Ear Infection Symptoms 

9 Ear Infection Symptoms – for Children & Adults

    This isn’t something talked about often unless referring to children, but sometimes adults get ear infections too, though it’s rare. Because of this we’re going to break it down by age, but first it’s important to know what an ear infection is and what causes them, then we can move on to the ear infection symptoms. 

    Much like sinus infections, ear infections can happen because of the flu, cold, or even allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic, this happens when the eustachian tubes, “…become blocked, causing fluids to build up in the middle ear. This fluid can become infected and cause the symptoms of an ear infection.”

    ear infection
    What are the eustachian tubes, exactly? 

    “The eustachian tubes are a pair of narrow tubes that run from each middle ear to high in the back of the throat, behind the nasal passages,” The Mayo Clinic says. 

    Again, ear infections are more common in children than in adults, but it’s not impossible. It even shows different causes and reasons. states that, “Unlike childhood ear infections, which are often minor and pass quickly, adult ear infections are frequently signs of a more serious health problem.”

    They’re not talking about severe health problems, just that the source of the issue could relate to allergies, a virus, or even cigarette smoke (that includes secondhand smoke). 

    Now that we know what causes ear infections, let’s get into the symptoms. 

    Ear infection symptoms in children

    • Fever
    • Irritability
    • Excessive crying
    • Drainage
    • Consistently pulling on the ear

    Ear infection symptoms in adults

    • Sharp or dull pain
    • Drainage
    • Difficulty hearing
    • Nausea

    An ear infection will usually dissipate in a day or two, but if it lasts longer, it’s time to see a doctor. If a fever also accompanies the ear infection, seek medical attention. 

    At the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute we treat ear infections for all ages, using a variety of treatment options. To schedule a same-day or Saturday appointment, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page. Walk-ins welcome!


    • Roland, J., (2019, March 22) Ear Infection in Adults: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, & More [Health Article] Retrieved on September 4th from
    • Brennan, D., (2019, March 23) Ear Infection Symptoms: Signs of Ear Infections in Children & Adults [Medical Website] Retrieved on September 4th, 2020 from
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