How Do Adults Get Ear Infections
Adults with weakened immune systems and certain medical conditions are more likely to get ear infections. For example, if you have diabetes, it can cause an inflammatory response throughout your body including your middle and inner ear. Having skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis can increase the chance that you get an outer ear infection.
Earaches In Adults: What You Need To Know
Been a while since you woke up with a sharp, stabbing earache? Such a distant memory you don’t even know where to find a heating pad like the one your mom used to carefully apply to the side of your face?
Consider yourself lucky but not necessarily off the hook. Although ear infections are more common among children, some 20% occur in adults. Bad news for those of us who thought we had outgrown that phase for good. But the good news is, for the most part, there are easy ways to fix the problem, and even easier ways to avoid the common mistakes that can land even the most responsible adults in the reclining chair of an ear, nose and throat doctor .
Luckily, Dr. Brian Wang, an ENT doctor at Houston Methodist, is here to answer all of our burning questions about the types of ear problems that most frequently occur in adults.
When To Call A Doctor
Ear pain often gets better in 2 or 3 days on its own or with home care. Often all you need to do is take a pain reliever and be alert for symptoms that get worse. That said, itâs important to know when your discomfort might be a sign of something more serious.
- You have a high fever, headache, or are dizzy.
- You believe an object is stuck in your ear.
- You see swelling behind your ear, especially if that side of your face feels weak or you canât move the muscles there.
- Youâve had severe ear pain and it suddenly stops .
- Your symptoms donât get better in 24 to 48 hours.
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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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Apple Cider Vinegar With Rubbing Alcohol Ear Drops
This recipe is identical to the one above except it involves rubbing alcohol instead of warm water.
Rubbing alcohol is both antimicrobial and antibacterial. Do not use this method if you have drainage from your ear or think you may have a middle ear infection. Also, do not continue with this mixture if you have any stinging or discomfort when using these drops.
- Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with rubbing alcohol .
- Apply 5 to 10 drops in each affected ear using a clean dropper bottle or baby syringe.
- Cover your ear with a cotton ball or clean cloth and lean on your side to let drops enter and sit in the ear. Do this for about 5 minutes.
- Repeat this application as often as desired to fight ear infection.
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Earache Remedies For Kids
Since children are especially prone to ear infections, given their smaller eustachian tubes, there are some medications on the market specifically for earaches in kids. Drugstores sell pain-relieving eardrops that can help your child feel better if their earache is due to a cold or flu, swimmers ear, or allergies.
In addition, childrens formula acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used as earache remedies to help ease discomfort from inflammation in kids 6 months or older. Be sure to consult your childs pediatrician before giving an kind ofanti-inflammatory medication and avoid aspirin for children under 16.
What’s The Difference Between The Middle Ear Infections We Get As Children Versus The Middle Ear Infections We Get As Adults
Dr. Wang: The underlying causes are usually different. They are more frequent in children because their shorter, more horizontal Eustachian tubes are more likely to get blocked. Also, their adenoids are larger compared to the rest of the throat and can interfere with the opening of the Eustachian tubes. And finally, children’s immune systems are immature and colds and viruses are often passed around day care and school.
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How To Treat Bacterial Infection With Cranberry Juice
In accordance with a study carried out by Dr. Ran D. Goldman, published in the official publication of the college of Family Physicians of Canada in April, 2021, cranberry juice was reported to be effective in bacterial infection treatment and prevention such as Escherichia coli that affects the bladder epithelium. Specifically, current evidence shows that this juice can be used to prevent UTI in women but no evidence supporting for the childrens cases.
Actually, cranberry juice is considered as a wonderful tip on how to treat bacterial naturally, which can treat both urinary tract and vaginal infections. Fresh cranberry juice that is not sweetened and canned could take many times throughout the day to fight against the harmful bacteria inside our body. Cranberry juice could be used safely even by women who are pregnant for curing bacterial infections. Therefore, it is recommended for you if you want to know how to treat bacterial infection without antibiotics. However, as mentioned, although cranberry juice if safe for children, its level of acidity may reduce palatability among them. In fact, the dose of this juice for preventing UTI from children has not been determined yet. It is still a controversial issue.
