Otalgia is a pain in the ear. The cause of otalgia includes ear infections (both middle and outer ear infections), trauma to the ear, TMJ, referred pain from the throat or teeth. Treatment depends on the cause for the pain. If the patient has an ear infection, antibiotics and pain medications can relieve symptoms. If the pain is referred from teeth or TMJ, antibiotics typically do not have a role in treatment. If ear infections fail to resolve with antibiotics, or recur often, patient may benefit from having tubes placed.
Otitis media is another name for a middle ear infection. Symptoms include fever, earache, hearing loss, and pressure in the ear. It is more often seen in childhood, but can be seen in adults as well. It can be triggered by colds, allergies, sinus infections or other upper respiratory infections. One of the main risk factors for middle ear infections is exposure to second hand smoke. Some ear infections will resolve without antibiotics, and if symptoms are not severe, it is acceptable to simply observe for a while before starting on an antibiotic. Treatment includes antibiotics and if they are recurring, your doctor may suggest ear tubes.
Call Waco Ear, Nose & Throat at (254) 776-7744 for more information or to schedule an appointment.