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Are Ear Infections Viral Or Bacterial

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Check If It’s An Ear Infection

838 – Bacterial 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.

Differences between middle and outer ear infections

Inner ear infectionMiddle ear infectionOuter ear infection
Can affect both children and adultsUsually affects childrenUsually affects adults aged 45 to 75
Caused by viral or bacterial infectionsCaused by viruses like colds and fluCaused 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 labyrinthitisAffects the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the noseAffects the ear canal

To Identify Bacterial Tonsillitis

Feel the neck for swollen lymph nodes

If you can feel a tender lump in your neck, this could indicate a bacterial infection. Although any infection in the throat can lead to a swollen lymph node, the chances are high that this could be due to bacterial tonsillitis.

Check for white spots

This is the most common symptom of bacterial tonsillitis- white spots on the throat. You can check for these symptoms by simply opening your mouth in front of a mirror.

Look out for ear infection

In very rare cases, bacteria from a throat infection can spread to the middle ear and cause an infection. Hence, this can also be a sign you can look out for.

See an abscess in the tonsil

When bacterial tonsillitis is left untreated for a while, this can lead to a peritonsillar abscess. This abscess is full of pus that leads to difficulty while opening the mouth or change in voice.

Earache Remedies You Can Try

1. Hot or cold compress

The skinny: Grab an ice or heat pack and put it onthe affected ear to help with the pain.

Doctors advice: The temperature you use is up to you. Wrap it in a towel tomake sure its not too cold or too hot. You dont want to cause any burns.

2.Over-the-counter pain relievers

The skinny: Pain relievers work as advertised, helping take the edge off the pain.

Doctors advice:Both adults and kids can rest easier when they take acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the right dosage. These medications reduce pain and fever, making you feel more comfortable.

3. Sleep position

The skinny: How you sleep can affect ear pain. Rest with your head on two or more pillows, so the affected ear is higher than the rest of your body. Or if the left ear has an infection, sleep on your right side. Less pressure = less ear pain.

Doctors advice: It could be effective, though a few inches may not make a big difference in pressure measurement. But if it makes you feel better, go for it.

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Treating An Ear Infection

Many cases of ear infections improve on their own without medical intervention. Your doctor may want to monitor your symptoms for signs of improvement over the course of a week or two.

For younger children with mild ear pain, doctors often recommend a watch-and-wait approach to monitor symptoms for no longer than 48 hours.

If symptoms dont improve, your doctor may recommend antibiotic treatment or ear drops . In more severe or chronic cases, surgery may be recommended to drain excess fluid from the middle ear.

Ear infections arent contagious. But you can avoid spreading germs that may trigger an ear infection by taking simple preventive measures:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.

Types Of Ear Infections In Dogs

Say Goodbye To Ear Infection! Cure Ear infection In Just 1 ...

Not every infection is created equal. Treatment depends on whats contaminating your dogs ears and how deep the irritant has traveled. Here are the most common types of ear infections:

  • Yeast infections This is one of the most prevalent types of ear infections in dogs. Yeast is a fungus that usually lives in the ear. When the yeast population overgrows, inflammation and unpleasantness occur. As if the discomfort and itchiness arent enough, the smell of a yeast infection is often foul. Luckily, this ailment is treatable at home.
  • Bacterial infections Germs are another common irritant that can drive your dog nuts. Similar to yeast, bacteria love dark, moist places. Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp, and pseudomonas can overtake the ear and cause an infection.

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What Causes Ear Infections In Dogs

Several factors can predispose dogs to ear infections including long floppy ears, water or hair in the ears, allergies, trauma, tumors, foreign material in the ears, allergies, autoimmune disease and generalized skin diseases.

A common question pet owners ask is, How can I treat an ear infection at home?

When To Come Into Gohealth Urgent Care

Most earaches will go away in a few days. But if it doesnt get better, or symptoms worsen in 24 to 48 hours, its time to visit a GoHealth Urgent Care center.

