Ear Infection Specialist

ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA

Otolaryngologists & Allergy Specialists located in McKees Rocks, Seven Fields, Sewickley, & Vanport Township, PA

An ear infection causes pain and discomfort. They most often affect children, but adults get ear infections too. For those suffering from recurring ear infections, the team at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA offers advanced treatment options, including Eustachian tube dilation. To discuss ear infection treatment options, call the office in Sewickley, Beaver/Vanport Township, Seven Fields, or Ohio Valley in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, or schedule an appointment online today.

Ear Infection Q & A

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection, also known as otitis media, is an infection of the middle ear. These infections most often result from other illnesses that cause congestion and swelling in the nasal passages, sinuses, or Eustachian tubes. 

Your Eustachian tubes are narrow tubes that run from your middle ear to the back of your throat and help regulate air pressure in the ear and drainage of middle ear secretions. Congestion and swelling in these tubes affect drainage.

A buildup of fluids in the middle ear provides the perfect environment for the growth of bacteria or viruses, leading to an ear infection.

Children are more likely to develop ear infections because their Eustachian tubes are narrow and more horizontal. 

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Symptoms of an ear infection usually develop quickly. With an ear infection, you or your child may have:

  • Ear pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Drainage from the ear
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble hearing
  • Poor appetite

Though not all ear infections need antibiotics, if you or your child have ear infection symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.

For recurrent ear infections, schedule a consultation with the experts at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA.

How is an ear infection treated?

Treatment for an ear infection depends on age, the severity of symptoms, and the frequency of ear infections. Initial treatment for the occasional ear infection may be to wait and see. If symptoms persist, you may then need antibiotics and over-the-counter pain medication. 

Chronic ear infections that lead to a tear in the eardrum (chronic suppurative otitis media) are hard to treat. The team may prescribe antibiotic ear drops and teach you how to drain fluid from your ear to minimize infections. 

Who needs surgery for an ear infection?

If you or your child has chronic ear infections or a regular buildup of fluid in the middle ear (otitis media with effusion), the ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA team may recommend Eustachian tube balloon dilation or the placement of ear tubes.

Eustachian tube balloon dilation

The skilled surgeons perform the innovative Eustachian tube balloon dilation procedure for Eustachian tube dysfunction. 

During the procedure, the surgeon inserts an endoscope with a balloon tube into the ear, advancing it towards the Eustachian tube. Once in place, they inflate the balloon to expand the tube.

Ear tube placement

Your physician may suggest the placement of ear tubes for chronic ear infections in children.

Ear tubes prevent the buildup of fluid in the ear and allow for easier treatment of ear infections should they occur

For help managing chronic ear infections, call ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA or schedule an appointment online today.