What causes ear infections in adults?

What is the most frequent type of ear infections in adults?

Did you know 20% of adults suffer from frequent ear infections? An outer ear infection (also known as otitis externa or swimmer’s ear) is the most common type of ear infection adults suffer from. Outer ear infections are typically caused by moisture in the ear. After a shower or swim, there may still be water left in your ear. Because your ear canal is a warm, moist area, bacterial and fungal growth can occur. An outer ear infection can cause pain, swelling and redness around your ear. If your ear infection was caused by a virus, the symptoms will different, and in fact, more painful. 

 As an adult, you are most likely to develop an ear infection if you suffer from allergies, a cold, or a respiratory infection. Adults who smoke or live with smokers are more likely to develop frequent ear infections as well. 

How are ear infections in adults treated?

Ear infections are never fun but the good news is they often clear up on their own after a few days. If you’re suffering from an ear infection and the pain hasn’t decreased after two days, it’s best to see a doctor. 

 For adults with an ear infection, the first step towards relief is a trip to an ENT doctor. An ENT doctor will carefully clear out your ears and prescribe antimicrobial and antibiotic ear drops. If your ear infection is fungal, you may be prescribed antifungal medication. After taking the medication daily, all symptoms will quickly clear up.

If you still feel like there’s moisture trapped in your ears, there are simple treatments you can do right at home. To dry out your ears, it’s recommended that you avoid using Q-tips. Grab a dry cloth and gently wipe the opening of your ears while turning your head sideways. Doing this after every shower or bath, will help keep your ears dry and avoid infection. 

If you’re dealing with any type of ear infection and find yourself struggling to hear or experiencing a high fever, it’s best to see a doctor right away. 

How to prevent ear infections in adults

If you have frequently suffered from ear infections, they’re a few steps you can take to leave the ear pain in the past. Preventing an outer ear infections in adults is simple – keep your ears dry at all times! Follow these quick tips for prevention:

  • Always dry your ears carefully after swimming, taking a shower, or finishing a workout.
  • If you’re using earplugs while swimming, make sure they fit properly
  • Opt for a swimming cap that covers your ears properly
  • Avoid putting objects in your ears like Q-tips. This will only push ear wax deeper into your ear and trap moisture. 

Breathe Clear Institute Can Help Treat Ear Infections in Adults

 Our ENT treatments are here to get you back to feeling your best. When you book an appointment with us, you’ll receive a thorough examination and a treatment plan that works! Visit Breathe Clear Institute and discover much-needed relief from your ear infection.