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How To Treat Chronic Ear Infection

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Bilateral Myringotomy And Tubes

Ear Infections? Do This! | Dr K & Dr Wil

Bilateral myringotomy and tubes are used for patients who suffer from a frequent buildup of fluid within the ears. During the procedure, a small hole is created by the surgeon, and prosthetic tubes are inserted. This creates an opening for fluid to drain. This is an outpatient procedure that allows patients to return home after surgery. After several months, the tubes will fall out on their own and the hole will close.

Treating The Underlying Cause

As well as treating the infection, it is important to also treat the underlying cause the reason that your dog has developed this infection in the first place.

The treatment will depend on what the underlying cause is. This might be as simple as removing a grass seed from the ear or might mean life-long treatment for skin allergies. Your veterinarian will discuss your dogs particular condition with you, and come up with a treatment plan.

Types Of Chronic Ear Infection Surgeries

SFENTA offers several options for chronic ear infection surgery. To choose the best-fitting surgery, your provider will examine your ears and discuss your symptoms. The type of surgery will depend on the nature of the infection, and if damage has occurred inside the ear. Some surgical options include:

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How Middle Ear Infections Are Treated

Most ear infections clear up within three to five days and don’t need any specific treatment. If necessary, paracetamol or ibuprofen should be used to relieve pain and a high temperature.

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

Ear Infection Symptoms In Children

Earaches and Ear Infection Home Remedies that Work Even When ...

If your child has an ear infection, they might be unable to communicate their pain and discomfort. But parents can watch for signs, such as an infant being more fussy than usual. In addition, the child might get more uncomfortable or fussy when lying down since it increases the pressure on the ear.

Also, pay attention to the childs sleeping and eating habits. These patterns often change because of the pain they are experiencing. Another sign that a child might have an ear infection is that they are often tugging and pulling on the ear.

Keep in mind that ear infection symptoms can also be similar to the behavior a child exhibits when they are teething. So, pay attention to the progression of the symptoms. Dont hesitate to visit a doctor if you suspect your child might be experiencing an ear infection or other illness.

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Why Are Babies More Prone To Ear Infections

There are three primary reasons why ear infections are common among babies .

  • Underdeveloped immunity: A babys immunity is still developing. Hence their body takes time to recognize and fight any infections.
  • Smaller Eustachian tubes: An Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. There is a tube each from each ear. In adults, the Eustachian tube is inclined and easily drains any excess fluid from the ears. However, in babies, the tube is smaller and leveled. As a result, there is a higher risk of fluid buildup, causing it to potentially harbor pathogens.
  • Swollen adenoid: An adenoid is a type of tonsil tissue and part of the lymphatic system, which provides immunity. The tissue is located near the Eustachian tubes. The adenoid may trap viruses and bacteria. However, sometimes these pathogens may lead to infection, which may spread to the ear due to the proximity of Eustachian tubes to the adenoid.
  • Image: Shutterstock

    Ent Treatments For Chronic Ear Infections

    Your ENT will begin with a thorough diagnostic process to help you identify the root cause of your symptoms. Its important to understand why you are experiencing pain and look for underlying conditions contributing to the recurring issues.

    ENTs might recommend one or more treatments:

    • Medications: Prescription medications can help to clear up the infection. These medications can be oral pills. Or, you might use ear drops that contain antibiotics.
    • Surgery: Sometimes, surgery is necessary for chronic ear infections. This intensive treatment is only recommended if your symptoms arent responding to other minimally-invasive treatments.

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    What Are The Associated Symptoms Of Ear Infection

    If your baby has an upper respiratory tract infection, you may expect an ear infection. Although your baby cannot express the reason, the following symptoms could help you interpret an ear infection in babies .

    • Ear pain: If you notice your baby tugging or pulling their ears, it could be a sign of ear pain. They may also have trouble sleeping, seem fussy, and cry frequently.
    • Fever: A fever may occur even before the ear infection become noticeable. Fever is a more common sign of ear infection among infants.
    • Poor hearing: The accumulation of fluid in the middle ear could hinder the passage of sound and may decrease the babys hearing abilities. You may notice that they show delayed responses to your auditory cues.
    • The baby may feel pain when they open their mouth due to the swollen Eustachian tubes. This may cause your baby to refuse milk or food .

    Image: Shutterstock

    • Fluid drainage: The release of yellowish fluid from the ear is a common sign of an ear infection. This release of fluid indicates pus buildup in the ears and may not always be an early symptom.

    Surgical Treatment Of Chronic Ear Infections

    EarPopper or Eustachi Therapy to Treat Clogged Ears, Fluid in Ears, and Ear Infections

    While an occasional ear infection isnt too bothersome, chronic ear infections can get in the way of daily life and activities. SFENTA offers surgery to patients with chronic ear infections to help put an end to this challenging condition.

    For an ear infection to be considered chronic, it would need to occur frequently or last longer than three months. Chronic ear infections can often include other symptoms such as pain, drainage from the ears, facial weakness, and hearing loss. Our providers specialize in performing surgery to help correct chronic ear infections.

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    How Are Chronic Ear Infections In Dogs Diagnosed

    Your veterinarian will start by taking a detailed history and performing a thorough physical exam including an otoscopic examination of the ear canals. The otoscope can identify any masses, polyps or growths within the ear canal. Your veterinarian will then take a swab of the ear canals to perform an in-house cytological evaluation that will identify the type of ear infection such as yeast, bacteria or ear mites.

