Ear infections are a common problem, especially for children, but can also occur in adults. If you or your child experience frequent ear infections, a structural issue within your ear, nose, or throat may be the reason. Expert otolaryngologist Ryan Vaughn, MD, and his team at Exhale Sinus and Facial Pain Center located in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Saint Charles, and Schaumburg, Illinois, can evaluate your ears, nose, and throat to determine what may be the cause of your frequent ear infections. For an appointment, call Exhale Sinus and Facial Pain Center or request an appointment online today.
An ear infection, medically referred to as otitis media, specifically means an infection in your middle ear, which is the space behind your eardrum.
You may be able to manage an ear infection with at-home care, but if your ear infection isn’t improving or infections develop frequently, you may require a more comprehensive evaluation from Dr. Vaughn.
Ear infections often develop from a bacteria or virus and may occur after a bout with a cold or flu that causes congestion and swelling in your nose, throat, or eustachian tubes.
The eustachian tubes are narrow passageways that lead from your middle ear to your throat and help drain fluid, as well as regulate air pressure.
If your eustachian tubes are blocked or swollen, the secretions from your middle ear can’t drain, which creates an ideal environment for germs to grow.
Swollen adenoids, which are the pads of tissue found at the back of your throat, can also block the drainage of the eustachian tubes and make you more susceptible to an ear infection.
You can expect a comprehensive examination from Dr. Vaughn when you come in for an evaluation for ear infections. He and his team are patient-focused with a holistic and integrative approach to medicine. He takes the time to thoroughly understand your concerns so he can provide the most effective treatment.
During the evaluation, Dr. Vaughn reviews your symptoms and medical history and evaluates your ears, nose, and throat. Be sure to let Dr. Vaughn know all of your symptoms, as ear infections tend to involve your ears feeling “stuffed” or full, and any signs of congestion.
Treatment for your ear infections depends on the results of your examination, as well as the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Initially, Dr. Vaughn may suggest pain medication and/or an antibiotic.
If needed, he can also perform a procedure to suction the fluid out of the ears and then place tubes in the ears to assist with the draining process. An alternative to this procedure is balloon dilation of the eustachian tube. This can be done in the office and may allow you to avoid placement of ear tubes by supporting your ear as it resumes its normal drainage.
If you have frequent ear infections, you may benefit from a visit with Dr. Vaughn at Exhale Sinus and Facial Pain Center. Call the office or request an appointment online today.