How Is Sudden Hearing Loss Treated
There are many treatments for SSNHL. Treatment is most successful the earlier it is given. Treatment can include oral steroids or steroids injected directly into the ear . If the first treatments do not work, your otolaryngologist should discuss âsalvage therapy.â The benefits of treatment may include more quick and complete recovery of hearing, but there are also side effects of steroids that must be considered when choosing from the available options. Side effects of steroids may include sleep problems, anxiety, depression, or mood swings, increased appetite with possible weight gain, dizziness, jitteriness, high blood sugar, and/or high blood pressure. With intratympanic steroids risks include pain, dizziness, residual hole in the ear drum, and infection. In head-to-head comparisons, intratympanic injection of steroids causes much fewer side effects than oral steroids.
Watchful waiting may be recommended. This is because half of patients may get back hearing on their ownâthese are usually patients with mild to moderate degrees of hearing loss, but healthcare providers do not currently have a way to predict who will get better without treatment.
How To Tell If You Have An Ear Infection
If youre experiencing ear pain you may be wondering if its an ear infection and what you need to do about it. This article will help you understand the different types of ear infection you may have, their causes, and your treatment options.
Before we dive in, if your ear pain has lasted more than two days you should book an appointment with a doctor, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotic treatment before it gets wrose.
Read on to learn more about how to tell if you have an ear infection.
Signs Of Ear Infection In Babies And Toddlers
Ear infections, particularly middle ear infections, are especially common in babies and toddlers due to the relative narrowness of their Eustachian tube.
Signs and symptoms of an ear infection in babies and toddlers may include:
- High temperature
- Discharge from the ear
Ear infections in babies and toddlers will usually clear up on their own, without specific treatment. However, for babies and toddlers experiencing recurrent infections that do not respond well to antibiotics, a doctor may recommend a minor surgical procedure known as a myringotomy.
The procedure involves making a small incision in the eardrum to allow fluids to drain out a small ventilation tube, often called grommets, may also be inserted. This ear tube will typically fall out on its own in around 6 to 18 months.
Although a myringotomy and grommets are generally effective at reducing the number of ear infections experienced by young children, they can still occur. The main sign of an ear infection after tubes have been inserted is the discharge of yellowish fluid from the ear, which will commonly not be accompanied by pain or fever. Antibiotics will typically be prescribed to treat the ear infection.
If you are concerned that your child may have an ear infection, try using the Ada app to find out what the problem may be.
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Signs Of Ear Infection Complications
An ear infection is generally a non-serious condition, with complications being rare. In some cases, however, minor complications can occur. These may include:
- Rupture of the eardrum: Also known as a tympanic membrane rupture, this is one of the most common ear infection complications. The rupture does not hurt and may lead to relief from earache. The rupture will usually heal quickly, but antibiotics may be necessary.
- Hearing loss: The fluid buildup that may occur as a result of infection can persist after the infection itself has resolved. This can cause short-term, but also prolonged hearing loss. Generally, the fluid will disappear naturally, though surgical treatment is available if it persists for longer than roughly three months.
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a complication of an ear infection, try using the Ada app to find out what the problem may be.
What Are Common Ear Infection Symptoms
While ear infection symptoms vary from person to person, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. These include:
- mild-to-moderate ear pain or discomfort
- increased feeling of pressure or tension in the ear
- pus-like release or drainage
- temporary hearing loss
In young infants or children who may not be able to verbalize these symptoms, you might notice increased fussiness or crying. You might also notice your child tugging or pulling at the ear.
Additionally, if your child shows feverish symptoms, this may also be a sign he or she has an infection worth checking out.
Unsure about the severity of the symptoms? Its best practice to visit your local urgent care for assessment and treatment as needed.
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Inner Ear Infection Treatment
If youre experiencing any of these symptoms and they dont resolve in a few days , see a doctor. And by a doctor, we dont mean an emergency room doctor .
A doctor can look into your ear with an otoscope. They will be able to see whats abnormal and decide on a treatment for you.
This may include medications like steroids, antibiotics, antivirals. They may be in pill or ear drop form.
Avoid trying to take care of it yourself with home remedies, as this could result in worsening the issue. Untreated ear infections may lead to permanent hearing loss, so its important to see a medical professional.
