Ear Home > Ear Infection Symptoms

Common ear infection symptoms in infants can include unusual irritability, difficulty sleeping, tugging or pulling at one or both ears, and fever. When an adult develops an ear infection, he or she may develop symptoms such as ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness, or a feeling of blockage in the ear.

Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection: An Overview

Otitis media is an ear infection or inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media is more commonly referred to as an ear infection or middle ear infection). This inflammation often begins when infections that cause sore throats, colds, or other respiratory or breathing problems spread to the middle ear. These can be viral or bacterial infections.
Ear infections in children are often difficult to detect because most children with symptoms do not yet have sufficient speech and language skills to tell someone what is bothering them.

Common Infant Ear Infection Symptoms

Common symptoms of an ear infection in children include:
  • Unusual irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tugging or pulling at one or both ears
  • Fever
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Loss of balance
  • Unresponsiveness to quiet sounds or other signs of hearing difficulty (such as sitting too close to the television or being inattentive).
A child with an ear infection may exhibit any of these symptoms.

Common Symptoms in Adults

Ear infections are less common in adults. When symptoms do occur in adults, they can include:
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • Ear pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Feeling of blockage in the ear
  • Dizziness.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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