Ear Infections in North Texas

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What is an ear infection?

An ear infection (acute otitis media) is a bacterial or viral disorder of the middle ear. The central section of the ear sits just behind the eardrum and contains tiny vibrating bones. When an ear infection occurs, patients can experience pain, dizziness, trouble with their balance, hearing loss, and uncomfortable pressure. While an ear infection is caused by a bacterium or virus, it's usually brought on by an illness, such as a cold, flu, or allergy. In the U.S., ear infections are one of the top reasons for children visiting a physician. But, this type of infection can affect adults as well. If you suspect an ear infection is the culprit of your or your child's pain, call Cross Timbers ENT in Midlothian, Mansfield, or Arlington, TX. 

What is an outer ear infection?

Also known as swimmer's ear or otitis externa, an outer ear infection can cause pain, itching, redness of the ear canal, and discharge from the ear. Typically, this infection is caused by water in the ear, which can contribute to the growth of unwanted bacteria within the ear. If not properly treated, an outer ear infection can spread to other areas of the ear and cause additional issues. Most often, eardrops are the first treatment provided to help eradicate the infection.

What is a Middle Ear Infection?

Medically referred to as acute otitis media, a middle ear infection affects the space behind the eardrum that contains the small bones of the ear. Not only can this type of infection lead to pain, but it can also affect your overall hearing. There are many causes for a middle ear infection, including pressure in the ear and fluid build-up. Typically, a middle ear infection can be properly treated with antibiotics; however, in some cases, ear tubes may be recommended for recurrent infections in children.

How are ear infections treated?

At Cross Timbers ENT, our skilled physicians will perform a physical exam of your ears to determine the underlying cause. Since ear infections are usually the result of a bacterial contaminant, they are typically treated with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your infection, type, symptoms, and age, prescription medication will vary. On average, most patients will experience relief once they have completed the prescribed treatment regimen. If your ear infection does not go away after finishing your course of antibiotics or antivirals, other treatments may be discussed. If you, or your child, are suffering from recurring middle ear infections, we will consider placing ear tubes to prevent the infection from happening so frequently.

Ear Infections FAQ

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

  • Ear pain or pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Fluid drainage from the ear
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Fever
  • Ear popping

What causes an ear infection?

Most ear infections are caused by viruses and bacteria that are brought on by allergies or an illness like the flu or a cold.

Do ear infections go away on their own?

Yes, most ear infections will go away on their own. Only about 20% of ear infections require medication, typically antibiotics.

When should I see the doctor for an ear infection?

If you or your child experience an earache for three days or more with worsening symptoms, it's typically recommended to schedule a doctor visit. If the symptoms include a sudden fever, personality changes, seizure, difficulty moving the face, nausea, vomiting, or a knot or swelling behind the ear — you should seek medical attention because it may be a symptom of a more serious issue.

Cure ear infections

Ear infections can be acute or chronic and often cause a lot of discomfort. If you, or your child, are battling a nasty ear infection, call Cross Timbers ENT. Our caring physicians are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating ear infections. We offer locations in Arlington, Midlothian, and Mansfield, TX. 

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