Ear infections

Inner & outer ear infections

Ear infections often develop when a cold or other viral infection fills the inner ear with mucus, & happen more frequently in children than in adults.
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Ear infections usually fall either into the category of Otitis media, which is an infection of the inner ear, or Otitis externa, which is an infection of the ear canal.
Symptoms of Otitis media include earache, fever, difficulty hearing, & in extreme cases, a perforated eardrum.
Symptoms of Otitis externa include pain, itching, discharge, & difficulty hearing. You may also experience swollen glands in the neck & behind the ear.

Causes

There is a space behind the eardrum in the middle ear that is usually filled with air. This space connects the throat with the ears, & contains three small bones which conduct sound from the eardrum into the inner ear. During a common cold or other similar infection, this space can become filled with fluid or pus & inflame, causing swelling which can impede draining. The build-up of fluid means the germs become trapped in the space, sometimes leading to an ear infection.
Ear infections can also be caused by swimming, skin conditions such as eczema, treatments for clearing ear wax, inserting cotton buds into the ear, or by allergies.

Symptoms

Pain, itching, discharge, & difficulty hearing. You may also experience swollen glands in the neck & behind the ear.

What to do next?

If you are experiencing symptoms of an ear infection, please come & speak to a doctor who can examine you & prescribe any necessary treatment. Use our online booking system, or give us a call to book your appointment.

020 7323 1023
Harley Street Area, W1
020 7101 0355
City of London, EC3