Ear infections are one of the most uncomfortable common illnesses. They frequently appear in children, but they can occur in adults, too, especially if you wear hearing aids. Here are fifteen signs that you have an ear infection.

1. Pain in the ear 

One of the first things most people notice is a pain in the ear. Earache can be dull and throbbing or sharp and stabbing. Some people experience ear infection pain as a burning sensation. Ear infection pain doesn’t usually last longer than three days. 

 2. Headaches 

Some ear infections can cause headaches. Blockages in the ear, such as from infection, could account for your headache. If an object or impacted wax is blocking your ear, though, this could be the problem instead.

 3. Nausea and vomiting 

Ear infections are often accompanied by nausea (the sensation of feeling sick), loss of appetite, and vomiting. If you are vomiting, try to stay hydrated by taking small sips of water. Call your doctor if the vomiting doesn’t stop.

 4. Dizziness 

The ears are the body’s center of balance. Some types of ear infections affect your balance and cause dizziness and vertigo. It may feel like things are moving or spinning. Be extra careful when you’re standing, walking, or driving. 

 5. Itchiness 

Itching is one of the many signs of an ear infection. It can be in the ear canal itself, or on the lobe or outer ear. It’s always best to refrain from scratching where possible, as you don’t want to spread the infection or irritate your ear more. 

 6. Scaly skin in the ear 

Dry, flaky skin in or around the ear can be a sign you’ve got an ear infection. Sometimes, the dry skin itself is the cause of the ear infection. If your ears don’t produce much wax they can dry out, and you’ll start seeing scaly skin.

 7. Soreness 

If you have an ear infection, you might notice soreness in and around the ear. A sore ear is sometimes caused by damage to the ear’s skin, which may happen during an infection. 

8. Inability to wear your hearing aid 

For hearing aid users, wearing your aids while suffering from an ear infection can hurt. It’s uncomfortable and may even aggravate the symptoms of your infection. You may also find that your hearing aids don’t work properly while you are dealing with an ear infection.

9. Swelling

The ear can swell outside and inside. If you have an inner ear infection, you may get swelling in the ear canal. Sometimes the outer ear can be affected too.

10. Heat

Heat is a classic symptom of a lot of infections, including those relating to the ear. If your ear feels warm to the touch or feels hot inside, that could be a sign of infection. Your earlobe can also feel hot if infected.

 11. Discharge 

Discharge from your ear can be in the form of excess wax or milky white fluid. Both can be signs of an ear infection. Injuries to the ear can also result in discharge such as blood.

 12. Running a temperature 

A high temperature can be associated with middle ear infections, and sometimes other types of ear infections. Fever can be a sign of many things, and you should be careful to figure out the right reason for it. 

 13. Hearing Loss 

While you’re suffering from an ear infection, you may experience reduced hearing. This usually goes away when the infection does. It might feel like your ears are blocked or muffled for a while. 

 14. A sense of pressure within the ear 

Ear infections can cause a sensation of pressure or fullness in the ear, particularly middle ear infections. Middle ear infections cause a build-up of fluid or mucus behind the eardrum, which will pressure the eardrum.

 15. Tinnitus 

Tinnitus is a buzzing, roaring, or ringing in the ears. It can be set off by certain noises, stress, or tiredness. If you don’t typically experience tinnitus, it could be a sign you have an ear infection.

Ear infections come in many shapes and sizes, but most have similar symptoms. Any of the above could be a sign of an ear infection. 

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