How Do I Know If I Have An Ear Infection
Bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause ear infections. But because you cant see inside your ear with the naked eye, your symptoms may be the only way to suspect if you have one. And they can vary depending on the area of the ear thats infected.
If you or your child have symptoms like these, an ear infection could be a possibility. To confirm an ear infection, a healthcare provider typically needs to look inside your ear using a medical device called an otoscope. They can also check to see if a bacteria, virus, or something else is causing your infection.
Keep in mind that more serious symptoms can also develop that require prompt medical attention. More on these later.
How Ear Drops Work For Earwax
All ear drops are designed to break down and dissolve the earwax buildup that is causing issues. The different substances used in the drops work in different ways:
- Mineral oil: Some OTC ear drops contain various types of mineral oil. Mineral oil softens hard and dry wax, which allows the wax to be cleared out of the ear once it becomes soft enough.
- Glycerin: Glycerin is used to soften the wax that has built up in the ears. This helps to clear any blockage or buildup, as the wax can then clear out on its own.
- Carbamide peroxide: Carbamide peroxide releases oxygen in the ear. The oxygen thats released causes foaming within the ear, and that foam softens, loosens, and helps remove the excess buildup of wax.
- Saline solution: Saline solution helps soften the wax that has become hard.
- Baking soda: Since baking soda is an alkaline substance, it can help clear out earwax by dissolving it. It can do this because the earwax is acidic. The chemical reaction that occurs between baking soda and earwax is what dissolves the earwax.
- Acetic acid: Acetic acid is found in water-based ear drops and helps dissolve the earwax buildup.
Although ear drops can be helpful in the removal of built-up earwax, there are some downfalls. For those who have sensitive skin, ear drops can cause irritation of the skin in and around the ear canal. Therefore, they should be used sparingly or as directed.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Ear Infection Medicine
All medications can cause side effects that vary in type and severity. Remember that every patient is different and may experience different side effects for their specific treatment. All patients should consult their primary healthcare provider before starting medication for treating otitis as well as if any side effects persist or worsen. The following is not a complete list. Common side effects of ear infection medicine can include:
Recommended Reading: How Bad Does A Kidney Infection Hurt
Urinary Tract Infections And Self
Shireen N. Farzadeh, PharmD Candidate 2019St. Johns University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New York
Emily M. Ambizas, PharmD, MPH, BCGPAssociate Clinical ProfessorSt. Johns University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New YorkClinical Specialist, Rite Aid PharmacyWhitestone, New York
US Pharm. 2017 9:4-7.
Urinary tract infections are the most commonly occurring infections, affecting approximately 150 million people worldwide each year.1 In the United States alone, the societal costs of UTIs are estimated to be $3.5 billion annually.1 UTIs can affect both men and women, but they are especially common in women of childbearing age.2 Most women will experience at least one episode during their lifetime by 32 years of age, more than half of all women will have reported having at least one urinary tract infection.2,3 Almost 25% of women will have a recurrent infection within a year.2
You May Like: D Mannose For Urinary Tract Health
How Can You Treat Your Child’s Ear Infection At Home
You can help ease your child’s pain at home, whether you use antibiotics or wait for the ear infection to get better on its own.
- Give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen . Read and follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor’s advice about what amount to give. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. Aspirin has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
- Put a warm washcloth on the ear.
- Help your child rest by arranging quiet play.
- Give your child eardrops for pain if your doctor prescribes them.
You May Like: Fungal Infection In Hiv Patient
How Is An Ear Infection Diagnosed
Patients who experience ear infections should seek medical attention if they are concerned with the severity or type of ear infection. Ear infections are common and can often be caused by many different factors.
A viral infection is the most common cause of an inner ear infection whereas outer ear infections are usually caused by bacteria. Middle ear infections can be a result of bacterial infections, a virus, or other illness like a cold, flu, or allergies.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent ear infections. earplugs if swimming in freshwater, do not use q tips, hairpins, or other sharp objects in the ear canal, keep use decongestant when congested from cold, says Inna Husain, MD, an otolaryngologist and assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Ear infections are diagnosed by performing a physical examination. A primary healthcare professional, family physician, or ear, nose, and throat doctor may inspect the ears for infection using a tool such as an otoscope, which blows a puff of air into the ear. If the eardrum doesnt move, the patient could have fluid buildup. Depending on the type of ear infection, the doctor may also check for symptoms of an ear infection such as a fever or drainage of the ear. The healthcare professional may also ask questions about certain risk factors pertaining to ear infections, which might include:
Five Tips To Help Relieve Ear Infection Symptoms At Home
If your little one is cranky, unusually fussy and tugging at his or her ear or is feverish and having difficulty sleeping, chances are it may be due to an ear infection.
Ear infections in children often go away on their own or in some cases with antibiotic treatment. The challenge for many parents is knowing what to do, what to watch for and when to call their pediatrician.
Five out of six children experience an ear infection by the time they are 3 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. The odds are that your child will have an ear infection before kindergarten.
What causes an ear infection?
Ear infections can be caused by either bacteria or a virus, often following a cold. The common cold can cause the middle ear to become inflamed and fluid to build up behind the eardrum. The Eustachian tube, which connects the ears, nose and throat, can also become swollen.
Children are more susceptible to ear infections than adults because they have shorter and narrower Eustachian tubes, and it is easier for germs to reach the middle ear and for fluid to get trapped there, says Kara Hutton, MD, a pediatrician at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo. Babies and children also have weaker immune systems, so it is more difficult for their bodies to fight an infection.