Your ear should be better anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on severity. Inner ear infections sometimes take up to 6 weeks to heal, but it all depends on how bad it is and the treatment you get.
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
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Hot Salt Wrapped In A Cloth
Salt is one of the most readily available home remedies for dealing with pain in the ear. All you have to do here is take a small cup of salt, heat it properly, then wrap it in a cloth and seal the end of the cloth by tying a knot.
Now, lay down and place the cloth with hot salt on the affected ear for a couple of minutes .
Repeat this process a few times daily to relieve you from the pain and swelling in the ear. Alternatively, you could also use rice in place of salt for the same purpose.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Inner Ear Infection
Ear infections can happen anywhere in your outer, middle or inner ear. The symptoms can be very different depending on where the problem is located. If the infection is in your inner ear then it can have a particularly dramatic effect on your senses of balance and hearing. Read on to learn more about inner ear infections and how they can affect you.
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Where Is The Middle Ear
The middle ear is behind the eardrum and is also home to the delicate bones that aid in hearing. These bones are the hammer , anvil and stirrup . To provide the bigger picture, lets look at the whole structure and function of the ear:
The ear structure and function
There are three main parts of the ear: outer, middle and inner.
- The outer ear is the outside external ear flap and the ear canal .
- The middle ear is the air-filled space between the eardrum and the inner ear. The middle ear houses the delicate bones that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. This is where ear infections occur.
- The inner ear contains the snail-shaped labyrinth that converts sound vibrations received from the middle ear to electrical signals. The auditory nerve carries these signals to the brain.
Other nearby parts
- The eustachian tube regulates air pressure within the middle ear, connecting it to the upper part of the throat.
- Adenoids are small pads of tissue above the throat and behind the nose and near the eustachian tubes. Adenoids help fight infection caused by bacteria that enters through the mouth.
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How Can I Tell If I Have Labyrinthitis How Is It Diagnosed
The only way to know if you have labyrinthitis or another ear problem is to see a doctor. Labyrinthitis symptoms such as dizziness and loss of balance can resemble other medical problems, so a doctor will rule out conditions that may cause the symptoms such as head injury, heart disease, stroke, side effects of medications, anxiety, and neurological disorders.
Make an appointment with your doctor, ENT or other healthcare professional if you experience symptoms of an ear infection such as:
- Ear pain
- Problems with balance or walking
- Hearing loss
The doctor will use an otoscope to examine the inside of the ear canal and eardrum to check for redness or swelling, earwax build-up, or any abnormalities in the ear. The doctor may gently puff air against the eardrum to see if it moves, which is normal. If the eardrum does not move, there may be fluid buildup in the middle ear.
A tuning fork exam may help diagnose neurologic hearing loss. Sound waves from the vibration of the tuning fork can be heard through the air and through the bones around the ear.
Some natural remedies and alternative treatments are touted as treatment or cures for labyrinthitis, including garlic oil or tea tree oil ear drops, apple cider vinegar, basil, olive oil, and hydrogen peroxide. Scientific studies do not show any of these to be effective.
Talk to your doctor before using any home remedies.
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Can Tinnitus Be Prevented
Repeated loud noise exposure can be a cause of tinnitus as well as hearing loss. Loud music may cause short term symptoms, but repeated occupational exposure requires less intense sound levels to cause potential hearing damage leading to tinnitus. Minimizing sound exposure, therefore, decreases the risk of developing tinnitus. Sound protection equipment, like acoustic ear-muffs, may be appropriate at work and at home when exposed to loud noises.
A variety of medications may be ototoxic and cause tinnitus. If tinnitus develops while you are taking a medication, stop the medication and discuss other options with your health-care professional.
Swollen Tonsils And Ear Infections
Swollen tonsils are not usually a direct cause of ear infections. Enlarged adenoid tissue in the back of the nose can sometimes put pressure on the Eustachian tubes, preventing them from draining fluid out of the ear. However, they are more likely the source of bacteria that causes ear infections. Sometimes, doctors recommend removal for children who have very large adenoids and frequent ear infections.
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Final Thoughts On Ear Infections & Treatment
Even though they are uncomfortable, ear infections are relatively common and easy to treat.
If you are in the Starkville, Mississippi region and considered about you or your childs health, be sure to contact us today. We are here for all your needs and concerns.
