Adult Ear Infections
While they are less common than ear infections in children, ear infections in adults are possible. Bacteria or viruses that get inside the ear are the most common causes of these infections in adults. Symptoms can include fever, earache, ear pain, hearing loss, feeling of blockage in the ear, and dizziness. In many cases, antibiotics are used to treat the infections.
Otitis media is an ear infection or inflammation of the middle ear. This inflammation often begins when infections that cause sore throats, colds, or other respiratory or breathing problems spread to the middle ear. These infections can be viral or bacterial infections.
Although otitis media is primarily a disease of infants and young children, it can also affect adults.
Otitis media is commonly referred to as a(n):
- Middle ear infection
- Ear infection.
The ear consists of three major parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear includes the pinna -- the visible part of the ear -- and the ear canal. The outer ear extends to the tympanic membrane, or eardrum, which separates the outer ear from the middle ear.
The middle ear is an air-filled space that is located behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three tiny bones: the malleus, incus, and stapes, which transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear.
The inner ear contains the hearing and balance organs. The cochlea contains the hearing organ, which converts sound into electrical signals. These signals are associated with the origin of impulses, which are then carried by nerves to the brain, where their meanings are appreciated.