A double ear infection, also known as a bilateral ear infection, affects both ears at the same time. It can also begin initially on one side and then quickly spread to the opposite side.
Double ear infection symptoms are often harsher than those of a single ear infection. This form of ear infection is treated the same way as a one-sided ear infection.
A unilateral ear infection, often known as a single ear infection, can progress to a double ear infection. You must pay attention to if symptoms occur in both ears to see the impact.
Symptoms of Bilateral Ear Infection
While the signs and symptoms of a unilateral ear infection are similar to those of a double ear infection, there are some distinctions.
An ear infection can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Ear infection with pus and drainage
- Inability to sleep
- Loss of hearing
- The pain in my ears
- Congestion of the nasal passages
- Hoarseness or a cough
- Asthma (which causes symptoms similar to those of allergies)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
In double ear infections, the temperature is typically severe, even though similar symptoms are present in both forms of infections. In both forms of ear infections, the eardrum might become inflated, but it is more likely in cases of double ear infections.
Possible Causes of Double Ear Infection
Typically, an ear infection arises following a viral upper respiratory infection. Inflammation and swelling of the Eustachian tubes can occur due to the infection. These narrow tubes connect the ears to the upper region of the throat behind the nose, and they aid in maintaining normal ear pressure.
Fluid can accumulate behind the eardrum if the tubes become bloated and clogged. Bacteria can increase rapidly in this fluid, resulting in infection and inflammation of the middle ear. Because children’s Eustachian tubes are less vertical than adults, they are more prone to ear infections.
A double ear infection can lead to several difficulties. It can spread to other places of the body and cause additional health problems. Some of the issues that can occur are as follows:
- Brain abscess: A brain abscess is an infection-induced accumulation of pus in the brain. Headaches, fever, vomiting, nausea, and neurologic impairments are symptoms.
- Bacterial meningitis is a severe kind of meningitis that causes an infection of the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis symptoms include a severe headache, stiff neck, and a high fever.
- Acute mastoiditis is an infection of the mastoid bone, which is found behind the ear. Fever, irritation, earlobe swelling, soreness and redness behind the ear, drooping of the ear, and ear discharge are all symptoms.
- Hearing loss can occur in persons with an ear infection, but it is usually transient.
These problems, while relatively rare, can be serious. If you suspect you have a double ear infection, see your doctor as soon as possible for treatment.
Treatments and Remedies
A moderate unilateral ear infection may resolve without therapy, depending on the child’s age. A double ear infection, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous. If a virus causes the illness, no treatment can assist, and you’ll have to let the illness run its course instead. Antibiotics are frequently required to treat a bacterial infection.
Amoxicillin is a typical antibiotic used to treat ear infections in young children. Antibiotics are often prescribed for a week or more. It is critical to take the whole course of antibiotics exactly as advised to heal the infection. During a follow-up visit, your doctor might examine the inside of your ears, and they’ll check to see if the infection has gone away.
Your doctor may advise you to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen to relieve pain (Advil, Motrin). However, ibuprofen is not recommended for children under six months. Ear drops with medication may also be beneficial.
Small ear tubes can be inserted in the ear to aid improve drainage in children who have recurrent double or single ear infections. A kid with incorrectly constructed or immature Eustachian tubes may require ear tubes for several months or longer to prevent ear infections.
Book an appointment now to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top ENT Specialists in Karachi through Marham by calling Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1- Can I have an ear infection with no fever?
Acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. Otitis media with effusion is another disorder affecting the middle ear. It occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear without infection, fever, ear discomfort, or pus buildup.
2- Can you have an ear infection in both ears?
Yes, a double ear infection or bilateral ear infection refers to both ears. A double ear infection is more dangerous than a single ear infection. The symptoms are usually more severe, and the treatment is more rigorous than for a unilateral ear infection.
3- How long does it take for a double ear infection to heal?
Within a few days of treatment, a double ear infection should be healing. However, symptoms may not completely resolve until a person has finished the entire course of antibiotics, which can take up to 10 days. In the meanwhile, home treatments can help to alleviate pain and suffering.