and relieve symptoms. The ENT Dilation System provides a safe, effective, and less invasive treatment for people with eustachian tube dysfunction.
Benjamin Liess is board certified in ear, nose and throat medicine and surgery. He can surgically correct most ear disorders to help you hear better and more clearly. Patients suffering from congenital defects, injury, or trauma to the ears may seek reconstructive ear surgery to correct cosmetic and medical deformities of the outer ear.
Whether you are seeking information on reconstructive ear surgery for cosmetic purposes or for hearing ability, our ENT specialist can help you.
Cholesteatoma is a congenital defect that produces a mass of skin cells in the middle ear. If the mass grows, it can destroy the middle ear’s bones, resulting in hearing loss or ear infection. Symptoms of this include drainage from the ear, feelings of fullness, hearing loss, earache, and dizziness. It’s important to treat cholesteatoma at the first signs, as it can lead to complications such as:
• Facial paralysis
• Brain abscess
Treatment options for cholesteatoma include antibiotics or eardrops as a first step. Surgery is also commonly used as treatment.