Hiatal hernia Hiatal hernia A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through your diaphragm into your chest cavity.
Middle ear infections The middle ear is the area directly behind the eardrum. Middle ear infections are typically caused when bacteria or viruses from the mouth, eyes, and nasal passages get trapped behind the eardrum. The result is pain and a feeling of plugged ears.
Some people may have trouble hearing, as an inflamed eardrum is not as sensitive to sound as it needs to be. There is also a buildup of fluid or pus behind the eardrum, which can make hearing more difficult.
It may feel as if the affected ear is underwater. If the eardrum tears or bursts due to the build of pressure from the infection, fluid may drain from the ear. A fever and general tiredness can also accompany a middle ear infection. Outer ear infections The outer ear extends from the ear canal on the outside of the eardrum to the outer opening of the ear itself.
Outer ear infections can start with an itchy rash on the outside of the ear. The warm, dark ear canal is the perfect place for germs to spread to, and an outer ear infection may be the result. Outer ear infections can also result from irritation or injury to the ear canal from foreign objects, such as cotton swabs or fingernails.
Common symptoms include an ear or ear canal that is painful, swollen, and tender to the touch.
The skin may become red and warm until the infection goes away. Causes and risk factors Ear infections may be caused by viruses or bacteria, and are more common in people with weakened immune systems. Ear infections in adults are typically caused by germs, such as viruses, a fungus, or bacteria.
The way a person becomes infected will often determine the kind of infection they get. People with weakened immune systems or inflammation in the structures of the ear may be more prone to ear infections than others.
Diabetes is another risk factor that can make someone more likely to have ear infections. People with chronic skin conditions, including eczema or psoriasismay be prone to outer ear infections, as well.
Middle ear infections The common cold, fluand allergies can lead to middle ear infections. Other upper respiratory problems, such as sinus or throat infections, can lead to middle ear infections, as the bacteria make their way through the connected passageways and into the eustachian tubes.
The eustachian tubes connect from the ear to the nose and throat and are responsible for controlling the pressure in the ear. Their position makes them easy targets for germs. Infected eustachian tubes can swell and prevent proper drainage, which works toward the symptoms of middle ear infections.
People who smoke or are around smoke may also be more likely to get middle ear infections. Outer ear infections One common outer ear infection is known as swimmer's ear.
People who spend a lot of time in water may be more at risk of developing this type of outer ear infection. Water that sits in the ear canal after swimming or bathing creates a perfect place for germs to multiply.
For this reason, untreated water may be more likely to cause an outer ear infection.
When to see a doctor Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a minor earache may not be a worry.
A doctor should typically be seen if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms occur, such as a fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be seen immediately. Any sign of discharge coming from the ear would also require a visit to the doctor. Diagnosis Doctors need to know a person's medical history to make a proper diagnosis.
They will ask about any symptoms that have occurred, as well as any medications that a person takes.
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The doctor may use an instrument called an otoscope to look at the eardrum and ear canal for signs of infection.Quality Care. Find out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care.
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