What Are Symptoms Of Ear Infections
Symptoms of ear infections include:
Additional signs of ear infections in young children and infants may also include:
- Pulling on the ear/rubbing the ear
Middle ear infection is usually caused by:
- Bacteria the most common bacterial causes include:
Infections of the ear canal are usually caused by water that remains in the outer ear canal for an extended period of time, which, when combined with the earwax and debris already present in the ear canal, provided a moist environment for bacteria or yeast to grow and cause infection. While its commonly called swimmers ear, diving or bathing and showering can also permit just enough water into the ear to create a fertile breeding ground for infection.
What Can I Do To Relieve Ear Pain
Remedies that may give you some relief include:
- holding a warm cloth or heat pack along the outside of your ear
- taking pain relief medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- sleeping with your head resting on 2 pillows
Dont use over-the-counter ear drops or olive oil drops if your eardrum has burst. These can be harmful and will not relieve earache.
Dont clean your ears with cotton buds, they can damage your ears and dont effectively remove the wax.
If you have discharge from your ear, you can gently clean the outer ear with cotton wool. If there is discharge from both ears, use a new piece of cotton wool for each ear.
If you are concerned, check your symptoms with the healthdirect online Symptom Checker for advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .
Evidence Of An Inflammation
Still, it was found that prescription-only ear drops seemed to effectively relieve the symptoms of outer ear infections. Some studies also looked at combinations of different types of drugs, but none of the treatments were found to be better or worse than others.
Theres no that over-the-counter disinfectant ear drops are as effective as ear drops containing or steroids.
Doctors can help people decide which prescription ear drops are most suitable.
All ear drops can also have side effects such as burning sensations or rashes. But side effects are unlikely if you use the ear drops properly. If you arent sure how to use them, you can consult the package insert or ask your doctor.
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Care For Pregnant Women
The hormonal and anatomical changes of pregnancy mean that being pregnant increases the risk for both urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Not only this but pregnant people and their unborn babies may experience more health complications with even simple infections. UTIs and yeast infections during pregnancy can lead to a higher risk of preeclampsia, premature labor, and low birth weight.
Pregnant women who think they have a UTI or a yeast infection should see their healthcare provider without delay, as these infections should be treated right away to prevent serious complications to both the mother and the child. Your healthcare provider can also help you pick the safest treatments, since some antibiotics and antifungals are not suitable for pregnant women.
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Treatment Options For Urinary Tract Infections
Ladies, if you think you have a urinary tract infection, you are probably right. One study found that women who self-diagnose a UTI are right 84% of the time.
You can apply this know-how to partner with your health care provider to pick the right treatment The go-to treatment of a UTI, which is caused by a bacteria, is antibiotics. Your questions about treatment decisions can make a difference, especially since antibiotic recommendations have shifted and not all doctors have changed their practices.
What Causes Ear Infections
The ear is organized into three structures, the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear contains the outer structure, the auditory canal and the tympanic membrane .
The inner ear is an air-filled space that contains three small bones responsible for transferring vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. The inner ear is within the temporal bone and contains membranes and a solution which is responsible for sound transmission.
There are three types of ear infections:
- Acute otitis media: an infection of the middle ear
- Otitis media with effusion: an infection of the middle ear when fluid builds up causing an infection
- Swimmers ear: infection of the outer ear canal
Bacteria or viruses cause ear infections. The most common bacteria for ear infections include streptococcus pneumoniae and haemophilus influenzae. Viruses that cause the common cold can cause ear infections.
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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.
Can You Treat An Ear Infection At Home
It depends on the severity.
Mild-to-moderate ear infections frequently go away on their own. Fortunately, you can usually treat your symptoms at home in these situations. The CDC recommends rest, plenty of fluids, and pain relievers as the main home remedies for ear infections.
But severe ear infections cant, and shouldnt, be treated at home. You may need to take antibiotic or antiviral medications. Antibiotics and antivirals arent available OTC theyre only available with a prescription. In rare cases, your healthcare provider may also need to insert a small tube to help your ear drain.
If you need an antiviral medication, you should start taking it as soon as possible. For instance, if a virus like the flu has led to an ear infection, antiviral medications should ideally be taken within a few days of getting sick.
If you need an antibiotic, time isnt usually as sensitive. Your healthcare provider may recommend taking them right away, or they could recommend that you watch and wait before attempting to treat the infection.
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Are There Natural At
Yes. While taking antibiotics is still considered the gold standard of UTI treatments, there are some things you can do at home that help relieve symptoms, as well. These include:
- Drink plenty of water. Consuming at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily can help flush away UTI-causing bacteria, setting you up for a quicker recovery. Plus, the more you drink, the more youll have to urinate.
- Urinate often. Each time you empty your bladder, youre helping to flush bacteria out of your system.
- Try heat. Applying a heating pad to your pubic area for 15 minutes at a time can help soothe the pressure and pain caused by UTI-related inflammation and irritation.
- Tweak your wardrobe. Wearing loose cotton clothing and underwear can help you recover from a UTI.
