Like the rest of your body, your ears can suffer from viral and bacterial infections. Ear infections can affect your inner and outer ear, but they most often appear in your middle ear. A condition that appears commonly in children, ear infections can cause a variety of symptoms. Along with the other discomforts that may accompany your ear infection, you can experience a ringing sound in your ears. While some instances of ear infections and ringing in the ears clear up naturally, others require medical intervention.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, as many as 75 percent of children experience middle ear infections, known as otitis media. Most common in infants between the ages of 6 and 11 months, ear infections can also occur in older children and adults. Ringing in the ears often accompanies this type of infection.
Several conditions can lead to ear infections. A respiratory infection, including the common cold, can spread from the throat or sinuses into the ears. Feeding infants in a prone position may increase their chances of developing an ear infection. Allergies that cause swelling and drainage can also prompt the onset of an ear infection.
Known as tinnitus, ringing in the ears often accompanies infections of the middle ear. The noise may sound like a buzzing or other auditory disturbance, rather than ringing. Other symptoms that can appear during an ear infection include headache, sore throat and nasal congestion. A young child may cry and pull on his ears, signaling the possibility of an ear infection.
While ear infections can promote a ringing in the ears, other conditions may also cause this symptom. Meniere’s disease, acoustic neuromas, impacts to the head and growths inside the ear can also disrupt the ear’s normal functions and cause a variety of symptoms, including ringing noises.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear up an ear infection in you or your child. He may also suggest you use a warm compress to relieve the symptoms, as well as taking pain relievers and allergy medication. If basic measures do not clear up the infection, your child may require a surgery to place drainage tubes through his eardrums. These tubes normally fall out as your child grows.
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