Research On Treatments For Outer Ear Infections
Researchers from the analyzed the results of 19 randomized controlled trials that tested various treatments for outer ear infections. Almost 3,400 children and adults with an acute outer ear infection took part in these good-quality studies. The researchers didnt include studies on chronic outer ear infections.
Most of the studies were done in specialized ENT departments. The problem with that is that many people go to their family doctor when they have an earache they are referred to specialized ENT practices or clinics only if the infection is especially severe. So it might not be possible to apply the results of the study to all patients who have an outer ear infection.
Also, the treatments in the various studies weren’t always done in the same way. Because of this, it isnt possible to draw any reliable conclusions about the advantages and disadvantages of the various ear drops and sprays.
What Causes An Infection
Millions of microbes live on our skin and inside our body, and generally cause little harm. Trillions more live in the environment or on other animals. The most common organisms that can cause infection include:
- Bacteria. These are microscopic, usually single-celled organisms that are food everywhere . Common bacterial infections include acne, pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections.
- Viruses. These consist of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, that is only able to multiply within the living cells of a host. Common viral infections include the colds, flu, and herpes
- Fungi. These are multicellular organisms that are free-living in soil or water or form parasitic or symbiotic relationships with plants or animals. Examples of fungal infections include Vaginal thrush and athletes foot.
- Parasites. These live in or on an organism of another species and derive nutrients at the hosts expense, such as pinworms or tape worms.
- Prions. These are a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally. Some are spread by infected meat products .
Normally, your immune system helps protect your body against these invaders. However, cancer, chemotherapy, medications such as steroids, heavy metals, toxins, a poor diet or sleep, and many other health conditions can damage your immune system reducing your ability to fight infection.
What Causes Acute Otitis Media
The eustachian tube is the tube that runs from the middle of the ear to the back of the throat. An AOM occurs when your childs eustachian tube becomes swollen or blocked and traps fluid in the middle ear. The trapped fluid can become infected. In young children, the eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal than it is in older children and adults. This makes it more likely to become infected.
The eustachian tube can become swollen or blocked for several reasons:
The risk factors for AOM include:
- being between 6 and 36 months old
- using a pacifier
- being bottle fed instead of breastfed
- drinking while laying down
- being exposed to cigarette smoke
- being exposed to high levels of air pollution
- experiencing changes in altitude
- being in a cold climate
- having had a recent cold, flu, sinus, or ear infection
Genetics also plays a role in increasing your childs risk of AOM.
Your childs doctor may use one or more of the following methods to diagnose AOM:
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Over The Counter Medications For Mild Ear Infections
For mild yeast, bacterial, viral infections of the ear, your vet may first suggest Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution with hydrocortisone. It treats the external ear for acute and chronic inflammation. It is also available without hydrocortisone. You can purchase this medication over the counter, without a prescription.
To use Zymox, apply enough to fill the dog’s ear canal. Massage the dog’s ear gently, allowing the medication some time to penetrate where it is needed. Permit the pet to shake his or her head to remove excess medication after you administer it consider taking your dog outside for treatment. You must not Zymox with other topical ear medications or cleaning solutions.
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.
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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:
Why To Avoid Antibiotics When They’re Not Needed
Antibiotics often are not needed to treat an ear infection.
- Most ear infections will clear up on their own. This is true whether they are caused by bacteria or a virus.
- Antibiotics kill only bacteria. They won’t help with an infection caused by a virus.
- Antibiotics won’t help much with pain.
There are good reasons not to give antibiotics if they are not needed.
- Overuse of antibiotics can be harmful. If antibiotics are taken when they aren’t needed, they may not work later when they’re really needed. This is because bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics.
- Antibiotics can cause side effects, such as stomach cramps, nausea, rash, and diarrhea. They can also lead to vaginal yeast infections.
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Wipe From Front To Back
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces gain access to the urethra. This small channel allows urine to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria are in the urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they can lead to infections.
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How To Get Rid Of A Uti In 24 Hours
Are you experiencing painful urination and a constant need to run to the bathroom? If so, then youre already wondering how to get rid of a UTI in 24 hours. The seven home remedies in this article can help.
If youre still experiencing symptoms after 24 hours, then you need antibiotics. To get your hands on them, youll need to visit the doctor.
The doctors at Oxford Urgent Care will provide you with prompt treatment and relief. Check out our contact information and visit our office as soon as possible to remedy your UTI.
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What Are Utis And What Are The Symptoms
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system. This includes your ureters, bladder, or kidneys.
As mentioned previously, UTIs are one of the most commonly occurring infections. According to the National Institutes of Health, UTIs account for as many as 8.1 million visits to health care providers every year.
While both men and women can get them, women are at a much higher risk for UTIs. According to estimates by the American Urological Association and the NIH, in their lifetime, women have a 40% to 50% risk of contracting at least one UTI. The NIH explains that this is mostly due to womens shorter urethras which allow bacteria easier access to the bladder.
There are two general types of UTIs: lower UTIs and upper UTIs.
In lower UTIs, its typically the bladder that becomes infected after bacteria travels up to it via the urethra. This type of infection is called cystitis which isnt usually life-threatening or serious-especially if its caught and treated early.
