Other ear problems

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often described as 'ringing in the ear.' It can affect one or both ears and may be due to several causes, including damage to hearing or a build-up of wax. Avoiding the build-up of ear wax can help prevent tinnitus, as can avoiding exposure to loud noise. If tinnitus occurs, it's important to talk to your doctor in order to establish the cause.

Ear Infections

Outer ear infection or Otitis externa: An inflammatory condition of the outer ear canal, which can have a variety of causes. It can be extremely painful and hearing may be affected. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you have ear pain or inflammation.

Middle ear infections or Otitis media: these are common in infants and young children and can be acute or chronic:

  • Acute otitis media is usually short lasting, and often follows a cold. The symptoms are severe earache and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting or loss of sleep.
  • Chronic otitis media is less painful but can last longer. It can result from a burst eardrum which hasn't healed completely.
  • Glue ear (Otitis media with effusion) results from chronic inflammation of the middle ear and an accumulation of fluid. It is common but often goes unrecognised, due to a lack of obvious symptoms. The usual feature is hearing loss. It's important to have this checked in order to get appropriate treatment and to rule out other problems.
  • If you suspect an ear infection, you should take your child to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

For more useful information, check the NHS website