Who Is Most Likely To Get An Ear Infection
Middle ear infection is the most common childhood illness . Ear infections occur most often in children who are between age 3 months and 3 years, and are common until age 8. Some 25% of all children will have repeated ear infections.
Adults can get ear infections too, but they dont happen nearly as often as they do in children.
Risk factors for ear infections include:
- Age: Infants and young children are at greater risk for ear infections.
- Family history: The tendency to get ear infections can run in the family.
- Colds: Having colds often increases the chances of getting an ear infection.
- Allergies: Allergies cause inflammation of the nasal passages and upper respiratory tract, which can enlarge the adenoids. Enlarged adenoids can block the eustachian tube, preventing ear fluids from draining. This leads to fluid buildup in the middle ear, causing pressure, pain and possible infection.
- Chronic illnesses: People with chronic illnesses are more likely to develop ear infections, especially patients with immune deficiency and chronic respiratory disease, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma.
- Ethnicity: Native Americans and Hispanic children have more ear infections than other ethnic groups.
Tested Home Remedies For Ear Infections In Adults
1. Salt Compress
Salt can be one of the easily available home remedies for the ear infections. Just heat a cup of salt on pan/double boiler or microwave. Then take out the salt on a cloth and tie from top.When some heat is released, place the salt filled cloth over the affected ear for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the procedure every day. Salt can be replaced with rice.
2. Heating Pad
Heat pad not only relieves pain quickly but also prevents micro-organism infestation. You need to use heating pad or warm water bottle to press against ear. Remember to apply heat for short periods. Start with 5 mins, and then remove. Apply few minutes later again.
3. Make the Best of Garlic
Naturally, garlic has the ability to relieve pain, especially earache. It can be used in different ways. You can prepare garlic oil by frying 2 cloves garlic in oil until blackish, strain and use as ear drops when slightly warm. Otherwise, just boil garlic in some water, crush and add salt, place in cloth piece and place over ear. The simplest way to apply garlic is to eat garlic daily.
4. Apply Basil Oil
Basil also works to relieve ear infections in adults. Minor earache and infections can be treated with basil. Extract juice of 4-5 basil leaves and apply on the ear and surroundings. Don’t let it enter into the ear canal. You can also mix holy basil oil with carrier oil. Soak in cotton ball and wipe it inside the ear.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar in Cotton Ball
6. Olive Oil to Clean
7. Tea Tree Oil
8. Mullein Drops
How Middle Ear Infections Are Treated
Make sure any painkillers you give to your child are appropriate for their age. Read more about giving your child painkillers.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely used to treat middle ear infections, although they may occasionally be prescribed if symptoms persist or are particularly severe.
Read more about treating middle ear infections
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Healing Time In Different Sections Of The Ear
The infections persist in the middle, the outer and inner part of the ear. Every part has its unique features. As a result healing time also depends on the section of the ear.
- Outer Causes of outer ear infection are different from a middle ear infection. The most common type of infection in the outer ear is bacterial infections. But fungal and viral infections can occur as well. It can last for a week or longer. Its symptoms are severe pain in the ear, purulent discharge, fever, etc.
- Middle The infection shouldnt last more than one or two days. After an ear infection clears up, fluid may remain in the middle ear and cause some of the more mild symptoms and can persist for several weeks to months. This condition is diagnosed as otitis media with effusion. Its symptoms are ear pain, feeling like your ear is clogged, Nausea, Reduced Hearing.
- Inner The infection exists for a long time in this section. Most commonly, viral is the reason for the inner ear infection. These viruses can be most of the flu and cold. Its symptoms are pain, fever, and reduced hearing. Nausea and tinnitus can also occur in an inner ear infection.
The Eustachian tube drains fluid and air from the middle ear. Blockage in the Eustachian tube may cause fluid to build up. This causes pain since it applies pressure on the eardrum. The fluid is also a fertile ground for bacteria growth and this leads to an ear infection.
Experts Update Best Practices For Treating The 1 In 8 Us Adults Suffering From Sinusitis
- Sinusitis affects about 1 in 8 adults in the United States, resulting in over 30 million annual diagnoses. The direct cost of managing acute and chronic sinusitis exceeds $11 billion per year.
- More than 1 in 5 antibiotics prescribed in adults are for sinusitis, making it the fifth most common diagnosis responsible for antibiotic therapy.
- Because sinusitis is treated differently based on its cause, it is critical to differentiate between acute viral sinusitis and acute bacterial sinusitis.
- New evidence supports a recommendation of either watchful waiting or antibiotic therapy for mild, moderate, or even severe acute bacterial sinusitis.