Other reasons to seek medical advice include:

  • Pus-like fluid or blood oozing from the ear
  • An object might be stuck in your ear and needs to be removed
  • Severe ear pain that suddenly stops

Healthcare professionals at our centers regularly see and treat earaches and ear infections. Just use the dropdown below to save your spot online or you can walk in to the GoHealth Urgent Care nearest you.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis Media

Symptoms of ear infection include:

  • Ear pain: This symptom is obvious in older children and adults. In infants too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, acting fussy/irritable.
  • Loss of appetite: This may be most noticeable in young children, especially during bottle feedings. Pressure in the middle ear changes as the child swallows, causing more pain and less desire to eat.
  • Irritability: Any kind of continuing pain may cause irritability.
  • Poor sleep: Pain may be worse when the child is lying down because the pressure in the ear may worsen.
  • Fever: Ear infections can cause temperatures from 100° F up to 104° F. Some 50% of children will have a fever with their ear infection.
  • Drainage from the ear: Yellow, brown, or white fluid that is not earwax may seep from the ear. This may mean that the eardrum has ruptured .
  • Trouble hearing: Bones of the middle ear connect to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain. Fluid behind the eardrums slows down movement of these electrical signals through the inner ear bones.

Infections Of The Inner Ear

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Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are disorders resulting from an infection that inflames the inner ear or the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain. This inflammation disrupts the transmission of sensory information from the ear to the brain. Vertigo, dizziness, and difficulties with balance, vision, or hearing may result.

Infections of the inner ear are usually viral less commonly, the cause is bacterial. Such inner ear infections are not the same as middle ear infections, which are the type of bacterial infections common in childhood affecting the area around the eardrum.

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What Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Sinus Infections And Sinusitis

Sinus infection is most often diagnosed based on the history and examination of a doctor. Because plain X-ray studies of the sinuses may be misleading and procedures such as CT and MRI scans, which are much more sensitive in their ability to diagnose a sinus infection, are so expensive and not available in most doctors offices, most sinus infections are initially diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination. These physical findings may include:

  • redness and swelling of the nasal passages,
  • purulent drainage from the nasal passages ,
  • tenderness to percussion over the cheeks or forehead region of the sinuses, and
  • swelling about the eyes and cheeks.

Occasionally, nasal secretions are examined for secreted cells that may help differentiate between infectious and allergic sinusitis. Infectious sinusitis may show specialized cells of infection while allergic sinusitis may show specialized white blood cells of allergy . Physicians prescribe antibiotics if the bacterial infection is suspected. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections many physicians then treat the symptoms.

In addition, both rigid and flexible endoscopy has been used to obtain diagnostic material from sinuses. These procedures are usually done by an otolaryngologist under topical and local anesthesia. Occasionally, there may be a need to sedate the patient. Some investigators suggest that endoscopy specimens are comparable to those obtained by needle puncture.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Middle

Common symptoms of a middle-ear infection in adults are:

  • Pain in 1 or both ears

  • Drainage from the ear

  • Sore throat

You may also have a fever. Rarely, your balance can be affected.

These symptoms may be the same as for other conditions. Its important totalk with your health care provider if you think you have a middle-earinfection. If you have a high fever, severe pain behind your ear, orparalysis in your face, see your provider as soon as you can.

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Types Of Middle Ear Infections

Middle ear infections are called otitis media. When otitis media is accompanied by fluid in the middle ear, ear infections are referred to as serous otitis media, or otitis media with effusion.

Middle ear infections often occur after a cold virus or upper respiratory infection. They are also more common in individuals who suffer from allergies or enlarged adenoids , which can inhibit proper functioning of the auditory tube.

Bacteria, viruses, or fungi often enter through the auditory tube, which can then become swollen and blocked with mucus, preventing drainage and ventilation of the middle ear.

The main symptoms of middle ear infections include:

  • Ear pain, which may be worse in the morning or cause difficulty sleeping
  • Ear drainage
  • Trouble hearing
  • Fever

A healthcare provider can diagnose a middle ear infection based on symptoms and an examination, which involves looking at the eardrum with an otoscope .

What Is An Ear Infection

22.2: Bacterial Infections of the Respiratory Tract ...

Ear infections can be either bacterial or viral infections. They can occur in your middle ear, the part of your ear just behind your eardrum, as well as the outer and inner ear. They often clear up on their own but can be painful due to inflammation or fluid buildup.

Ear infections can be chronic or acute. Acute ear infections are painful but short in duration. Chronic ear infections either dont clear up or recur many times. They can cause damage to the middle and inner ear, which is infrequently permanent.

Keep reading to learn about ear infections, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Common symptoms of ear infections include:

  • mild pain or discomfort inside your ear

Ear infections can also develop from infected adenoids. Your adenoids are glands on the roof of your mouth behind your nose that help protect your body from infections. Infections can spread from these glands to the nearby ends of your Eustachian tubes.

