When Should I Call The Doctor About An Ear Infection
- You or your child develops a stiff neck.
- Your child acts sluggish, looks or acts very sick, or does not stop crying despite all efforts.
- Your childs walk is not steady he or she is physically very weak.
- You or your childs ear pain is severe.
- You or your child has a fever over 104° F .
- Your child is showing signs of weakness in their face .
- You see bloody or pus-filled fluid draining from the ear.
- The fever remains or comes back more than 48 hours after starting an antibiotic.
- Ear pain is not better after three days of taking an antibiotic.
- Ear pain is severe.
- You have any questions or concerns.
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.
How Do Dogs Get Ear Infections
There are many causes of ear infections in dogs, but theyre commonly due to bacteria and yeast. These organisms typically live on the surface of normal skin in the ear canal without causing a problem. However, a change in the environment of the ear canal or ongoing inflammation can allow these organisms to overgrow, leading to infection.
Allergies are the most common underlying cause of ear infections in dogs. They often lead to excess wax production in the ear, creating a moist environment that is perfect for bacteria and yeast overgrowth. Excess moisture can also occur due to residual water in the canals after swimming or bathing. Foreign material, ear mites, and excess hair growth in the ear canal are less common causes of infection in dogs.
Ear infections are much more common in dogs than in humans due to the unique shape of the canine ear canal. No matter what the outside of the ear looks like, all dogs have a vertical and horizontal ear canal. These two canals form a J shape, making it harder for wax, water, and debris to exit the canal, resulting in increased moisture and irritation. Because this condition is caused by an overgrowth of the normal bacteria and yeast in your dogs ear canal, ear infections are not contagious between dogs or other pets.
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Diy Dog Cleaners That May Not Work For An Infection
DIY dog cleaners and home remedies may not work for an infection for a few reasons.
For one, bacterial infections can be pretty hard to get rid of sometimes an antibiotic will be the only thing that will do the trick.
Ear infections can also be the result of a bigger problem with youre the dog immune system, so a topical DIY may help with the symptoms, but not the underlying cause.
Why Do Children Get Many More Ear Infections Than Adults Will My Child Always Get Ear Infections
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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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.
What To Avoid Home Remedies For Dog Ear Infections That Can Be Dangerous
Never, ever, try to put anything directly inside your dogs ears unless your vet has directed it is safe to do so!!
That includes pouring in any liquids or trying to insert cotton buds or Q-tips. You may push bacteria further down your dogs ear canal or damage their eardrum or create a middle ear infection.
Also be wary of applying any home remedies to your dogs ears if they have any sores, open wounds or open scratches. Some ingredients in home remedies, such as cider or white vinegar, can sting and hurt your dog.
Other ingredients such as gentian violet, boric acid, are dangerous to your dog if it enters their system through their bloodstream. Ensure also that you dont use any products that may result in further allergies.
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Treatment Options For Ear Infections And Pain
For relief of ear pain associated with swimmer’s ear or a middle ear infection,it’s OK to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or Tylenol® . A warm compress placed over theaffected ear can also relieve the pain from swimmer’s ear. You should consult with an expert to treat the cause of the infection.
A Look At How To Treat Dog Ear Infection
If you suspect your dog as an ear infection, to treat it you have to know what the cause of the infection is. Because there can be many factors involved such as allergies, illness, bacteria, fungal infection and so forth, a vet is the best person to accurately diagnose canine ear infection and suggest the best possible treatments that will suit your dog.
A vet may prescribe antibiotics, steroids, other medication, or recommend you buy an over the counter commercial product or give advice on using a natural or homeopathic treatment method. One of the products we recommend based on our own experience is the Pet King Brand Zymox Pet Ear Treatment.
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Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Otoscopes
The good thing is that there is a very few risks associated with an ear examination. The most important thing that you must take into account is to always change the tip of the otoscope or clean it properly after the examination. Using a dirty or already used tip can spread infection from one ear to the other.
What About A Rejected Or Migrating Piercinghow Do You Treat That Issue
Foreign objects like piercings can be seen as threats by your body, which can causes a negative response at the piercing site, explains Dr. Nichols. “Generally when this happens, the body tries to fight the piercing by pushing it out and healing over it,” she says.
If it looks like your jewelry is moving away from the original piercing site, it could be migrating and your body may be rejecting it. Rejection can also be caused by infections or metal allergies.
The best thing to do when a piercing starts to migrate or get rejected is make an appointment with a medical professional or board-certified dermatologist. They will remove it immediately. Leaving it in will only further irritate the piercing site. “If youd like to re-pierce, keep the jewelry and bring it back to your piercer to ask about a different jewelry option,” Dr. Nichols advises.
Then make sure to follow all post-piercing care instructions and avoid touching or sleeping on the new piercing. Hopefully, with a different metal and proper care, the piercing will fully heal the second time around.
Life Style & Coping With Staph Infection
One should get into the habit of washing hands regularly and keeping the air clean and hygienic. Never share clothes or towels with other people without washing them clean. Wear protective garments, such as gloves, masks, gowns, etc., when working in hospitals. Taking care of injuries and wounds without delay also helps protect you and your family from a staph infection.
Yeast Infection Or Bacterial Vaginosis
The yeast infection vs bv is a common topic although it is usually quite easy to tell. Some yeast infection and bacterial infection symptoms look and feel completely different. Here is a summary of the main differences between bacterial to vaginal yeast infection as suggested by research :
|No itching. Usually no pain.|
The smell or odor of a vaginal yeast infection is one of the main differences between bacterial to vaginal yeast infection. The cottage cheese discharge color and appearance may look completely different as well. With that said, when it comes to vaginal infections, it is always best to get tested by your doctor. This is very important since the needed treatment for each type of infection can be different.