ALEXANDRIA, VA An updated clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery Foundation published today in OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery identifies quality improvement opportunities and explicit actionable recommendations for clinicians managing adult sinusitis, including a greater focus on patient education and patient preference.
More than ever before, there is a prominent role for shared decision-making between patients and clinicians when managing adult sinusitisespecially in deciding whether to use antibiotics for acute bacterial sinusitis or to instead try watchful waiting to see if a patient can fight the infection on his or her own.
Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH
Other differences between the 2007 guideline and the 2015 update include:
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1) Johns Hopkins Antibiotic Guide
3) Ear Infection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 May 2021,
4) Swimming and Ear Infections,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 May 2021,
Causes Of Outer Ear Infection
Outer ear infections are usually caused by bacteria or fungi. But anything that irritates the skin of your ear canal or causes an allergic reaction can also cause inflammation.
Certain things may make you more likely to get an outer ear infection.
- Damage to your ear canal from a cotton bud, your fingernail or any other object.
- A build-up of earwax or accidently pushing earwax into your ear when cleaning it.
- Having too little earwax, often from too much cleaning. Some earwax is healthy, as it protects the lining of your ear canal from dirt and dust and infections.
- Using hearing aids or earplugs these can damage or irritate your ear canal or introduce bacteria.
- Swimming, especially in polluted water because this may introduce bacteria into your ear.
- Living in a hot, humid climate ear infection is often known as tropical ear.
- Having allergies or being sensitive to products like hairsprays and hair dyes these can irritate your ear canal.
- Having a narrow ear canal, which means that water can become trapped and bacteria are more likely to grow.
- Having a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis broken skin is more likely to become inflamed.
- Having a condition that affects your immune system for example, HIV/AIDS.
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What Is An Ear Infection
There are different types of ear infections. Middle ear infection is an infection in the middle ear.
Another condition that affects the middle ear is called otitis media with effusion. This condition occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear without causing an infection. Otitis media with effusion does not cause fever, ear pain, or pus build-up in the middle ear.
Swimmers ear is an infection in the outer ear canal. Swimmers Ear is different from a middle ear infection. For more information, visit Swimmers Ear .
Preventing Outer Ear Infection
The following tips can help to reduce your risk of having an outer ear infection.
- Try to keep the inside of your ears dry by keeping shampoo and water out of your ears when youre having a shower or a bath. Dry your ears with a dry towel or hair dryer afterwards.
- Dont use cotton buds or other objects to clean your ear canal.
- Use ear plugs and/or a tight-fitting swimming cap when you go swimming, to prevent water getting in your ears. Dont swim in polluted water.
- Consider using acidic drops before and after swimming if youre prone to outer ear infections. You can buy these from a pharmacy.
- If you have a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, make sure you keep it under control as much as possible.
- If you have a build-up of earwax, see a doctor or nurse to check if you need to get it removed. Dont try to do it yourself.
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Home Remedies For Acute Sinusitis
First, note that we recommend these natural remedies for acute sinusitis, which is generally a result of allergies or a cold. Chronic sinus infections can linger for months. Or they can continue to recur over a long period of time. So if your symptoms are more severe and persistent, we always recommend seeing a doctor.
Which Antibacterial Eye Drops Are Best For You
Eye health is essential, and you should take it as seriously as all other medical conditions. Do not ignore an eye infection if it lasts more than two days.
Speak to your ophthalmologist if you believe you have a bacterial eye infection. They will prescribe antibiotic medication to treat the infection. In most cases, medication will be in the form of eye drops or ointments.
In this article
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How Is A Middle
Your health care provider will take a medical history and do a physicalexam. He or she will look at the outer ear and eardrum with an otoscope.The otoscope is a lighted tool that lets your provider see inside the ear.A pneumatic otoscope blows a puff of air into the ear to check how wellyour eardrum moves. If you eardrum doesnt move well, it may mean you havefluid behind it.
Your provider may also do a test called tympanometry. This test tells howwell the middle ear is working. It can find any changes in pressure in themiddle ear. Your provider may test your hearing with a tuning fork.
Common Types Of Ear Infections
The two most common types of ear infections are in the middle ear or the outer ear.
An infection in the middle ear often follows a cold or respiratory problem. The infection moves to the ears through the eustachian tubes causing them to swell.
Infections in the outer ear sometimes referred to as swimmers ear are usually caused by an outside source such as water. If water sits in the ear for too long, it can cause the skin to break down and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have nausea, dizziness, or vomiting along with ear pain. You may have a more serious issue with your inner ear.
