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Ear infections (repeated and chronic)

Definition: ear infections are mainly seen in children compared to adults.  Usually the patient has to get a severe cold or flu first before an ear infection occurs.

Symptoms/possible causes: ear infections follow colds and the flu and sudden ear pain is the first and worst symptom.  The ear can rupture and drain, and that helps decrease the pain. Hearing loss is always noted.

Possible course of treatment: antibiotics are the first treatment given, and can be given for one to two months.   If the fluid behind the ear drum does not resolve, putting a tube in the ear is the only other treatment. For this treatment, children need to be put to sleep with general anesthesia, but adults can be awake to have a tube put in the ear in the office with local anesthesia.

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