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What is my doctor looking for if I might have ear infections?

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Your doctor will ask you about any symptoms you’ve had. Be sure to come to the office with any notes you might need and questions on your mind Your doctor will look at the eardrum with an instrument called an otoscope for signs of infection. This is a tough task with a fussy infant, so be ready to help calm the little one if it’s your child with the earache.

The doctor may also check for blockage or filling of the middle ear using a different kind of otoscope that blows a little air at the eardrum. This air should cause it to move back and forth a bit. If fluid is there, it will not move as much.

Your doctor might also look for signs of infection with another instrument. It’s called a tympanometer, and it uses sound and air pressure to check for fluid in the middle ear.

If needed, a hearing specialist, or audiologist, can be called in. The audiologist will perform a test to find out if there is hearing loss.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Risk Factors,” “Causes,” “Diagnosis,” “Treatments,” “Reye’s syndrome,” “Antibiotic Therapy.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.” Academy of American Family Physicians. Merck. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.


Mount Sinai Hospital: “Myringotomy.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 6, 2018

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Risk Factors,” “Causes,” “Diagnosis,” “Treatments,” “Reye’s syndrome,” “Antibiotic Therapy.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.” Academy of American Family Physicians. Merck. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.


Mount Sinai Hospital: “Myringotomy.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 6, 2018

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