The most common medical problem affecting ears is middle ear infection (otitis media). Although ear infections are most common in children they may also occur in adults. Get treatment for this and other ear pain at our Minneapolis & St. Paul area clinics. Symptoms & Causes You might have an infection if you’re suffering an earache, difficulty or muffled hearing, high temperature or a liquid/puss draining from the ear. It’s important to consult your primary care doctor and an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor immediately if you are suffering severely from these symptoms. This condition is usually caused by a build-up of liquid in the ear because of an inflamed drainage tube. Diagnosis & Treatment Your doctor might recommend one of several different options depending on the severity of your pain and progression of the infection. Mild cases can heal on their own without the need for a treatment solution such as antibiotics. Conversely your physician might prescribe an over-the-counter ear-drop pain reliever or consider the use of antibiotics. Prevention The best treatment is prevention. The cause can be bacterial or viral infections so try to avoid germs as much as possible. Wash your hands frequently, keep your immune system healthy by getting sleep and drinking less alcohol, avoid secondhand smoke, and stay current on immunizations.