Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Types Anatomy

Infected Ear Overview

Another name for Infected Ear is Ear Infection.

What is an ear infection?
A person with an ear infection has inflammation of the ear, caused by an infection by a bacterium, virus or fungus. Ear infection is a general term that could mean otitis media (middle ear infection), otitis externa (ear canal infection), or cellulitis of the ear.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Symptoms depend on the type of ear infection. All ear infections cause ear pain, but otitis externa also causes an ear discharge and swelling of the ear canal. Cellulitis of the external ear causes the skin on the ear to become red, swollen and tender.

How does the doctor treat an ear infection?
Treatment depends on the type of ear infection. Otitis media and cellulitis of the external ear are treated with oral antibiotics, while otitis externa is often treated with antibiotic eardrops.

Continue to Infected Ear Types

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Infected Ear References
  1. Aronovitz GH. Antimicrobial therapy of acute otitis media: review of treatment recommendations. Clin Ther. 2000 Jan;22(1):29-39. [10688388]
  2. Asher E, Leibovitz E, Press J, Greenberg D, Bilenko N, Reuveni H. Accuracy of acute otitis media diagnosis in community and hospital settings. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Apr;94(4):423-8. [16092455]
  3. Bhandary S, Karki P, Sinha BK. Malignant otitis externa: a review. Pac Health Dialog. 2002 Mar;9(1):64-7. [12737420]
  4. Butler CC, van der Linden MK, MacMillan HL, van der Wouden JC. Should children be screened to undergo early treatment for otitis media with effusion? A systematic review of randomized trials. Child Care Health Dev. 2003 Nov;29(6):425-32. [14616899]
  5. McCoy SI, Zell ER, Besser RE. Antimicrobial prescribing for otitis externa in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2):181-3. [14872192]
  6. Pappas DE, Owen Hendley J. Otitis media. A scholarly review of the evidence. Minerva Pediatr. 2003 Oct;55(5):407-14. [14608264]
  7. Roland PS, Pien FD, Schultz CC, et al; Ciprodex Otic AOE Study Group. Efficacy and safety of topical ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone versus neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone for otitis externa. Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 Aug;20(8):1175-83. [15324520]
  8. van Balen FA, Smit WM, Zuithoff NP, Verheij TJ. Clinical efficacy of three common treatments in acute otitis externa in primary care: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2003 Nov 22;327(7425):1201-5. [14630756]
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