Doctors usually test for yeast infection by a vaginal exam, risk factors based on your medical history and the symptoms and other signs you share. The bv or yeast infection quiz information above can help you become more aware of the different signs and symptoms which can help your doctor to diagnose the vaginal issue correctly.
For a mapping of the vagina different areas click on the diagram to see a larger view.
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What Are Other Causes Of Ear Pain
Other causes of ear pain include:
- A sore throat.
- Teeth coming in in a baby.
- An infection of the lining of the ear canal. This is also called swimmers ear.
- Pressure build up in the middle ear caused by allergies and colds.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/16/2020.
Can You Prevent Ear Infections
Because colds are very infectious and easily spread among children, it can be very hard to prevent your child from getting sick. However, there are risk factors you can control:
- Limit your childs exposure to secondhand smoke
- Make sure your childand youare vaccinated against the flu every year
- Follow good hygiene habits, like frequent handwashing and using hand sanitizer
- Teach your child to cough into her elbow, not her hands
- Wear swim ear plugs when swimming
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Do Only New Ear Piercings Get Infected
If youve had pierced ears for eons, youre not totally off the hook, but you are at a lowered risk of just randomly developing an infection. Infections are most likely to occur during the first week following the piercing, but can arise later on, Dr. Kaplan says.
Infection symptoms won’t pop up the moment your piercing is exposed to bacteria. “Surprisingly, piercing infections do not typically happen until three to seven days after the initial piercing, sometimes more,” says Leila Mankarious, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. “Bacteria need time to proliferate.”
Can I Do Anything To Prevent Ear Infections In My Child
It is not easy to prevent ear infections, but the following may help reduce the risk:
- keeping your child smoke-free
- breastfeeding your baby for at least 3 to 6 months is thought to be protective against the early development of ear infections – this may be because breastfeeding boosts the infection-fighting system
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How Is An Acute Middle Ear Infection Treated
Many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, to be taken over seven to 10 days. Your doctor also may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or eardrops, to help with fever and pain.
If your doctor isnt able to make a definite diagnosis of OM and your child doesnt have severe ear pain or a fever, your doctor might ask you to wait a day or two to see if the earache goes away. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines in 2013 that encourage doctors to observe and closely follow these children with ear infections that cant be definitively diagnosed, especially those between the ages of 6 months to 2 years. If theres no improvement within 48 to 72 hours from when symptoms began, the guidelines recommend doctors start antibiotic therapy. Sometimes ear pain isnt caused by infection, and some ear infections may get better without antibiotics. Using antibiotics cautiously and with good reason helps prevent the development of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics.
If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, its important to make sure your child takes it exactly as prescribed and for the full amount of time. Even though your child may seem better in a few days, the infection still hasnt completely cleared from the ear. Stopping the medicine too soon could allow the infection to come back. Its also important to return for your childs follow-up visit, so that the doctor can check if the infection is gone.
What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection
Ear infections are common in children. Adults can get them too. Most ear infections are not serious. Your healthcare provider will recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Pain relief may begin as soon as a few hours after taking the drug.
Your healthcare provider may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Many infections go away on their own without the need for antibiotics. If you or your child receives an antibiotic, you should start to see improvement within two to three days.
If you or your child has ongoing or frequent infections, or if fluid remains in the middle ear and puts hearing at risk, ear tubes may be surgically implanted in the eardrum to keep fluid draining from the eustachian tube as it normally should.
Never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.
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If Hearing Loss Isnt From An Infection
If your child has sudden hearing loss but no signs of a middle ear or respiratory infection, be sure to check out our page on hearing loss in children. Acting quickly is important because children with hearing loss can have delayed language and speech development. Our directory can also help you find audiologists near you.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider if:
- You have swelling behind the ear.
- Your symptoms get worse, even with treatment.
- You have high fever or severe pain.
- Severe pain suddenly stops, which may indicate a ruptured eardrum.
- New symptoms appear, especially severe headache, dizziness, swelling around the ear, or twitching of the face muscles.
Let the provider know right away if a child younger than 6 months has a fever, even if the child doesn’t have other symptoms.
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Treating Outer Ear Infections
The outer ear should be carefully cleaned. That should be followed by the application of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory medications on your ear.
Antibiotics may be prescribed if your doctor determines that the infection is bacterial.
If you have a viral infection, you may simply need to tend to the irritation on your ear and wait for the infection to resolve itself. Depending on the type of virus involved, more specialized treatment may be necessary.
What Is An Otoscope
The otoscope comes with several pointed tips, called specula. Choose one thatâs slightly smaller than the opening of your child’s ear. If the ear hole is too small for the smallest tip, donât try to check for an infection at home.
Clean the speculum, unless youâre using disposable ones, and fit it to the viewing end of the otoscope. Turn on the instrument’s light.
If your child is older than 12 months, pull the outer ear gently up and back. This will straighten the ear canal and make it easier to see inside.
Hold the otoscope at the handle with your pinky finger outstretched. When the instrument is in the ear canal, your pinky should rest on your child’s cheek. This will keep it from going too far inside their ear canal and possibly hurting them.
Next, slowly put the speculum into your child’s ear while looking into the viewing end of the otoscope. The ear canal is sensitive, so donât put pressure on the instrument or push it too far.
Move the otoscope and the ear very gently until you can see the eardrum. Angle the viewing piece slightly toward your child’s nose, so it follows the normal angle of the ear canal.
Two important things to keep in mind:
Here are some things to look for:
- A red, bulging eardrum
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