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How To Get Rid Of Yeast Infection Quickly With Lavender
Lavender is well known for its beneficial effects on the nervous system, for its ability of relieving pain, improving circulation, healing conditions of the respiratory system, disinfecting the skin and scalp as well as for inducing a sensation of calmness.
Lavender has powerful antifungal effects, being recommended in yeast infections, fungal infections of the skin and nails, as well as in digestive issues caused by the overgrowth of harmful microorganisms inside the digestive tract.
Lavender oil strengthens immunity, being completely free of side effects therefore safe for most patients dealing with yeast infections. Also, its a good antispasmodic treatment and incorporated in herbal blends, this product is successfully used in treating influenza, cold and flu, fatigue and stress.
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Antibiotics And Other Prescriptions
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , using antibiotics by mouth to treat ear infections may not be recommended in certain cases of middle and outer ear infections.
Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the infection, along with other health problems a person may have. Antibiotics are not effective against ear infections caused by viruses.
Prescription eardrops may be the way a doctor will treat some ear infections. Prescription eardrops can also sometimes be used to treat pain symptoms.
When To See Your Doctor
Dr. Nguyen-Huynh recommends seeing your doctor if:
- Your symptoms remain after two or three days, even if youve tried over-the-counter or home remedies.
- Your ear is very painful, or you have other symptoms that bother you.
- You have a fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit
Other common conditions like temporomandibular joint dysfunction , can masquerade as earache infections. TMJ causes ear pain because your ear canal and jaw joint share a nerve.
If you have ear pain along with trouble chewing, talking or yawning, then you should see a dentist or TMJ expert to be sure youre treating the right condition, advises Dr. Nguyen-Huynh.
The good news? Hot and cold compresses and OTC pain relievers can also help relieve TMJ pain until you sort things out.
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When Should I Go To The Doctor For An Ear Infection
While many ear infections can be treated at home, some need medical attention. Youll want to talk to a doctor or nurse if:
- Your baby has a fever, especially if they are younger than 3 months old, or if your older babys temperature is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The ear infection symptoms arent getting better after a couple of days.
- Theres fluid draining from the ear.
- You or your child is experiencing changes or loss of hearing.
- The infection has lasted for more than six weeks.
- You or your child is experiencing frequent or recurrent ear infections.
What Other Types Of Ear Infections Affect Adults
Dr. Wang: A middle ear infection, or otitis media, is most frequently associated with children, but adults get them as well. This type of ear infection happens when viruses or bacteria get into the middle ear the space behind the eardrum. The middle ear fills with pus or infected fluid. The pus pushes on the eardrum, which can be very painful. Middle ear infections are caused by swelling in one or both of the Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the throat and act as release valves to equalize pressure within the middle ear. When that process is interfered with, that’s when infections can develop.
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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?
Dilation Of The Eustachian Tube
More recently, dilation of the eustachian tube using balloon catheter has gained attention as a method of treating eustachian tube obstruction. There are two methods of performing this procedure depending on the route of the catheter introduction and the area of the Eustachian tube to be dilated. Dennis Poe popularized the transnasal introduction and the dilation of the nose side of the eustachian tube. Muaaz Tarabichi pioneered the transtympanic introduction of the balloon catheter and the dilatation of the proximal part of the cartilaginous eustachian tube.
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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.
How Are Dog Ear Infections Treated
Your veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dogs ears using a medicated ear cleanser. Your vet may also prescribe an ear cleanser and a topical medication for you to use at home. In severe cases, your vet may prescribe oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
Most uncomplicated ear infections resolve within 12 weeks, once appropriate treatment begins. But severe infections or those due to underlying conditions may take months to resolve, or may become chronic problems. In cases of severe chronic disease where other treatments have failed, your veterinarian may recommend surgery such as a Total Ear Canal Ablation . A TECA surgery removes the ear canal, thus removing the diseased tissue and preventing the recurrence of infection.
It is important to follow your veterinarians instructions closely and return to the veterinary hospital for any recommended recheck appointments. Lapses in your dogs treatment may lead to the recurrence of the infection. It is especially important that you finish the full course of your dogs medication, even if your dog appears to be getting better. Failure to finish the full course of treatment may lead to additional problems such as resistant infections.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
There are three main types of ear infections. Each has a different combination of symptoms.
- Acute otitis media is the most common ear infection. Parts of the middle ear are infected and swollen and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. This causes pain in the earcommonly called an earache. Your child might also have a fever.
- Otitis media with effusion sometimes happens after an ear infection has run its course and fluid stays trapped behind the eardrum. A child with OME may have no symptoms, but a doctor will be able to see the fluid behind the eardrum with a special instrument.
- Chronic otitis media with effusion happens when fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time or returns over and over again, even though there is no infection. COME makes it harder for children to fight new infections and also can affect their hearing.
Safe And Effective Ways Treat A Middle Ear Infection
This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. Dr. Marusinec is a board certified Pediatrician at the Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin, where she is on the Clinical Practice Council. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1995 and completed her residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Pediatrics in 1998. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 518,314 times.
Middle ear infections are fairly common in childhood. One of every 10 children will experience otitis media, the medical term for middle ear infection, every year. This is 10 times the number of adults who will suffer from a middle ear infection.XResearch source Otitis media is the second leading cause of doctors visits in children and and the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription in children.
Can You Get An Outer Ear Infection From Sweating A Lot When You Work Out
Dr. Wang: It’s not common, but yes. It’s called swimmer’s ear because that is what usually causes it. But moisture can also be introduced into the ear from showering, taking a bath, rain or sweat dripping into your ear even high humidity. Outer ear infections are mostly caused by bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungus, such as the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
Can I Treat An Ear Infection At Home
Swimmers ear home treatment
An outer ear infection may take several days to heal, but the pain usually is gone within one week. Moreover, the warmer the water, the higher the likelihood of getting swimmers ear, for example, people who swim in the summer are more likely to develop an outer ear infection than wintertime surfers.
Middle ear infection home treatment
Numerous studies have shown that viruses cause middle ear infections. Pain management for ear pain for two or three days will allow the bodys natural immune system to fight and cure the infection, much like the common cold. However, some people with middle ear infections may need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional for medical treatment.
Inner ear infection and labyrinthitis home treatment
Inner ear infections and labyrinthitis usually treat inner ear infections in adults and children.
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Iii How To Get Rid Of An Ear Infection
Commonly used medicines for middle ear infection are ear drops, pain relieving medicines and antibiotics. Many people arent interested in taking medicines so that they make use of home remedies for middle ear infections that are equally effective and available in their own homes.
The following are proven ways, tips on how to get rid of an ear infection at home quickly. Check out and take advantage of some suitable remedies for your inner ear infections.
1. Warm Compression
This tip is beneficial for easing throbbing pain in the ear. Dip a small clean washcloth into hot water. Next, wring out extra water from the washcloth. Then, place the warm washcloth over your ear as a soothing relief.
On the other hand, you can pour hot water in a little bottle. Wrap the bottle with a towel. Hold this bottle on your painful area.
Remember not to apply the heat to your ear for long time. Hold it for 5 minutes next remove the heat for some minutes. Then repeat this process as needed.
2. Garlic Juice
Among simple tips on how to get rid of an ear infection, do not miss out garlic juice. This spice includes powerful antibiotic agents so that it help fight off a lot of infections, including middle ear infections.
Garlic also contains antimicrobial properties so that it is highly effective in treating middle ear infections.
Repeat this process daily to speed up the middle ear infection healing process.
5. Olive Oil