    What Type Of Surgery Is Done For Chronic Ear Infections

    A myringotomy is a procedure in which your doctor creates a small hole in the eardrum so fluids such as water, blood, or pus can drain out. In many cases, your doctor will put in tympanostomy tubes, known as ear tubes or PE tubes, so the eardrum wont get backed up again. Before surgery, the doctor will conduct a through examination and order a hearing test to determine if your child has a hearing loss. After surgery, your child will undergo another hearing test to determine if his or her hearing has improved. Follow up care is also provided to manage children for the length of time they have ear tubes to make sure they remain free of ear infections and complications.

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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

    What To Do About Chronic Ear Infections In Children

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    According to the NIH, five out of every six kids have at least one ear infection by their fifth birthday. Ear infections are so common in children and babies that they account for more visits to the pediatrician than any other single ailment. Doctors refer to ear infections as otitis media, which means an infection in the middle ear.

    The ear, nose, and throat experts at Pediatric ENT Specialists at Childrens of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama, know how painful and frustrating otitis media can be for babies and children. Though most earaches are easily treated with at-home remedies or antibiotics, if your child has chronic ear infections, they may need other therapies to alleviate their pain and prevent hearing damage.

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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.

    2. Garlic

    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

    The Connection Between Chronic Ear Infections And Hearing Loss

    While acute ear infections can cause hearing loss due to the buildup of fluid in the ear, hearing returns to normal as the infection clears. However, research suggests that chronic ear infections can cause damage to the ears resulting in permanent hearing loss.

    Researchers examining the connection between chronic ear infections and hearing loss administered hearing tests to 123 patients with unilateral chronic otitis media. They found a highly significant association between chronic ear infections and sensorineural hearing loss.

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    Articles On Ear Infection Treatments

    If you care for children, you likely know already how often they come down with earaches. Adults get them, too, but youngsters have them much more often. Thatâs because they donât fight off viruses and bacteria as well, and their little ears arenât good at draining fluids yet.

    You or your child may have a sore throat, stuffy nose, or fever along with an earache. These are signs of a possible infection.

    Why Do Children Get Many More Ear Infections Than Adults Will My Child Always Get Ear Infections

    884 – Severely Swollen Outer Ear Infection Suction

    Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections for these reasons:

    • The eustachian tubes in young children are shorter and more horizontal. This shape encourages fluid to gather behind the eardrum.
    • The immune system of children, which in the bodys infection-fighting system, is still developing.
    • The adenoids in children are relatively larger than they are in adults. The adenoids are the small pads of tissue above the throat and behind the nose and near the eustachian tubes. As they swell to fight infection, they may block the normal ear drainage from the eustachian tube into the throat. This blockage of fluid can lead to a middle ear infection.

    Most children stop getting ear infections by age 8.

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    Should I Use Antibiotics For An Ear Infection

    Antibiotics are a medicine prescribed by your doctor. If youre dealing with an ear infection caused by bacteria, youll likely need antibiotics. They are the best way of quickly getting rid of a bacterial infection and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.

    The catch is that antibiotics dont work against viruses if you use antibiotics on a viral ear infection, it can actually make the infection worse. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to a condition called antibiotic resistance, which means that the medicine becomes less effective at fighting off bacteria.

    Thats why doctors are careful about using antibiotics wisely and may not immediately prescribe them for ear infections.

    Signs In Young Children

    As babies are unable to communicate the source of their discomfort, it can be difficult to tell what’s wrong with them. Signs that a young child might have an ear infection include:

    • raised temperature
    • pulling, tugging or rubbing their ear
    • irritability, poor feeding or restlessness at night
    • coughing or a runny nose
    • unresponsiveness to quiet sounds or other signs of difficulty hearing, such as inattentiveness
    • loss of balance

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    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.

    What Causes Middle Ear Infections

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    Most middle ear infections occur when an infection such as a cold, leads to a build-up of mucus in the middle ear and causes the Eustachian tube to become swollen or blocked.

    This mean mucus can’t drain away properly, making it easier for an infection to spread into the middle ear.

    An enlarged adenoid can also block the Eustachian tube. The adenoid can be removed if it causes persistent or frequent ear infections. Read more about removing adenoids.

    Younger children are particularly vulnerable to middle ear infections as:

    • the Eustachian tube is smaller in children than in adults
    • a child’s adenoids are relatively much larger than an adults

    Certain conditions can also increase the risk of middle ear infections, including:

    • having a cleft palate a type of birth defect where a child has a split in the roof of their mouth
    • having Down’s syndrome a genetic condition that typically causes some level of learning disability and a characteristic range of physical features

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    About Chronic Ear Infections

    Children may experience frequent ear infections because the insides of their ears are not yet fully developed. Normally, a childs eustachian tubes — which run from the middle ear to the back of the throat — drain secretions from the middle ear and keep the pressure behind the eardrum equal to that of the outer ear. Young children have short, straight eustachian tubes, which can prevent proper pressure equalization. Swelling or inflammation from a cold or allergies can also block the tubes and cause a buildup of fluid in the middle ear. This fluid can become infected with bacteria or a virus.

    Untreated chronic ear infections can lead to several complications, including:

    • Cholesteatoma: In severe cases, a skin cyst may develop in the middle ear or mastoid . The cyst can cause problems with hearing and excessive ear drainage.
    • Tympanic Membrane Perforation: The eardrum may tear from repeated infections. The hole sometimes closes on its own but may need surgical repair.
    • Hearing Loss: While hearing loss associated with chronic ear infections is rarely permanent, it can occur when an untreated infection damages the eardrum, the bones of the ear, or the hearing nerve.

    Middle Ear Infection : Symptoms & Signs

    Ear pain is the main symptom of middle ear infection, medically known as otitis media. The pain may be accompanied by a sense of pressure or fullness of the ear. Discharge from the ear canal and fever may be present.

    • Temporary hearing loss can result from middle ear infections, and
    • he infection may occur in the presence of signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, or cough.

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