Viral infections of the ear are different than the bacterial infections. Most cases of infections of the ear are viral in nature that usually starts in the Eustachian tube which links the nasal passages to the inner ear. Children frequently suffer from ear infections but can also occur in adults as well. Among children, the Eustachian tube is positioned in a horizontal manner which causes the buildup of fluid, thus increasing the risk for infection.
Infections of the respiratory tract, throat and the sinuses can also spread to the inner ear and can cause or worsen a current ear infection. There are various types of viral infections of the ear that might require medical attention for proper treatment and relief from pain.
Chronic otitis media
When it comes to chronic otitis media, they can last for some time or comes and goes. This involves infection of the middle ear which is positioned right behind the eardrum. The infection is quite common among infants and young children and can be caused by viral respiratory infections or common cold.
Even though infections of the ear are not contagious, common cold or other infects that cause them can spread among children. The symptoms of otitis media are present such as pulling at the ear, fever, crying and irritability.
Labyrinthitis is a viral infection affecting the labyrinth which is due to viruses that causes systemic illnesses such as measles and infectious mononucleosis. The labyrinth is a structure in the inner ear that is comprised of narrow channels filled with fluid.
In some cases, other viral symptoms can be felt before an infection starts. The condition involves inflammation of the inner ear and typically affects only one ear. The symptoms can be severe and include tinnitus, temporary hearing loss and discomfort, ringing in the ears, pain, dizziness or vertigo.
Vestibular neuritis is also a viral infection that triggers the inflammation of the inner ear and can affect the vestibule-cochlear nerve or 8th cranial nerve. It is important to note that this nerve connects the semicircular canals of the inner ear to the brain and vital in maintaining balance and positioning.
Infections of the ear can occur after or during various viral conditions such as flu, sore throat or glandular fever. The symptoms of vestibular neuritis can range from mild to severe and can also affect physical stability and balance such as the following:
- Mild dizziness
- Balance issues
- Violent spinning sensations
- Loss of concentration
- Visual problems
In severe cases, the condition can also affect the ability of the individual to stand, sit up and walk.