The onset of ear infections is often on day three of a cold. Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years, and are a common problem until age 8, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Also Check: Ear Wick For Ear 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 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 .
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
You May Like: Bladder Infection Back Pain Right Side
Oral Antibiotics Have Risks
- Oral antibiotics are more likely to cause resistant bacteria outside the ear. When that happens, these medicines will not work as well in the future. Illnesses will be harder to cure and more costly to treat.
- Antibiotic eardrops kill the bacteria faster and more completely than oral antibiotics. Drops dont go into the bloodstream, so more medicine reaches the infection.
Related Resources For Ear Infections
* Prescription savings vary by prescription and by pharmacy, and may reach up to 80% off cash price.
Pharmacy names, logos, brands, and other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
Also Check: Best Relief For Yeast Infection
When Should I Call The Doctor
- has other serious medical problems,
- vomits over and over,
- is younger than 6 months old,
- is older than 6 months old and has had a fever for more than 48 hours,
- has redness and swelling behind the ear,
- is very sleepy,
- has a skin rash,
- isnt hearing well or at all,
- remains in a lot of pain despite at least one dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or
- still has an earache after 2 days of treatment with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Caring For Your Child
- Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever, pain, or fussiness. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
- If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
- Place a warm washcloth on your childs ear for pain.
- Encourage rest. Resting will help the body fight the infection. Arrange for quiet play activities.
Recommended Reading: Can Ear Infections Heal On Their Own
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.
Antazoline And Xylometazoline Eye Drops
Antazoline and Xylometazoline over the counter pink eye treatment medication is good in fighting allergy symptoms such as hay fever and works as an anti-inflammatory
Other common OTC pink eye relief drops brands include Eyebright Drops by Wisdom of the Ages, AquaSite, Celluvisc, Bion Tears, Gen Teal, Duratears, HypoTears, OcuCoat, Liquifilm Tears, Tears Naturale, Refresh, Systane, and TheraTears
Also Check: Otc Skin Yeast Infection Treatment
What Are Possible Complications Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Most UTIs cause no complications if they spontaneously resolve quickly or if treated early in the infection with appropriate medications. However, there are a number of complications that can occur if the UTI becomes chronic or rapidly advances. Chronic infections may result in urinary strictures, abscesses, fistulas, kidney stones, and, rarely, kidney damage or bladder cancer. Rapid advancement of UTIs can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, sepsis, and death. Pregnant females with untreated UTIs may develop premature delivery and a low birth weight for the infant and run the risks of rapid advancement of the infection.
Also Check: Will Az Pack Help A Urinary Tract Infection
When To Use A Home Remedy
The best home remedy for an earache depends on the cause. If a cavity is to blame, your earache may not improve until you see a dentist. However, if its an ear infection, using a natural remedy could make the illness bearable as your body fights off the infection.
Many ear infections clear up on their own in about a week or two, with symptoms starting to get better after a few days. Be sure to check with your childs pediatrician if your child has ear pain, especially if they are under 2 years of age.
If your child is running a high fever, or if a fever lasts longer than a day, seek immediate medical care. A high fever for children is defined as:
Also Check: Can You Check For Ear Infection At Home
How Do You Prevent Ear Infections
You may be able to prevent ear some ear infections if you:
- Use earplugs when swimming or diving
- Dry ears thoroughly after swimming
- Never use cotton swabs inside the ear canal
- Wash hands properly to prevent the spread of viruses
- Use soap and warm water and wash for at least 20 seconds
What Natural Supplements Can I Take To Prevent Another Uti
There is little evidence that natural supplements can prevent UTIs, but you can try cranberry supplements or probiotics. Cranberries contain antioxidants that may help prevent bacteria in the urinary tract from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Drinking 10 to 30 oz of cranberry juice per day may be beneficial. Probiotics may help prevent UTIs by supporting the bodys natural microorganisms in the flora.
Also Check: Royal Canin Urinary So Aging Calm
Recommended Reading: Natural Feminine Wash For Yeast Infection
Check If It’s An Ear Infection
The symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and include:
- discharge running out of the ear
- a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear
- itching and irritation in and around the ear
- scaly skin in and around the ear
Young children and babies with an ear infection may also:
- rub or pull their ear
- not react to some sounds
- be irritable or restless
- be off their food
- keep losing their balance
Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.
If you, or your child, have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
|Inner ear infection||Middle ear infection||Outer ear infection|
|Can affect both children and adults||Usually affects children||Usually affects adults aged 45 to 75|
|Caused by viral or bacterial infections||Caused by viruses like colds and flu||Caused by something irritating the ear canal, such as eczema, water or wearing earplugs|
|Affects parts of the inner ear like the labyrinth and vestibular system, and can lead to labyrinthitis||Affects the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose||Affects the ear canal|
Treating Inner Ear Infections
The inner ear is located next to the middle ear within the temporal bone. The inner ear contains the semicircular canals, which are essential to balance and equilibrium.
Inner ear infections are much more likely to be caused by a virus than a bacterial infection. They are much less common than outer ear infections or middle ear infections.
The most common inner ear infections include labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, which are slightly different conditions.
Labyrinthitis affects the labyrinth, which is a system of fluid-filled sacs that helps you hear and gives you a sense of balance. Labyrinthitis can cause both hearing changes and dizziness, or vertigo.
Vestibular neuritis is an inner ear infection that affects the vestibular nerve and usually causes dizziness and balance issues but no hearing changes.
There is no specific diagnostic test to identify an inner ear infection, so misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is common.
Also Check: My Iphone Is Infected With Malware