Hi Thoughthole, Yes, anyone can get an ear infection. It can be in the inner ear, the middle ear, or the outer ear. And I agree, it is miserable! Not only does it interfere with hearing, but also, as you said, can cause spatial disorientation and dizzyness as well.
As an R.N. and health care practitioner, here is what I would suggest to help: Cut an onion in half and place over your ear and hold it there for awhile. The onion will act on the ear canal in much the same way as it does your tear ducts, pulling out the gunky stuff.
If you have a health food store handy, get some ear candles and candle your ear. You will need someone to help you with that, but it is very easy. We've had amazing results with that process. It's so relaxing and comforting that people do it even if they don't have an ear infection!
Another thing that is helpful especially if it's a bonafide bacterial or other infection is to use a special kind of oil that is also available at most health food stores. It's mullein and garlic oil. Lie down on the unaffected side and place a few drops of oil in the ear. After a few minutes you can place a bit of cotton ball into the ear canal and get up and go about your business. You should do this several times a day. It's extremely healing and works wonders very quickly, even for children.
Although you didn't mention any pain, this formula also stops the pain of earache dead in it's tracks. Mullein is the only known non-poisonous narcotic, plus is it very healing, as is the garlic. Some stores only carry the garlic oil, so if that is all you can find, use that.
Good Luck! And if none of these home remedies work satisfactorily for you, you may have to go to the doctor who will get the big guns out---antibiotics, usually amoxacillin for ear infections. If you do have to use them, please also take some pro-biotics at the same time, as anit-biotics kill them off and that is bad!