Ear Infection Symptoms Treatment
Middle ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that may cause earache, temporary hearing loss, and fluid discharge. A middle ear infection that does not clear up on its own may require treatment with antibiotics.
Middle ear infections occur mainly in early childhood, although older children and adults also get these kinds of infection. The incidence of acute ear infection in New Zealand children was recently estimated at 27%. A complication associated with middle ear infections is the retention of fluid, causing glue ear. Children should always be taken to a doctor if they have earache.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
So if youve ever had a sinus infection before, you know they feel pretty miserable: The more common symptoms are nasal congestion, discolored mucous from the nose, post nasal drainage, facial pain, facial pressure, decreased smell and taste, says Dr. Duyka. Some patients also experience ear pain, upper tooth pain, sore throat, bad breath, and/or cough.
But heres some quick advice: That whole thing about the color of your snot telling you whether or not you have a bacterial or viral infection? Thats a myth, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. The green-yellow color of mucus that can develop is a byproduct of our own white blood cells, which we use to fight any kind of infection, viral or bacterial, so we cant tell the cause from the color of the mucus, she says. When mucus is thick and dark it usually suggests some mild dehydration, and you should increase fluid intake and use lots of saline spray to keep the mucus thin.
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Can Middle Ear Infections Be Prevented
It’s not possible to prevent middle ear infections, but there are some things you can do that may reduce your child’s risk of developing the condition. These include:
- make sure your child is up-to-date with their routine vaccinations particularly the pneumococcal vaccine and the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine
- avoid exposing your child to smoky environments
- don’t give your child a dummy once they’re older than six to 12 months old
- don’t feed your child while they’re lying flat on their back
- if possible, feed your baby with breast milk rather than formula milk
Avoiding contact with other children who are unwell may also help reduce your child’s chances of catching an infection that could lead to a middle ear infection.
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To Tube Or Not To Tube
Traditionally, children who experience recurrent ear infections for three months or longer and have hearing loss are candidates for a myringotomy, a surgery in which tubes are inserted into the ear to keep the middle ear ventilated. However, in light of new studies, doctors are increasingly opting to forgo this surgery. A 1994 study found that in 23 percent of cases, tubes were medically unnecessary. In addition, a new study of 182 children, published in a recent issue of the medical journal Lancet, found that putting off surgery for up to nine months didnt hamper a toddlers long-term language abilities. If your doctor suggests a myringotomy, you might want a second opinion.
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When Should I Return To My Healthcare Provider For A Follow
Your healthcare provider will let you know when you need to return for a follow-up visit. At that visit, you or your childs eardrum will be examined to be certain that the infection is going away. Your healthcare provider may also want to test you or your childs hearing.
Follow-up exams are very important, especially if the infection has caused a hole in the eardrum.
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How Are Ear Infections Treated
To treat an ear infection, health care providers consider many things, including:
- the type and severity of the ear infection
- how often the child has ear infections
- how long this infection has lasted
- the child’s age and any risk factors
- whether the infection affects hearing
The type of otitis affects treatment options. Not all kinds need to be treated with antibiotics. Because most ear infections can clear on their own, many doctors take a “wait-and-see” approach. Kids will get medicine for pain relief without antibiotics for a few days to see if the infection gets better.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed because they:
- won’t help an infection caused by a virus
- won’t get rid of middle ear fluid
- can cause side effects
- usually don’t relieve pain in the first 24 hours and have only a minimal effect after that
Also, overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are much harder to treat.
If a doctor does prescribe antibiotics, a 10-day course is usually recommended. Kids age 6 and older who don’t have a severe infection might take a shortened course for 5 to 7 days.
Some children, such as those with recurrent infections and those with lasting hearing loss or speech delay, may need ear tube surgery. An ear, nose, and throat doctor will surgically insert tubes that let fluid drain from the middle ear. This helps equalize the pressure in the ear.
Can An Ear Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided
Although an ear infection is not contagious, the bacteria or virus that caused it is often contagious. Its important to:
- Vaccinate your child with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against several types of pneumococcal bacteria. This type of bacteria is the most common cause of ear infections. Get your childs vaccinations on time.
- Practice routine hand washing and avoid sharing food and drinks, especially if your child is exposed to large groups of kids in day care or school settings.
- Avoid second-hand smoke.
- Breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding for at least 1 year. Place your baby at an angle while feeding.
Common allergy and cold medicines do not protect against ear infections.
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Can You Treat Dog Ear Infections At Home
The simple answer is no. Dog ear infections require vet treatment and medication in order to restore a healthy ear canal.
After the veterinarian has evaluated your pet, they will determine if any further home treatment is appropriate. This can be done if a small amount of debris is present and the eardrum is intact.
Dr. Wendy Brooks, DVM, DABVP, notes that if a large amount of debris present, a veterinarian must perform a thorough deep clean while the pet is under sedation.2
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If Your Ear Is Still Blocked After A Weekit Could Be Hearing Loss
So, if your ear is still blocked on day two and you havent any really great ideas as to whats causing it, you might be understandably impatient. In almost all cases, your blockage will take care of itself after a few days. But the general rule of thumb is that if things last more than a week or so, it might be a good idea to see a specialist.
That sensation of feeling like your ears are blocked can also be a sign of hearing loss. And as you probably know from our other posts, untreated hearing loss can cause other health concerns, especially over time.
Doing no harm first will give your body a chance to mend and clear that blockage away naturally. But intervention could be necessary when those natural means fail. How long that takes will vary depending on the root cause of your blocked ears.
