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Can Vomiting Be A Sign Of An Ear Infection?

INDONESIAKININEWS.COM -   It's easy to take our seamless sense of hearing for granted until we are hit with a painful ear infection. Ear...



INDONESIAKININEWS.COM -  
It's easy to take our seamless sense of hearing for granted until we are hit with a painful ear infection. Ear infections, medically referred to as "otitis media," are caused by bacteria entering the middle ear and passing through the Eustachian tube (per BergerHenry ENT Specialty Group). Through the spread of bacteria, fluid accumulates in the middle ear, causing infection and inflammation of the eardrum.

Infections in the middle ear can occur alongside respiratory infections or colds, or they can arise shortly after recovery from these conditions. Additional risk factors for ear infections are spending time in cold climates, having a birth defect, being exposed to smoke, and having a family history of ear infections, as reported by MedlinePlus.

Many of us have a memory from our childhood of a time when we had an ear infection. According to BergerHenry ENT Specialty Group, there's a high prevalence of ear infections in children between the ages of 3 months and 8 years old. Children are so prone to ear infections that 40% of them will experience three or more by the age of 3. 

This is because the Eustachian tubes of children are shorter, more horizontal, and straighter than those of adults, making them more susceptible to ear infections (per Boston Medical Center). Adults can still get ear infections, although they are less common.

Some of the symptoms of an ear infection may surprise you. For example, is vomiting a warning sign that you should look out for?

Is vomiting a symptom of an ear infection?

We all dread those moments when we feel nauseous and have to relieve our discomfort through vomiting, but what do these unpleasant symptoms have to do with ear infections? It turns out that nausea and vomiting can indeed be symptoms of an ear infection. In some cases, they are warning signs of a problem with the ear, although they are often accompanied by other symptoms (per ENTTex). For example, someone experiencing nausea and vomiting due to an ear infection may have problems with their balance and hearing as well.

Because the auditory system and the balance system are interconnected, nausea and vomiting can occur when an ear infection disrupts the signals to the brain that are responsible for balance and coordination (per Pinnacle ENT Associates). According to Blank Children's Hospital, the gastrointestinal tract can be disturbed when someone has an ear infection, which can also trigger nausea and vomiting. 

Along with nausea and vomiting, the National Health Service reports that you should be on the lookout for high fever, trouble hearing, or fluid leaking from the ear if you suspect that you or a loved one has an ear infection. When a child has an ear infection, they may also exhibit behavioral changes. The child could pull and rub on their ear, become agitated, or refuse to eat.

Now that we've covered some of the symptoms of ear infections, let's look at what can be done to treat them. 

How are ear infections diagnosed and treated?

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of an ear infection, it's a good idea to see your doctor for a check-up. During your appointment, an otoscope will be used to examine the affected ear (per WebMD). If the eardrum is red or swollen with fluid behind it, an ear infection is the likely culprit. 

A puffer attached to the otoscope can blow air to see if the eardrum moves, as the presence of fluid in the middle ear will make it difficult for the eardrum to move. A tympanometer is another device that can determine whether fluid is present in the middle ear by using sound and air pressure. 

If fluid is found in the middle ear accompanying symptoms of an ear infection, a diagnosis of an ear infection will typically be made (per Mayo Clinic). After the diagnosis, your doctor can consider which treatment option would be most effective in your unique case. Some ear infections improve on their own and are resolved within two weeks without the need for any treatment. However, a doctor could suggest treatment with antibiotics in some cases. 

To alleviate the pain of an ear infection, it may also be recommended to use over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Advil. More severe and long-lasting infections could require a myringotomy, which is a procedure where the fluid in the middle ear is drained by ear tubes (per WebMD).

writter by: ERIN DEMMER

S: healthdigest.com


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