6 Common Causes of Adult Ear Infections

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Common Reasons Adults Get Ear Infections in Columbus, OH

While ear infections are often seen in young children, it isn’t uncommon for adults to contract them. In fact, there are some common reasons why adults may develop ear infections later in life. The following are six of the most common causes of ear infections that Columbus, Ohio, senior care agencies should be mindful of.

1. Allergies

When the immune system encounters a substance that it perceives as a threat, a chemical attack begins. This attack includes an accumulation of white blood cells and histamine release, which results in swelling and fluid release. Fluid in the middle ear then provides the ideal environment for microbe growth, which leads to an ear infection. Anti-allergy medications taken seasonally or year round prevent the symptoms from developing.

2. Colds and Flu

Similarly, when viruses enter the body, the immune system mounts an attack. If the virus travels from nasal or oral passages through the Eustachian tubes and into the middle ear, an infection develops. When stricken with upper respiratory symptoms, decongestants help alleviate the fluid accumulation and potential ear infections.

3. Swimmer’s Ear

While bathing, showering or swimming, fluid enters the outer ear canal. The moisture can get trapped and encourage bacterial or fungal growth, which can lead to a condition known as acute otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear. Anyone prone to developing ear infections may consider inserting a cotton ball or ear plugs in each ear before bathing or swimming.

4. Tobacco Smoke

Chronic exposure to indoor smoke from cigarettes or other tobacco products may lead to respiratory irritation similar to an allergic reaction. Middle ear irritation can lead to fluid buildup and possible infection. Columbus, OH, live-in caregivers should ask smokers to smoke outside to avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.

5. Immunosuppression

Elderly adults undergoing treatment with immune suppressant medications or radiation therapy are more susceptible to developing infections. In addition to living a healthy lifestyle, seniors must keep their distance from anyone suffering from any type of respiratory infection.

6. Craniofacial Anomalies

Irregular Eustachian tubes, sinus passage blockages or other physical abnormalities may increase a senior’s chances of developing an ear infection. OTC medications alleviate congestion when needed, though surgical interventions may be necessary to correct the problem.

Maintain your loved one’s physical wellbeing with help from Home Care Assistance of Columbus. In addition to helping seniors accomplish daily tasks around the home, our expertly trained caregivers encourage seniors to practice good hygiene, eat healthy, and exercise regularly to promote physical and emotional wellbeing. Call (614) 481-8888 today to speak with a friendly Care Manager and learn more about our comprehensive stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care in Columbus, OH. Schedule a free in-home consultation today.


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