Inflammation in the middle ear most often starts after you've had a sore throat, cold, or other upper respiratory problem. The infection spreads to the middle ear and causes fluid buildup behind the eardrum.
The following are the most common symptoms of ear infections in adults:
Your health history will be reviewed with your health care provider, and a physical exam will be performed. At this time, your outer ears and eardrums will be checked by an otoscope, a lighted tool that allows the physician to see inside the ear. A pneumatic otoscope blows a puff of air into the ear to test the eardrum. When there is fluid or an infection in the ear, movement is decreased.
A tympanometry may also be performed, testing that directs air and sound to the middle ear.
If you have frequent ear infections, your physician may suggest heaving a hearing test.
Your physician will figure out the best treatment based on:
Treatments may include: