Infections Inside The Ear
Antibiotics are not usually offered because infections inside the ear often clear up on their own and antibiotics make little difference to symptoms, including pain.
Antibiotics might be prescribed if:
- an ear infection does not start to get better after 3 days
- you or your child has any fluid coming out of the ear
- you or your child has an illness that means there’s a risk of complications, such as cystic fibrosis
They may also be prescribed if your child is less than 2 years old and has an infection in both ears.
If antibiotics are not prescribed, eardrops containing a painkiller and an anaesthetic might be prescribed.
How The First Smartphone App For Ear Infections Can Be Used At Home
Parents will be able to test their kids for an ear infection at home with the first smartphone app that detects fluid behind the eardrum
Caption: This app works by sending sounds into the ear and measuring how those sound waves change as they bounce off the eardrum.
New software has been that will allow for an at home ear infection test- to identify fluid behind the eardrum using just a smartphones microphone, speaker and a piece of paper.
Designed by researchers from the University of Washington , the app detects fluid behind the eardrum by chirps reflected back to the phone after it emits a series of soft, audible chirps, directed into the ear through paper that needs to be folded into a funnel.
Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at UW, said: Designing an accurate screening tool on something as ubiquitous as a smartphone can be game-changing for parents as well as healthcare providers in resource limited regions.
A key advantage of our technology is that it does not require any additional hardware other than a piece of paper and a software app running on the smartphone.
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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When To Call A Doctor
While home remedies are often all that is needed for a child’s ear infection, a visit to a healthcare provider may be necessary.
- They are under six months of age
- They are under three months of age and have a temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- They have a fever of 102.2°F or higher
- Symptoms last longer than two to three days or get worse
- Symptoms are severe
- Pus or discharge is leaking from the ear
- Hearing loss occurs or is suspected
- Ear infections are reoccurring
- Your child snores while asleep
- You think your child needs to be seen
Your child’s healthcare provider may want to see the child even if home remedies seem to be working.
What Is An Inner Ear Infection
Otitis interna, is the medical terminology of the inner ear infection. It is a disease that involves inflammation of the inner ear .
Now, this may become pretty painful, if proper care is not given, especially during the initial stages. Thus, if you are an adult having an ear infection, it is advised that you give serious attention to its symptoms and see a doctor as early as possible.
A condition diagnosed as an inner ear infection may actually be a case of inflammation and not an actual infection. An inner ear infection is inflammation or irritation of the parts of the ear called labyrinthitis, which is responsible for balance.
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What Home Remedies Relieve Ear Pain And Cure Ear Infections
Natural and over-the-counter nonprescription remedies for ear infections:
Which parts of the ear can become infected?
What Causes An Ear Infection
An ear infection usually is caused by bacteria and often begins after a child has a sore throat, cold, or other upper respiratory infection. If the upper respiratory infection is bacterial, these same bacteria may spread to the middle ear if the upper respiratory infection is caused by a virus, such as a cold, bacteria may be drawn to the microbe-friendly environment and move into the middle ear as a secondary infection. Because of the infection, fluid builds up behind the eardrum.
The ear has three major parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear, also called the pinna, includes everything we see on the outsidethe curved flap of the ear leading down to the earlobebut it also includes the ear canal, which begins at the opening to the ear and extends to the eardrum. The eardrum is a membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear.
The middle earwhich is where ear infections occuris located between the eardrum and the inner ear. Within the middle ear are three tiny bones called the malleus, incus, and stapes that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. The bones of the middle ear are surrounded by air.
The inner ear contains the labyrinth, which help us keep our balance. The cochlea, a part of the labyrinth, is a snail-shaped organ that converts sound vibrations from the middle ear into electrical signals. The auditory nerve carries these signals from the cochlea to the brain.
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Home Remedies For Your Babys Ear Infection
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What is an ear infection?
If your baby is fussy, cries more than usual, and tugs at their ear, they may have an ear infection. Five out of six children will have an ear infection before their 3rd birthday, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders .
An ear infection, or otitis media, is a painful inflammation of the middle ear. Most middle ear infections occur between the ear drum and the eustachian tube, which connects the ears, nose, and throat.
Ear infections often follow a cold. Bacteria or viruses are usually the cause. The infection causes inflammation and swelling of the eustachian tube. The tube narrows and fluid builds behind the eardrum, causing pressure and pain. Children have shorter and narrower eustachian tubes than adults. Also, their tubes are more horizontal, so its easier for them to get blocked.
Approximately 5 to 10 percent of children with an ear infection will experience a ruptured eardrum, according to the Childrens National Health System. The eardrum usually heals within one to two weeks, and rarely causes permanent damage to the childs hearing.
Johns Hopkins Pediatric Otolaryngology
Our pediatric otolaryngologists are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for children with ear, nose, and throat conditions. As part of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, you have access to all the specialized resources of a children’s hospital. Your child will also benefit from experts who use advanced techniques to treat both common and rare conditions.
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How The App Can Be Used As An At Home Ear Infection Test Using Sound
The system, called EarHealth, is claimed to be the first smartphone applications available for iPhone and Android that can hear ear infections in children.
The results published yesterday in Science Translational Medicine explains how the system uses the smartphone speaker to play audible, continuous wave chirps into the patients ear canal.
While a normal eardrum resonates well at multiple sound frequencies, the sound reflected from a healthy ear will create a broad-spectrum, soft echo producing an acoustic and broad dip in the overall signal, which is displayed on the screen.
An infected ear with fluid or pus restricts the vibrational capacity of the eardrum resulting in a destructive interference, which creates a narrower and deeper acoustic dip.
Its like tapping a wine glass, explained Justin Chan, a doctoral student in the Allen School.
He said: Depending on how much liquid is in it, you get different sounds.
Using machine learning on these sounds, we can detect the presence of liquid.
The smartphone-based screening tools determines the presence of fluid with a detection probability of 85%.
After parents provided informed consent, the team tested 53 children between ages of 18 months and 17 years at Seattle Childrens Hospital, half of the patients were getting tubes in their ears replaced, while the others were getting their tonsils removed or another non-ear procedure.
So these surgeries created the ideal setting for this study.
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.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With An Ear Infection
Speak to a pharmacist if you think you have an outer ear infection.
They can recommend acidic eardrops to help stop bacteria or fungus spreading.
- a long-term medical condition such as diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
- a weakened immune system because of chemotherapy, for example
Childhood Ear Infections Explained
Ear infections happen when there is inflammation usually from trapped bacteriain the middle ear, the part of the ear connects to the back of the nose and throat. The most common type of ear infection is otitis media, which results when fluid builds up behind the eardrum and parts of the middle ear become infected and swollen.
If your child has a sore throat, cold, or an upper respiratory infection, bacteria can spread to the middle ear through the eustachian tubes . In response to the infection, fluid builds up behind the eardrum.
Children are more likely to suffer from ear infections than adults for two reasons:
- Their immune systems are underdeveloped and less equipped to fight off infections.
- Their eustachian tubes are smaller and more horizontal, which makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear.
“In some cases, fluid remains trapped in the middle ear for a long time, or returns repeatedly, even when there’s no infection,” Tunkel explains.
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Can I Check My Child For Ear Infection At Home
Does your kid suffer from ear infections often? You may be often visiting a doctor and spending much time and money. But the good news is that you can check your kid ear and identify ear infection at home by using a DEPSTECH otoscope. But avoid doing this if your kids ear has pus or blood is coming from the ear.
What is an otoscope?An otoscope is a professional medical device that is used by doctors to see inside the ear. If you are not a doctor, you still can use an otoscope at home, but only if you know the correct way to do it. It is because an otoscope is not as simple as placing an earbud into your kids ear.
If your kids ear situation is not severe then you can use an otoscope to perform home inspection. In this passage, we will guide you on how to properly use an otoscope to examine your kid for home ear infections.
When should you use an otoscope?If you find that your kid has the following symptoms, you can use an otoscope to have an examination at home:EaracheAny infections or symptoms related to the ear
How to choose the proper one?Otoscopes are ubiquitous in the medical sector. Hence, it is vital to select the right one, especially when you are using it at home for your children. It is essential that you select a professional-grade one possessing high standard.
When Do Children Need Tubes In Their Ears
If your child has frequent ear infections, or if they have trouble hearing because of ongoing fluid in the middle ear, they may need a tube inserted through the eardrum and into the middle ear. The tube helps to keep air pressure normal on both sides of the ear drum and helps fluid drain from the middle ear.
Putting tubes in requires a brief operation by an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Children can usually go home the same day.
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How To Get Rid Of Ear Infection
While some cases require medical attention, most ear infections clear on their own. Rest and some home remedies will usually do the trick.
1. Holding a Warm Piece of Cloth over the Ear
Applying a warm compress relieves pain. You can do this in the following ways:
- Dip a piece of cloth in warm water, drain and hold it over the affected ear.
- Microwave a clean sock filled with either rice or beans for about 25 seconds and hold it on the ear.
- Alternatively, do the same with one cup of salt. Heat some salt and put it in a bean bag. Place it on the infected ear while lying down making sure that the temperature is not too high to make you uncomfortable. The heated salt will draw out any fluid from the infected ear and subsequently reduce pain and swelling.
- Do this for 10-15 minutes every day until the pain subsides.
Garlic is an effective natural remedy for ear infection. It has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. You can use garlic in any of the following ways:
- Start by eating one or two cloves of fresh garlic every day to boost immunity and fight the infection.
- Crush a few cloves of boiled cloves add some salt before placing them in a clean piece of cloth and putting it on the affected ear.
- Fry some cloves of garlic in mustard oil until they are dark. Strain and leave to cool before putting a few drops into the affected ear using a dropper.
3. Olive Oil
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
You may substitute white vinegar for ACV if thats what you have.
5. Tea Tree Oil
How To Use It
If using OTC drops, follow the directions on the label.
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How To Use Them
The dosage, type, and frequency of doses depend on the type of medication, the age of the person, their weight, and other mitigating factors such as medical history.
If a child is under age 2 or has never taken this medication before, contact their healthcare provider before administering it.
For children and adults, follow the directions on the package carefully.
How Do I Know If My Child Has An Ear Infection
Older children will usually complain of an earache. While younger children might not be able to say they have an earache, they may:
- have an unexplained fever,
- tug or pull at their ears, or
- have trouble hearing quiet sounds.
Some children with an ear infection may also have fluid draining from the ear.
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What Do I Do About Recurrent Ear Infections
Discontinue all dairy products . If you are breastfeeding, then stop dairy in your own diet. Cows milk proteins will travel through your breast milk.
Give colostrum, one capsule twice a day mixed with food such as applesauce. This is the first milk that is secreted in mammals for a few days after birth. It contains immune system stimulants that prevent infections. Cows colostrum is freeze dried and packaged in capsules, which can be opened and mixed with food. Use an organic form of colostrum, such as New Life Colostrum produced by Symbiotics. Note: children with a dairy allergy should not be given colostrum.
Take your child to see a homeopathic practitioner for a deeper-acting constitutional medicine. This will strengthen the system and prevent future infections. Check the Holistic Pediatric Association directory at www.hpakids.org for a homeopath in your area. Contact the Council for Homeopathic Certification for a homeopath near you who is certified in classical homeopathy 789-7677, or visit the directory at their website www.homeopathy-council.org.