Ear conditions are usually caused by viruses or bacteria. But the question is, are ear infections contagious? Click here to learn more about them.
Treatment For Inner Ear Infection
Infection in the ear is likely to occur in any of the three parts of the ear outer, middle and inner parts of the ear. Also, infection in the ear is a serious matter.
Therefore, it is important to treat the infection in order to prevent complications, which includes damaging or rupturing the eardrum and much more.
Diagnosis is a prior process of treatment. An audiologist will observe your ears with an otoscope. Then it will be followed by the hearing test. Your treatment will depend on the underlying causes of infections.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with an inner ear infection are advised to go for proper treatment.
Availing treatment for infection of the inner ear is mandatory for both children and adults. This is greatly achieved by seeking a professional doctor at a healthcare institution in your area.
In addition to using antibiotics, other medications may also be given to persons having an infection in the inner ear in order to reduce swelling and inflammation.
These are useful to treat an inner ear infection, to reduce swelling and inflammation, to treat nausea and vomiting, and to help eliminate dizziness and vertigo.
Following are some methods you can use to treat your inner ear infection:
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When Should I Call The Doctor
Very rarely, ear infections that don’t go away or severe repeated middle ear infections can lead to complications. So kids with an earache or a sense of fullness in the ear, especially when combined with fever, should be seen by their doctors if they aren’t getting better after a couple of days.
Other things can cause earaches, such as teething, a foreign object in the ear, or hard earwax. Your doctor can find the cause of your child’s discomfort and treat it.
Remedies For Inner Ear Infections
Do you need antibiotics?
If you have a bacterial inner ear infection, you may need an antibiotic. However, most inner ear infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibiotics arent effective against viral infections. For viral infections, your doctor will suggest treatment options to control your inflammation and help with your symptoms.
What treatments can help?
If you have a viral inner ear infection, your doctor may prescribe a steroid treatment to reduce inflammation or antiviral medication to attack the virus.
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Labyrinthitis And Vestibular Neuritis What’s The Difference
Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis are problems with different parts of the inner ear, which are needed for balance:
- Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth a maze of fluid-filled channels in the inner ear
- Vestibular neuritis is inflammation of the vestibular nerve the nerve in the inner ear that sends messages to the brain
The symptoms of vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are very similar.
However, if your hearing is affected, then labyrinthitis is the cause. This is because inflammation of the labyrinth affects hearing, while inflammation of the vestibular nerve does not
Healing Time In Different Sections Of The Ear
The infections persist in the middle, the outer and inner part of the ear. Every part has its unique features. As a result healing time also depends on the section of the ear.
- Outer Causes of outer ear infection are different from a middle ear infection. The most common type of infection in the outer ear is bacterial infections. But fungal and viral infections can occur as well. It can last for a week or longer. Its symptoms are severe pain in the ear, purulent discharge, fever, etc.
- Middle The infection shouldnt last more than one or two days. After an ear infection clears up, fluid may remain in the middle ear and cause some of the more mild symptoms and can persist for several weeks to months. This condition is diagnosed as otitis media with effusion. Its symptoms are ear pain, feeling like your ear is clogged, Nausea, Reduced Hearing.
- Inner The infection exists for a long time in this section. Most commonly, viral is the reason for the inner ear infection. These viruses can be most of the flu and cold. Its symptoms are pain, fever, and reduced hearing. Nausea and tinnitus can also occur in an inner ear infection.
The Eustachian tube drains fluid and air from the middle ear. Blockage in the Eustachian tube may cause fluid to build up. This causes pain since it applies pressure on the eardrum. The fluid is also a fertile ground for bacteria growth and this leads to an ear infection.
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What Is An Ear Infection
The commonly used term ear infection is known medically as acute otitis media or a sudden infection in the middle ear. Anyone can get an ear infection children as well as adults although ear infections are one of the most common reasons why young children visit healthcare providers.
In many cases, ear infections clear up on their own. Your healthcare provider may recommend a medication to relieve pain. If the ear infection has worsened or not improved, your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic. In children younger than the age of two years, an antibiotic is usually needed for ear infections.
Its important to see your healthcare provider to make sure the ear infection has healed or if you or your child has ongoing pain or discomfort. Hearing problems and other serious effects can occur with ongoing ear infections, frequent infections and when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.