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Why Adults Get Ear Infections
Ear infections are often considered a childhood disease. It almost seems a rite of passage for children to experience repeat ear infections. Then, around the beginning of their teenage years, it often stops entirely. By the time a person hits adulthood, it is quite common to be decades of years removed from the last time he or she experienced an ear infection. It almost seems as though it is impossible for adults to get an ear infection, right? Unfortunately, although not as common in adults as it is in children, it is still possible for adults to suffer an ear infection. In fact, around 20% of ear infections occur in adults. This begs the question, why can adults still get them?
How Adults Get an Ear InfectionAdult ear infections are just like the ear infections a person would have gotten when he or she was a child. Most middle ear infections are caused by either bacteria or viruses. A common cold, the flu, or allergy symptoms that cause congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes can sometimes lead to an infection. Anything that makes the nose stuffy has a tendency to cause swelling and blockage of the eustachian tubes. Swelling from colds or allergies can keep the eustachian tubes from opening and this leads to pressure changes and the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. This pressure and fluid will cause pain and sometimes persistent fluid can lead to an infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis Media
Symptoms of ear infection include:
- Ear pain: This symptom is obvious in older children and adults. In infants too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, acting fussy/irritable.
- Loss of appetite: This may be most noticeable in young children, especially during bottle feedings. Pressure in the middle ear changes as the child swallows, causing more pain and less desire to eat.
- Irritability: Any kind of continuing pain may cause irritability.
- Poor sleep: Pain may be worse when the child is lying down because the pressure in the ear may worsen.
- Fever: Ear infections can cause temperatures from 100° F up to 104° F. Some 50% of children will have a fever with their ear infection.
- Drainage from the ear: Yellow, brown, or white fluid that is not earwax may seep from the ear. This may mean that the eardrum has ruptured .
- Trouble hearing: Bones of the middle ear connect to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain. Fluid behind the eardrums slows down movement of these electrical signals through the inner ear bones.
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What Your Doctor Needs To Know
To find out if youÃ¢ve got more than a bad cold, you need to learn the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor can help you figure out whether you have sinusitis or something else.
Tell your doctor how long youÃ¢ve had sinus symptoms, and whether theyÃ¢ve gotten worse or stayed the same. If youÃ¢ve had them for less than 10 days and theyÃ¢re not getting worse, you probably have a viral infection. It will likely go away on its own.
Over-the-counter treatments like saline sprays, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may help ease symptoms along the way. might reduce the swelling and inflammation temporarily. If you use them, read the directions carefully and only use as directed. Using nasal decongestant sprays for more than a few days could make the congestion worse.
How Is An Acute Middle Ear Infection Treated
Many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, to be taken over seven to 10 days. Your doctor also may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or eardrops, to help with fever and pain.
If your doctor isnt able to make a definite diagnosis of OM and your child doesnt have severe ear pain or a fever, your doctor might ask you to wait a day or two to see if the earache goes away. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines in 2013 that encourage doctors to observe and closely follow these children with ear infections that cant be definitively diagnosed, especially those between the ages of 6 months to 2 years. If theres no improvement within 48 to 72 hours from when symptoms began, the guidelines recommend doctors start antibiotic therapy. Sometimes ear pain isnt caused by infection, and some ear infections may get better without antibiotics. Using antibiotics cautiously and with good reason helps prevent the development of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics.
If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, its important to make sure your child takes it exactly as prescribed and for the full amount of time. Even though your child may seem better in a few days, the infection still hasnt completely cleared from the ear. Stopping the medicine too soon could allow the infection to come back. Its also important to return for your childs follow-up visit, so that the doctor can check if the infection is gone.
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When And Why You Might Need An Antibiotic For A Cold
Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist with a background in internal medicine.
Steve Prezant / Getty
Any given adult will get a cold at least a couple of times a yearusually in the fall and winter. Kids can get many colds, maybe even half a dozen or more a year. When you get a cold, also known as an upper respiratory tract infection, should you visit your healthcare provider and get antibiotics?
The truth is, antibiotics for respiratory infections arent going to make you feel better sooner, and they might even leave you with side effects that make you feel worse.
Colds are known medically as upper respiratory tract infections because theyre usually limited to the upper half of your respiratory systemthe nose, sinuses, upper throat, larynx, and pharynx. These infections dont, for example, include infections that affect your lungs, like pneumonia.
Upper respiratory tract infections are usually caused by viruses, like rhinovirus, coronavirus, or influenza, though rarely they are caused by bacteria. Bacteria that infect the upper respiratory tract are most often S. pyogenes , or sometimes H influenzae.
Due to the development and routine administration of the H. influenzae vaccine over the past 30 years, the incidence of this infection has dropped substantially.
Antibiotics may be prescribed in a few different situations:
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