An ear infection, or otitis media, very often accompanies a common cold, or flu. An ear infection occurs when the Eustachian tubes are swollen or blocked, and the middle ear can not drain, or equalize. Infection may be viral or bacterial, and be very painful, causing earache, and thick, yellow fluid may drain from the ear. An otoscope is used to examine the ear. A doctor will examine the ear drum, and check for perforations, a bulging eardrum, or a collapsed eardrum, as well as examine the fluid trapped in the middle ear. A sample may be tested to determine what antibiotic to prescribe. In extreme cases, a CT scan may be needed. Ear infections can be mild or acute. An ear infection mat is treated with over the counter decongestants, pain medication and ear drops, however, antibiotics may be required. Ear infections may develop from respiratory infections as germs can migrate from the nasal, and sinus cavities and enter the middle ear, via the Eustachian tubes. Ear infections are very common in young children.
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