However, if left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys. This is considered an upper urinary tract infection and is called pyelonephritis. This condition is much more serious, and, according to Harvard Medical School, it is potentially fatal.
According to American Urological Association, the usual symptoms of UTIs include:
- Pain in stomach and pelvic region
- Urinating more frequently but passing smaller amounts of urine
- Burning sensation while urinating
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.
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Ear Infections In Older Adults
While ear infections are more common in children, older adults can also get them.
Swimmerâs ear is most common in people ages 45 to 75. A potentially life threatening ear infection, malignant otitis externa , mostly occurs in older people with diabetes or weakened immune systems.
The aging process may affect the structure of the ears, making older adults more susceptible to ear diseases.
A of 138 people ages 60 and over found that 9.4% had a middle ear infection.
Older adults who have ear infections may experience symptoms such as the following:
Ocean Saline Nasal Spray
When it comes to simplicity and safety, Ocean Saline Nasal Spray is a hard one to beat. This product incorporates very few components and uses salt as its major active ingredient. It draws out the mucus and dislodges accumulated phlegm to clear out the airways.
Ocean Saline Nasal Spray is highly effective, giving instant relief for both adults and children who use the solution. The only issue some users have with the product is that relief duration may vary, especially depending on the extent of congestion.
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Which Ear Drops Help In The Treatment Of Outer Ear Infections
Some prescription-only ear drops can effectively relieve earache caused by an outer ear infection . There is no that over-the-counter disinfectant ear drops are as effective.
Outer ear infections are among the most common causes of earaches. They are usually caused by . If the infection only lasts a few days or weeks, it is called acute otitis externa. Painkillers and disinfectant ear drops are some of the more common treatments that are available in pharmacies without a prescription. But prescription-only ear drops for instance, containing or steroids are often used too.
How To Choose A Product
Its important to choose a high-quality olive oil if youre using it for medicinal purposes. When choosing an olive oil, look for extra virgin olive oil. This type of olive oil isnt chemically processed, .
You can also purchase olive oilbased herbal ear drops. These contain extracts from medicinal plants, such as garlic, that might provide added benefits. You can purchase these drops on .
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Diagnosing A Urinary Tract Infection In Older Adults
Vague, uncommon symptoms such as confusion make UTIs challenging to diagnose in many older adults. Once your doctor suspects a UTI, its easily confirmed with a simple urinalysis.
Your doctor may perform a urine culture to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and the best antibiotic to treat it.
There are home UTI tests that check urine for nitrates and leukocytes. Both are often present in UTIs. Because bacteria are often in the urine of older adults to some degree, these tests arent always accurate. Call your doctor if you take a home test and get a positive result.
Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for UTIs in older adults and younger people. Your doctor may prescribe amoxicillin and nitrofurantoin .
More severe infections may require a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin .
You should start antibiotics as soon as possible and take them for the entire duration of treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Stopping treatment early, even if symptoms resolve, increases the risks of recurrence and antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic overuse also increases your risk for antibiotic resistance. For this reason, your doctor will likely prescribe the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than 7 days, and your infection should clear up in a few days.
Its important to drink plenty of water during treatment to help flush out the remaining bacteria.
How Do I Use It
While theres no clear evidence about the effectiveness of olive oil on its own for common ear problems, its also not associated with any serious health consequences, so you can still try it to see for yourself.
To apply drops to your ear, use a glass dropper or you can dip a cotton swab in olive oil and allow the excess to drip into your ear. Dont put the cotton swab or any other object in your ear.
You can use room-temperature olive oil, though some people prefer to warm it up in a pan over low heat. Make sure to test the temperature on your skin first. The oil should be just slightly warm, not hot.
Follow these instructions to safely apply olive oil to your ears at home:
Tailor the application to your need, and contact your doctor if you arent seeing the desired results:
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What Can I Do To Feel Better
At home, follow your doctorâs directions for using ear drops and take all doses of antibiotic medicine as prescribed. Keep taking these for all days of treatment, even if you start to feel better. If you stop too soon, the infection could come back.
You can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for ear pain. If they donât help, let your doctor know. Youâll only need pain medicine for a day or two until the ear drops and antibiotics begin to work.
To protect your ear while it heals, your doctor will probably tell you to keep your ears dry for several days or weeks even while showering or shampooing! This can be tough, but your doctor can give you suggestions on how to do this, such as using a cotton ball covered in petroleum jelly as an earplug.
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.
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Who Should Use Antibiotic Eardrops
Antibiotic eardrops can be more effective and safer for:
- People with Swimmers Ear, an infection caused by water in the ear.
- Children who have tubes in their ears. The tubes prevent most infections behind the eardruman area known as the middle ear. If there is an infection, antibiotic eardrops can be given right through the tube.
When To See A Doctor
A typical ear infection will start to improve in a couple of days and will be cleared up in two weeks or less. Some ear infections, however, will need medical treatment. Call your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Symptoms that don’t get better or worsen over two or three days
- Severe pain that resolves suddenly
- Headache or dizziness
- Fluid or blood draining from your ear
- Swelling behind your ear
- Weakness in your facial muscles
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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.