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Causes of Bacterial Ear Infections

Causes of Bacterial Ear Infections

Eshealthtips.com – The etiology and resistance patterns of bacteria involved in bacterial ear infections vary across different geographical regions. Bacteria commonly involved in this infection include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Escherichia coli. These strains were the most common, but there were also several other types of bacteria that were involved.

Key Examples of Improper Use of Antibiotics

In addition to being one of the leading causes of antibiotic over-prescription and the development of antibiotic resistance in children, bacterial ear infections are a prime example of the inappropriate use of antibiotics. Although antibiotics are essential for the fight against infection, inappropriate use can delay the correct course of treatment and cause antibiotic resistance in unrelated bacteria. Moreover, antibiotics prescribed for bacterial ear infection are expensive – between $20 and $110 per week. Moreover, the co-payments for the prescription range from $5 to $50.

Viruses can also cause ear infections, but the symptoms are not contagious. Viruses, such as colds, are spread by coughing or touching things that are damp. Bacteria in the ear are not contagious, but they can lead to an infection in certain circumstances. It’s best to seek medical attention if your symptoms persist for more than two days. You may also need to treat the symptoms associated with bacterial ear infections by avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke.

A medical diagnosis of bacterial ear infection is the only way to confirm if the condition is a bacterial one. During a physical examination, your primary care provider will check for fluid behind the eardrum. Bacteria grow in the ear lining when it is moist, and bacteria multiply quickly in it. Symptoms of bacterial ear infection can be accompanied by an upper respiratory infection.

Most Cases of Bacterial Ear Infections Occur in Children

A majority of cases of bacterial ear infection occur in children, although some can affect adults. Some cases may be chronic, resulting from untreated acute suppurative otitis media. A chronic perforation of the eustachian tube may allow bacteria to gain access to the middle ear. Males and females are more susceptible to this infection than females, but there are many other causes.

The most common cause of bacterial ear infection is a virus or bacteria in the middle ear. Infection of the eustachian tube occurs when the infection enters the middle ear via the nasal passage or throat. When the eustachian tubes become blocked, the fluid inside them cannot drain properly, causing a buildup of fluid around the eardrum. Bacterial ear infection is an ailment that affects around 30 million people in the U.S. annually.

If the symptoms are due to allergies, your doctor may recommend using a decongestant, nasal steroids, or an antihistamine. Your doctor may also recommend autoinsufflation, a procedure whereby you press your nose and mouth together and gently exhale to push air through the eustachian tubes. If your doctor suspects that the infection is bacterial, antibiotics may be prescribed.

Having Hearing Loss and Balance Problems Due to Infection

The main symptoms of bacterial ear infection are pain, discomfort, odor, and fever. You can also detect a yellow or black discharge from the ear. If your dog tilts his/her head excessively, it may indicate a more severe infection. In the worst-case scenario, your dog may experience hearing loss and balance issues as a result of the infection. In addition, bacterial ear infection can also result from foreign bodies in the ear, which is common in dogs.

Besides the symptoms, a veterinarian can prescribe medicated ear drops, ear cleaners, and oral antibiotics. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to clean out the ear canal and remove a foreign body. Some ear cleaners and ointments have antibacterial properties, and many of these products have been proven to be effective adjuncts to prescription ear drops. You can ask your veterinarian for further details on a particular product.


Gheorghe, Dan Cristian, et al. “Nanoparticles for the treatment of inner ear infections.” Nanomaterials 11.5 (2021): 1311.

Marchisio, P., et al. “Paranasal sinuses and middle ear infections: what do they have in common?.” Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 18 (2007): 31-34.


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