What is an ear infection, anyway? We’ve probably all had one at one point or another, usually when we were small children. An ear infection happens when a cold, throat infection, or even an allergy leads to fluid build-up in the middle ear. The symptoms include aching ears and a gooey, yellowish, thick fluid coming out of the ears. They’re not pleasant to have or to look at. An ear infection is technically referred to as acute otitis media.
Most ear infections clear up without any intervention, and treatment might be as simple as pain management and observation of the problem. Ear infections that take hold in infants, or ear infections that are particularly severe, may require antibiotic treatment. Let’s look at ten specific signs to notice an ear infection early. The sooner you can spot the problem, the sooner you can get treatment.
Earache is the most common symptom of an ear infection. In fact, when we think of an ear infection, we often think of earache. We all remember being little kids and having that earache in our ear. An earache can be either a sudden, sharp pain or more like a continuous, dull pain. You might have both, and that’s no fun. It can alternate.
One minute it feels like its stabbing and sharp, and another minute it feels dull and just seems to go on and on and on. You might even feel a sharp stabbing pain inside your ear and then warm drainage coming out of the inner ear canal.
This can be kind of scary. If the sharp stabbing pain isn’t enough, you actually see warm fluid streaming out of your ear. That’s a good time to go to a doctor and see if you need antibiotics.