Ear Infections – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Ear infections are usually mild conditions, but can sometimes point to severe complications, especially for adults.
Ear Infection Symptoms Causes and Treatment
Ear Infections – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments 2

What Is an Ear Infection? 

They are infections of the ear and its canal. Typically, ear infections are more prevalent among children than adults. However, adults too are susceptible to these infections. The problem with adult ear infections is that they can sometimes point to a more serious underlying problem. Therefore, as an adult, take a keen look at your symptoms when you have an ear infection.

Symptoms of Ear Infections in Adults 

When considering the symptoms of an ear infection can point to either the inner, middle, or outer part of the ear. The symptoms are different for the varying parts. The common symptoms of ear infections in adults include the following:

  1. Earache – adults experience different aches, including sharp, dull, sudden, or continuous pain.
  2. Itching of the ear or its canal
  3. Difficulty hearing in one or both ears
  4. Ear discharge – the draining can either be blood, clear fluid, or pus leaking from the ear canal.
  5. Ringing in the ear
  6. Vertigo
  7. Nausea and vomiting
  8. High fever
  9. Change in hearing or hearing loss – for severe ear infections.
  10. Paralysis on one or both sides of your face

What Causes Ear Infections in Adults? 

Various factors can be linked to ear infections in adults, depending on the part of the ear that is affected. The causes can either result from bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. They include the following:

  1. Respiratory problems like the common cold
  2. Meningitis – is particularly for inner ear infections.
  3. Damaged eardrum – the eardrum bulges when fluid is trapped behind it.
  4. Swimming or bathing – these activities can leave water in your ear, conducive for bacteria to infect the outer ear.
  5. Fingers or other objects in your ear – can irritate or scratch the lining, inviting bacterial infection.
  6. Seasonal allergies – although they are more common among children, adults too can suffer from seasonal allergies, increasing the risk of ear infections.

What Is the Quickest Way to Treat an Ear Infection? 

Whether you are dealing with a severe or mild ear infection, an antibiotic is the quickest way to resolve the condition. However, get the right prescription from a doctor in Houston urgent care after a comprehensive diagnosis. Besides, the underlying cause of the infection sheds more light on the best treatment remedy for your ear infection. Sometimes all you need are eardrops for ear infections.

How Long Does It Take for an Ear Infection to Heal Without Antibiotics? 

If you are worried about how long it takes for an ear infection to heal without antibiotics, you already need Houston urgent care treatment at Neumed Modern Urgent Care. You cannot sit still when you have an underlying infection that can spread and worsen with time. Typically, a mild ear infection should take between 2 and 3 days to resolve on its own. However, patients with severe symptoms need urgent care near them to curb the disease before it worsens. It may take 7 to 14 days to resolve a severe case when you take ear infection treatment seriously. Besides, you cannot determine the severity of your infection by yourself.

Other Treatment Alternatives for Ear Infections 

Your ear doctor will recommend treatment after evaluating the underlying cause of your infection. Available treatments for ear infections include the following:

  1. Medicine – your doctor can prescribe antibiotics, decongestants, nasal steroids, or an antihistamine. These are effective if the case of your infection is an allergy or a respiratory problem. You may also need pain relievers for the aching.
  2. Draining the ears – sometimes, the doctor will guide you to drain your ears. One way is by squeezing your nose with your mouth closed, then gently exhaling. It builds air in your ears that prompt the eustachian tubes to drain any fluids.
  3. Surgery – doctors will only recommend this measure for severe ear infections in the inner canal.

Preventive Protocols for Ear Health

Some of the ways to prevent ear infections as an adult are:

  1. Drying your ears properly after bathing or swimming.
  2. Taking vaccinations accordingly.
  3. Managing your allergies by avoiding triggers.
  4. Quitting smoking.
  5. Observe good hygiene to avoid catching colds.


The NeuMed blog is published by NeuMed Modern Urgent Care + IV Therapy, an innovative urgent care and IV infusion therapy clinic with locations in Houston, Texas.

Any general advice posted on our blog, or website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.