Five common Earache and Ear Infection questions

Ear infections are common, in fact five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. If you’re experiencing an earache or ear infection, or have a child with one, you probably have some questions!

 

Are ear infections contagious?
Thankfully, no! While ear infections are not contagious, they can be caused by another infection such as a cold, which is contagious. As discussed in the —(place name/ link of ear infections blog article), the microbes from a cold, flu, or other upper respiratory infection can travel to the ear & lead to a secondary infection.

 

Which classification of ear infection is most common?

There are two classifications of ear infections: acute and chronic. An ear infection is generally considered acute when it occurs with a sudden onset and normally resolves within a timely manner( around 3 weeks). 

When a person experiences repeat infections, or an infection that does not go away, it is considered chronic.

 

What is the difference between an earache and an ear infection?

Sometimes a person can have an earache without an ear infection. For example, this could be due to a cold that causes ear pressure/ discomfort. In other cases, a cold or other condition may cause an ear infection as a secondary infection. 

 

When should I see a doctor for an earache?
If a person is experiencing hearing loss, ringing in the ears and/ or dizziness, or persistent symptoms of an ear infection. This list is not all inclusive; when in doubt whether or not there is a concern, always seek advice for a qualified healthcare provider.
Are Antibiotics always necessary for treating ear infections?

Absolutely not. Some ear infections are viral. That said, antibiotics used for a viral condition would have no effect on treating the infection. 

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