What causes ear infections?

Ear infections, medically known as otitis media, often occur when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear — the sections of your ear just behind the eardrum. These infections can arise after a cold, throat infection, or allergic reaction, leading to swelling and congestion of the nasal passages, throat, and Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes, small passages that connect the middle ear to the upper throat and back of the nasal cavity, become swollen or blocked, trapping fluids in the middle ear. These trapped fluids can foster the growth of bacteria or viruses, leading to an infection. In children, the Eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal, which makes them more difficult to drain and more prone to getting blocked. 

Doctor looking into a child's ear

Ear infections in children

This anatomical difference is a primary reason why ear infections are more prevalent in children. Environmental factors such as smoke exposure, bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding, and daycare attendance can also increase the risk of ear infections. At Louisiana ENT, we approach each case with an in-depth understanding of these contributing factors, aiming to deliver treatment and prevention strategies for our patients.

Types of ear infections

  • Acute Otitis Media (AOM): This common ear infection involves swelling and infection in the middle ear, causing pain and fluid buildup behind the eardrum. It often occurs quickly and is associated with other symptoms like fever and ear pain.
  • Otitis Media with Effusion (OME): After an initial infection subsides, non-infected fluid may remain in the middle ear for a time, leading to a feeling of fullness in the ear and reduced hearing capability.
  • Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion (COME): In this condition, fluid repeatedly returns to or remains in the middle ear, even without infection, potentially affecting hearing over time and leading to other complications, especially in children.
  • External Otitis (Swimmer’s Ear): This infection affects the outer ear canal and is often related to water exposure or injury to the ear canal. It is characterized by pain, redness, and sometimes discharge.

Each of these conditions is managed with care at Louisiana ENT, where our specialists are dedicated to providing thorough assessments, treatment plans tailored to individual needs, and a comprehensive follow-up to promote healing and prevent future issues.

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How are ear infections treated?

  • Medication: From antibiotics to pain management, we tailor our medication strategies to your specific condition, always aiming for the most minimally invasive solutions first.
  • Surgical interventions: For chronic or severe cases, our board-certified ENT surgeons are skilled in procedures such as myringotomy with tube placement, ensuring long-term relief and prevention of future complications.
  • Preventative strategies: Education is at the forefront of our practice. We provide guidance on infection prevention, including vaccine recommendations and lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • A family-friendly environment: At Louisiana ENT, we ensure a welcoming atmosphere for all our patients, especially the little ones. Our staff is trained to alleviate the fears associated with medical treatment, making your visit as comfortable as possible.

When you choose Louisiana ENT for ear infection treatment, you’re not just getting a medical provider; you’re gaining a health ally. Our patient-first philosophy means that you’ll receive attentive care tailored to your unique needs.

From your first appointment through recovery, you’ll find a team that will listen and respond to your concerns, explain your condition in understandable terms, and provide a clear path to wellness. We pride ourselves on connecting with our patients, ensuring that you and your loved ones leave our clinic feeling heard, cared for, and on the road to better ear health.

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Why Louisiana ENT Specialists for ear infections?

Rooted in the heart of Louisiana, our physicians and staff are not just healthcare providers; they are members of your community. With a profound understanding of the local health needs, we bring a kind and personalized approach to every individual and family we serve. Whether it’s the recurring ear infections common in children or the complex cases often seen in adults, our team has the depth of knowledge to diagnose and treat ear infections across the lifespan.

Utilizing the latest in medical technology, Louisiana ENT offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to accurately identify the type and cause of your ear infection, allowing for targeted and effective treatment plans.

Reach out to us for a same-day appointment.

Don’t let ear infections disrupt your life or affect your child’s health and well-being. Contact Louisiana ENT Specialists today to schedule an appointment and experience the dedicated, high-quality care that has made us a trusted part of Louisiana’s healthcare landscape.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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