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Children are most often affected by ear infections. We look at the signs of ear infection and how it can be treated.
Middle ear infections (otitis media) can produce symptoms such as earache, deafness, high temperature and possibly blood and pus coming from the ear if the eardrum has burst. If a middle ear infection is coming back repeatedly or an eardrum is taking a long time to heal, it may be necessary to operate.
Outer ear infections (otitis externa) generate symptoms such as itching, pain, dulled hearing and discharge coming from the ear.
For the treatment of outer ear infections, if antibiotics or eardrops have not been successful, you may require wax to be syringed from your ear so that ear drops will be more effective, or an ear wick, which is where a soft gauze covered in medication is inserted into your ear, in order to gain direct contact with the infected area. This will usually be carried out by a specialist in hospital, who will need to change the gauze every few days.
For more severe cases, and where surgery is required, recovery will take longer.
If you require surgery, there is a small element of risk, as there is with all surgery. Your surgeon will discuss this with you in more detail.