An ear infection, especially an inner ear infection, can have a variety of symptoms. Some of the most common indicators of an ear infection include a persistent ache in the ear, inability to sleep, dizziness, fever, leakage from the ears, balance problems, decreased ability to hear clearly, and nausea. Outer ear infections are often very obvious, as they result in swollen red skin on the ear's exterior. These symptoms may be sporadic but are usually persistent until the infection is treated.
Ear infections are the result of either a virus or a bacteria. An ear infection caused by bacteria is often treated with antibiotics. However, antibiotics can't clear up a viral ear infection. Non-severe ear infections may not require any medication at all. People with chronic ear infections may eventually need a surgical procedure to correct the underlying issue that causes the chronic infections.
Ear lavage, also known as ear irrigation, is an effective way to keep the ears clean and healthy. This treatment is done on healthy ears and can prevent ear infections from occurring in the future. Before an ear lavage, Dr. Karns will check the ears to determine what type of buildup exists. If waxy buildup is the issue, Dr. Karns will do the lavage procedure with a tool that is similar to a syringe. This tool will send a water and saline mixture directly into the area where the waxy buildup exists. This quickly flushes out the extra wax and leaves the ear canal clean and healthy. It is especially important that any ear lavage is performed only by a physician. When ear irrigation is improperly attempted at home, it could result in damage to the ear, including ear infections.
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