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Signs Of Otitis Media

Otitis media, or middle ear infection, is the most common type of ear infection. It is an infection of the cavity behind the eardrum, which is connected to the rear of the throat by the Eustachian tube.

Usually, this cavity is filled with air. As a result of a cold or a similar condition, the cavity may be filled with mucus. When this mucus becomes infected, otitis media results.

Signs and symptoms of otitis media typically include:

  • Pain in the ear
  • Impaired hearing
  • High temperature
  • Discharge from the ear

Pain in the ear can occur as a result of an ear infection, but it can also indicate a variety of other conditions. If a person experiences severe ear pain or if the pain lasts for longer than a few days, medical attention should be sought.

In many cases, the signs and symptoms will clear up naturally within a couple of days without treatment.

If you are concerned that you may have a middle ear infection, try using the Ada app to find out what the problem may be.

Most Ear Infections Host Both Bacteria And Viruses Study Shows

Date:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
Ear infections are among the most common diseases seen in pediatric practice. They have generally been considered bacterial diseases and are therefore usually treated with antibiotics. New research, published in the Dec. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and currently available online, provides evidence that viruses are found in a great many ear infection cases and may complicate treatment.

Ear infections are among the most common diseases seen in pediatric practice. They have generally been considered bacterial diseases and are therefore usually treated with antibiotics. New research, published in the December 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and currently available online, provides evidence that viruses are found in a great many ear infection cases and may complicate treatment.

The researchers used a variety of laboratory techniques to identify the pathogen that caused ear infections, known clinically as acute otitis media , in 79 young children. They found bacteria in 92 percent of the cases, viruses in 70 percent, and both bacteria and viruses in 66 percent.

The good news is that many cases of AOM recover spontaneously without antibiotic treatment, a fact that has led the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians to recommend withholding antibiotic treatment in mild AOM cases.

Story Source:

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How Do Ear Infections Happen

A middle ear infection usually happens because of swelling in one or both of the eustachian tubes . The tubes let mucus drain from the middle ear into the throat.

A cold, throat infection, acid reflux, or allergies can make the eustachian tubes swell. This blocks the mucus from draining. Then, or grow in the mucus and make pus, which builds up in the middle ear.

When doctors refer to an ear infection, they usually mean otitis media rather than swimmer’s ear . Otitis media with effusion is when noninfected fluid builds up in the ear. It might not cause symptoms, but in some kids, the fluid creates a sensation of ear fullness or “popping.”

What The Treatment For Sinus Infections

How to manage your childs ear infection

In order to eradicate the infection, youll need an antibiotic.

Some people continue to experience a lingering sinus infection even after antibiotics. Sinuses are considered a closed cavity. Removing infection from a closed cavity can require more prolonged antibiotic usage compared to infections that occur in an open cavity .

A sinus infection might require 2-4 weeks of antibiotics plus additional methods to encourage drainage of the sinuses. For a sinus infection to clear completely, we often recommend saline sprays, topical steroid sprays , and decongestants in addition to an antibiotic.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • How can I keep my child comfortable at night with the pain of an ear infection?
  • Is there drainage with an ear infection?
  • What is the difference between an ear infection and swimmers ear?
  • Is my child a candidate for ear tubes?
  • What are the risks and benefits of surgically inserting tubes inside my childs middle ear?
  • Should my child get regular hearing tests if they have frequent ear infections?

Can You Use Mucus Color To Determine If Its A Bacterial Or Viral Infection

You should avoid using mucus color to determine whether you have a viral or bacterial infection.

Theres a long-held belief that green mucus indicates a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics. In fact, green mucus is actually caused by substances released by your immune cells in response to a foreign invader.

You can have green mucus due to many things, including:

  • viruses

When you experience symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps, you likely have a stomach bug. But is it due to a viral or bacterial infection?

Stomach bugs generally fall into two categories based on how theyre acquired:

  • Gastroenteritis is an infection of the digestive tract. Its caused by coming into contact with stool or vomit from a person with the infection.
  • Food poisoning is an infection of the digestive tract caused by consuming contaminated food or liquids.

Gastroenteritis and food poisoning can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. Regardless of the cause, many times your symptoms will go away in a day or two with good home care.

However, symptoms that last longer than 3 days, cause bloody diarrhea, or lead to severe dehydration may indicate a more severe infection that requires prompt medical treatment.

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