- Go fragrance-free. Make sure your personal hygiene products are fragrance-free to sidestep further irritation, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
- Cut out certain irritants. Caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, raw onions, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine can further irritate your bladder, making it more difficult for your body to heal, per the Cleveland Clinic.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Do not freeze. Antipyrine and benzocaine otic should be disposed of 6 months after the bottle is opened.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
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What Is The Best Antibiotic For Ear Infections
A doctor will determine the type of ear infection through physical examination and patient interview. A diagnosis of acute otitis media can be confirmed by the presence of pus near the eardrum in the middle ear.
Some of the topical and oral antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections of the middle ear and external ear canal include amoxicillin, neomycin, ciprofloxacin, and ofloxacin.
It is worth noting that not all cases of otitis media or outer ear canal infection require antibiotic treatment. The bodys immune system can fight off many infections on its own. Typically, antibiotics are only indicated for a severe infection or an ear infection that worsens or does not improve within 2 to 3 days.
In mild cases, your doctor may advise the wait-and-see approach to see if rest, extra fluid intake, and pain medication can relieve earache and fever while the body fights off the infection. In that case, your doctor may send a prescription for antibiotics to be on hold at the pharmacy, then to be used if your signs and symptoms do not go away in a couple of days.
How Does A Doctor Diagnose A Middle Ear Infection
The first thing a doctor will do is ask you about your childs health. Has your child had a head cold or sore throat recently? Is he having trouble sleeping? Is she pulling at her ears? If an ear infection seems likely, the simplest way for a doctor to tell is to use a lighted instrument, called an otoscope, to look at the eardrum. A red, bulging eardrum indicates an infection.
A doctor also may use a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a puff of air into the ear canal, to check for fluid behind the eardrum. A normal eardrum will move back and forth more easily than an eardrum with fluid behind it.
Tympanometry, which uses sound tones and air pressure, is a diagnostic test a doctor might use if the diagnosis still isnt clear. A tympanometer is a small, soft plug that contains a tiny microphone and speaker as well as a device that varies air pressure in the ear. It measures how flexible the eardrum is at different pressures.
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When To See Your Doctor
Trapped water usually goes away without treatment. If it bothers you, consider trying one of these home treatments to help relieve your discomfort. But if the water is still trapped after 2 to 3 days or if you show signs of infection, you should call your doctor.
If your ear becomes inflamed or swollen, you may have developed an ear infection. An ear infection can become serious if you dont get treatment for it. It may lead to hearing loss or other complications, such as cartilage and bone damage.
Your doctor can prescribe medications to eliminate infection and relieve pain.
Do Ear Candles Help Ear Infections
No, ear candles should never be used especially for ear infections. Ear candling is claimed to suction out earwax by lighting a hollow candle inside the ear canal. Ear candling has not been proven to work for any ear condition. They can lead to serious injuries, such as puncturing your eardrum or burning your head.
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Other Remedies That May Help
These other at-home remedies may provide some relief:
- Neck exercises. Rotating and stretching your neck can help ease pressure thats built up in your ear canal.
- Ginger. With its anti-inflammatory properties, using ginger juice around the outer ear canal may soothe pain.
- Hydrogen peroxide. Place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into your ear. After a few minutes, let it drain into a sink. Rinse off your ear.
Cold Or Warm Compresses
People often use ice packs or warm compresses, like a heating pad or damp washcloth, to relieve pain. The same can be done for ear pain. This method is safe for both children and adults.
Place the ice pack or warm compress over the ear and alternate between warm and cold after 10 minutes. If you prefer either cold or warm, you can use just one compress.
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How To Administer Antibacterial Ear Drops
Antibiotic ear drops are for the ears only and should never be put into the eyes. Always take the entire prescribed amount even if your symptoms improve as it prevents a recurrence of the infection.
Follow these steps to correctly administer ear drops:
- Warm the bottle in your hand for two minutes, inserting cold ear drops can cause dizziness
- Wash your hands
- Have the person with the ear infection lie on their side with the problem ear up
- For children three years and older, gently pull the outer ear outward and upward in the direction toward the top of their head
- For children younger than three years, gently pull the outer eat outward and downward in the direction toward their feet
- Without allowing the dropper to touch the ear, carefully put the drops in the ear
- Remain laying on their side for two minutes or put a cotton plug in the ear
What Type Of Ear Infection Is It
There are two common types of ear infections:
- Otitis media: This ear infection affects the middle ear . Middle ear infections are common in kids and tend to cause trouble hearing, fevers, and pain without much outward signs such as ear drainage or swelling.
- Otitis externa: This infection affects the ear canal, and is commonly known as swimmers ear because water exposure is a risk factor for it. Swimmers ear is painful, too, and tends to have more visible signs such as a swollen ear canal or pus drainage.
There are several home remedies for earaches, says Dr. Nguyen-Huynh. Try these for the first two or three days if symptoms are mild.
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Anatomy Of An Ear Infection
The ear is divided into the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Infection can occur in any of these areas, but bacterial infections of the inner ear are extremely rare.
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause infections in the ear. Infections can be brought on by an illness, such as a cold or allergies.
Ear infections generally occur when bacteria, viruses, or fungi gain entry into one of the three areas of the ear and cause infection.