How to identify an ear infection?

Ear infections are more common in young children, however it can occur in adults of any age as well. If you have had an ear infection in the past, you know how miserable life gets. Having timely treatment by a qualified ENT specialist will help you resolve the condition.

Ear infections can go from bad to worse. To prevent sick days and lost days at work, book an early ENT assessment with your doctor. Visiting a good ENT Clinic for treatment should help you be back on your feet in no time.

With that in mind, let’s help you identify an ear infection:

Ear Pain

Pain is the first sign you need to look out for. Ear pain can have many causes, a little pain here and there, for instance while travelling on an aeroplane is normal. However, if your ear pain has not subsided after a day or two then it is possible it’s an ear infection. Penetrating pain from the inner ear for over 24 hours, is another symptom.

Ear pain accompanied by a temporary loss of hearing most likely indicates an ear infection. You don’t have to worry, your ENT doctor will diagnose the condition and help you with the right treatment.

Blocked Ear Sensation

Having a blocked or plugged ear is yet another common sign of an ear infection. Just the way you feel discomfort in your ears during a sinus infection, an ear infection too can leave you having a blocked ear. Persistent ear pain with a blocked ear is one of the clearest indications of an infection.

This plugged sensation in the ears, is because the bacteria accumulates behind the eardrum. It’s advisable to be seen by your ENT doctor. Prolonged ear infections can lead to loss of hearing.

Temporary Hearing Issues

An infection in your ear can mess with your hearing capacity. It is seen that middle and inner ear infections are a common cause of temporary hearing loss. This is quite frequent in young children. Any recent changes in the way you hear can stem from an ear infection.

During an initial infection, the eardrum gets inflamed with fluid build-up sometimes in the air filled sac behind the eardrum. Then it reduces the mobility of the eardrum causing temporary hearing issues. Getting yourself reviewed by an ear specialist is the best way to know, the reason for your temporary hearing loss.

Ear Discharge

Middle ear infections are a common cause of ear discharge, although ear discharge can have other reasons for it. If the discharge is due to an infection, then the bacteria or the viruses have made their way through into the middle ear behind your ear drum. Their proliferation causes the air space to release fluid. When the fluid accumulation exceeds a certain level, the excess flows out with a foul smell. You should walk into your otolaryngologists right way if there is such ear discharge as it may also be the sign of something bigger like trauma to ear drum.

Headaches and Dizziness

Your ears play a vital role in your body’s balance. Those with hearing loss are prone to falling over more frequently. Ear infections can lead to bouts of nausea, dizziness and headaches. It is worthwhile consulting a physician if you have a regular case of nausea, a pounding headache or feeling dizzy.

Itchiness or Rash

If your outer ears are red, itchy and with rashes, then it can be due to some sort of infection. Outer ear infections are common. When your ears come into contact with any contaminated object or even germs in your fingers, this can turn out to cause an infection. These outer ear infections are irritating, and bacteria is generally the cause.


Having a fever is not unusual during an ear infection. An ear infection when not treated on time, can often lead to fever. However, if you are able to spot the other aforementioned symptoms in advance, you can likely avoid a fever.

See an ENT Specialist to Treat Your Ear Infection

The ENT Clinic, conveniently located at both Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Gleneagles Hospitals in Singapore has state of the art facilities offering personalised care. The clinic’s team of ENT doctors, nurses, audiologists, speech therapists and staff go the extra mile for their patients. Take the time to research and identify a full service ENT clinic with compassionate and experienced specialists to resolve a potential ear infection.


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