The ear is divided into three parts: outer, middle, and inner. When an infection develops in the outer ear, it’s called otis externa (swimmer’s ear). When the infection develops in the middle ear, it’s called otis media. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the nasal passages in order to drain fluid from the ears and equalize pressure between outside and inside of the body, but when fluid or mucous builds up in the Eustachian tube, it is an easy target for infection.
Symptoms of an ear infection may include:
- Ear pain.
- Drainage from the ear that is thick and yellow or bloody. If this occurs, the eardrum has probably ruptured.
- Discomfort or trouble sleeping.
- Trouble hearing.
- Popping, ringing, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. Children often have trouble describing this feeling. Children may rub their ears trying to relieve pressure.
- Balance problems and dizziness.