This is an outer ear infection affecting the ear canal, which goes from the ear opening to the eardrum. An outer ear infection occurs when water enters the ear canal and becomes trapped there through wax build-up, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Swimmer’s ear is a good example. The body responds to the infection with inflammation, pain, redness, and sometimes a fever.
This is an infection of the middle ear, caused either by bacteria or a virus. The condition can be a result of the tubes inside the ears becoming clogged with mucus and fluid. Middle ear infections are often excruciating, accompanied by high fever, hearing difficulty, nausea, and vomiting. The fluid build-up can also lead to hearing loss
, as it prevents sound from getting through.
- Of the two, this type of ear infection is much more common, particularly in very young children and infants. When babies and young children pull or slap at their ears, a middle ear infection is quite possible. Also, most middle ear infections are linked to an upper respiratory infection or allergy. Around 40% of cases are thought to be caused by bacteria, the rest by a virus.