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What Causes Middle Ear Infections
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
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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Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
In most cases, the person with a middle ear infection will feel sharp, stabbing pains in their ear. You may feel liquid draining from your ear. Infections are often accompanied by a fever, pain in both the ear and throat, a dulling of sound and sometimes a loss of balance. The ear may feel tender to the touch and if you are off-balance or dizzy, you may feel nauseous. In the majority of cases, the pain and other symptoms will clear up in 48 to 72 hours. In other cases, it is essential to see a doctor because an ear infection that remains untreated can lead to even greater problems, including hearing loss.
Tests For Middle Ear Infection
The GP will look carefully at the inside of your childs ear using an instrument called an otoscope.
The GP might also do a tympanometry. This test measures how much your childs eardrum can move, and it can help the GP work out whether the ear is normal. Its usually a painless test that takes just a couple of minutes.
If your child has had several ear infections, or if your doctor thinks there might be a chronic infection or glue ear, the doctor might organise a hearing test. Your child can have a formal hearing test at any age.
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When To Call A Doctor
Ear pain often gets better in 2 or 3 days on its own or with home care. Often all you need to do is take a pain reliever and be alert for symptoms that get worse. That said, itâs important to know when your discomfort might be a sign of something more serious.
- You have a high fever, headache, or are dizzy.
- You believe an object is stuck in your ear.
- You see swelling behind your ear, especially if that side of your face feels weak or you canât move the muscles there.
- Youâve had severe ear pain and it suddenly stops .
- Your symptoms donât get better in 24 to 48 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outer Ear Infections
Youll need to lie down while you put ear drops in, and it can help to have someone else put them in for you.
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How Long Does It Take For A Dog Ear Infection To Clear Up
Chronic dog ear infections require closely working with your veterinarian to treat. It is important that your vet does testing to choose the appropriate medication. Chronic infections can require medication consistently for 6 to 8 weeks. After treatment, testing is needed again to ensure that all the infection has cleared.
How Do You Get Rid Of An Ear Infection Fast
The fastest way to get rid of an ear infection is to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. There are several types of ear infection, each with different treatment methods. If you do not know what type of infection you have, your treatment may not be working and your infection is prolonged. At PlushCare you can get a same-day diagnosis from an online doctor who can also prescribe you the proper medication. The average appointment is just 15 minutes. Book here.
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Can An Ear Infection Go Away On Its Own
Its truean ear infection can go away on its own in some cases. The term ear infection typically refers to acute otitis media, or an infection that impacts the middle ear directly behind the eardrum. The outside of the ear may also become infected, as can the inner ear, although these conditions are less common.
Ear infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. They can affect anyone, although children are more likely to develop ear infections than adults. Because some ear infections can go away on their own, treatment usually begins with self-care measuressuch as over-the-counter ear drops and pain relieversto ease symptoms.
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?
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Can A Dogs Liver Heal Itself
The liver is capable of regenerating itself and building new, healthy cells, but too much dead tissue causes scarring and cirrhosis. Many symptoms can be treated supportively with medications that support liver function.
Question from categories:dog food
Left untreated, an ear hematoma will resolve in time as the fluid is absorbed back into the animals body.
However, a large hematoma could take months to heal and cause considerable discomfort to your pet.
If your dog or cat has an aural hematoma, they need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
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Outer Ear Infection In Children
Children, especially those who spend a lot of time in the water, are particularly prone to outer ear infections. Their ear canals are smaller than adults ear canals, making it more difficult for fluid to properly drain out of childrens ears. This can lead to increased infections.
Ear pain is the most common symptom of an outer ear infection. Younger children or children who cant speak may present with symptoms like:
- pulling on or tugging near their ear
- crying when touching their ear
- having fever, in rare cases
- being fussy, crying more than usual, or having trouble sleeping
- having fluid draining from the ear
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What Is Swimmers Ear
Swimmers ear, also known by its medical name, otitis externa, usually occurs after water gets trapped inside the ear. This allows bacteria in your ear canal to start multiplying, leading to an infection near the opening of the ear, explains Ileana Showalter, MD, an ENT-otolaryngologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
True to the conditions name, swimming, or just splashing around in a body of water, is a major cause. But swimmers ear can also arise from any situation where your ear traps a small amount of water, like after a shower or bath, or even time in a hot tub.
Sometimes swimmers ear develops not from trapped water but from a cut or scrape just inside the ear canal. Overly aggressive cleaning with cotton swabs tends to cause it if the swab scratches the skin inside the ear, bacteria can thrive and trigger an infection. People with excessive ear wax or the chronic skin conditioneczema, which causes itching and redness, are also more likely to develop swimmers ear, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Will My Sinus Infection Clear Up On Its Own
The first few weeks of the common cold arent fun, but the acute sinusitis that can pop up afterwards doesnt help either. Sinus congestion and the common cold, unfortunately, go hand in hand. Acute sinusitis frequently is caused by the common cold, but also can be caused by allergies and bacterial and fungal infections.
Sinus infections are caused when the cavities around your nasal passages become inflamed and swollen, which eventually interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. This tends to get annoying, because it makes breathing through the nose difficult. It also affects the area around your eyes and face, and can cause a throbbing headache.
When a sinus infection hits, its always worse than what you remembered from the last time you had one. This may give you the idea that you need antibiotics, but most clear up without them. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and arent recommended within the first week of developing a cold. About 70 percent of sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
Consider these other forms of treatments instead of antibiotics:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirins, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve temporary pain.
- Saline nasal spray. This is used to spray into your nose several times a day to rinse your nasal passages. They can help to prevent and treat inflammation.
If the infection becomes severe, recurrent or persistent, contact your provider.
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