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.
Tips To Prevent Sinus Infections
In order to avoid ear pain and temporary hearing loss due to clogged ears as a result of sinus infections one must prevent sinus infections. Here are some tips to help you prevent sinus infections and avoid the complications associated with it.
- Control your allergies.
- Keep hydrated, which keeps mucus thin.
- Reduce alcohol consumption, which can worsen mucus.
- Minimize exposure to people with cold or flu.
- Always wash your hands and avoid germs.
- Avoid chlorinated swimming pools.
- Take a nasal spray or decongestant prior to flying.
- Dont smoke, which can aggravate sinusitis, or quit smoking.
These tips can better help protect you against sinus infections. If you do develop a sinus infection, begin treatment right away to reduce complications.
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Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University . He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine , and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.
Where To Get Help
- Your doctor
- NURSE-ON-CALL Tel. for expert health information and advice
- Royal Children’s Hospital Tel. 9345 5522
- Your maternal and child health nurse
- Your local hospital emergency or casualty department.
- 24 hour Maternal and Child Health Telephone Service: Tel. 13 22 29 for the cost of a local call throughout Victoria.
What You Should Not Do To Soothe A Cold Or Ear Infection:
- Do not give over-the-counter cold medicines to children under age 2. Consider avoiding them if the child is older, too.
- Do not tilt an infants crib mattress. Children under age 1 should sleep on a flat mattress with no pillows or blankets.
- Do not allow a child to drink while lying down, as it can increase the chances of getting an ear infection.
- Do not smoke. Families and caregivers who smoke increase a childs chance of getting colds and ear infections.
Because young children get more colds in the winter, they may also develop more ear infections. Five out of six children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they are 3 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health.
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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Treating An Middle Ear Infection
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When Will Your Infant Feel Better
After 24 hours, most infants who have taken a pain reliever will feel better. Even though ear infections can be tough on both moms and babies, most infections will clear up on their own within a few days. Just make sure to give your little one extra attention to help soothe their pain. Be sure to talk with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.
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How Can I Tell If My Child Has An Ear Infection
Most ear infections happen to children before theyve learned how to talk. If your child isnt old enough to say My ear hurts, here are a few things to look for:
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Fussiness and crying
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Clumsiness or problems with balance
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds
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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What Can I Do To Feel Better
At home, follow your doctors 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 dont help, let your doctor know. Youll 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.
How Are Earaches And Ear Pain Treated
Swimmers ear treatment
- Most cases are treated with prescription eardrops for 7-10 days.
- These drops contain an antibiotic to fight the infection, and often a steroid to reduce inflammation swelling.
- The drops are placed in the affected ear with the individual laying on their side. After the drops are placed, the patient should remain in this position for about 5 minutes to prevent the drops from running out of the ear.
- If the ear canal is very swollen, a wick or small piece of gauze material may be placed into the canal to allow the ear drops to reach the appropriate location.
- Occasionally, the health-care professional may prescribe an oral antibiotic as well as the eardrops. Pain medication either OTC or prescription is often needed for a few days until the infection is under control.
- The ear canal should be kept dry during treatment. An earplug or small cotton ball coated with Vaseline can be used during bathing to keep water out.
- In some cases the drainage in the ear builds up, and the infection wont clear until it is removed. Referral to an otolaryngologist may be required.
Middle ear infection treatment
Bullous myringitis treatment
- Treatment for infections of the eardrum may include oral antibiotics, antibiotic ear drops, and pain medications.
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How Can I Manage My Symptoms
- Apply heat on your ear for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day or as directed. You can apply heat with an electric heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress. Always put a cloth between your skin and the heat pack to prevent burns. Heat helps decrease pain.
- Apply ice on your ear for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day for 2 days or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your ear. Ice decreases swelling and pain.
Why Are Children More Likely Than Adults To Get Ear Infections
There are several reasons why children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.
Eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than they are in adults. This makes it difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. If the eustachian tubes are swollen or blocked with mucus due to a cold or other respiratory illness, fluid may not be able to drain.
A childs immune system isnt as effective as an adults because its still developing. This makes it harder for children to fight infections.
As part of the immune system, the adenoids respond to bacteria passing through the nose and mouth. Sometimes bacteria get trapped in the adenoids, causing a chronic infection that can then pass on to the eustachian tubes and the middle ear.
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What Happens If My Child Keeps Getting Ear Infections
To keep a middle ear infection from coming back, it helps to limit some of the factors that might put your child at risk, such as not being around people who smoke and not going to bed with a bottle. In spite of these precautions, some children may continue to have middle ear infections, sometimes as many as five or six a year. Your doctor may want to wait for several months to see if things get better on their own but, if the infections keep coming back and antibiotics arent helping, many doctors will recommend a surgical procedure that places a small ventilation tube in the eardrum to improve air flow and prevent fluid backup in the middle ear. The most commonly used tubes stay in place for six to nine months and require follow-up visits until they fall out.
If placement of the tubes still doesnt prevent infections, a doctor may consider removing the adenoids to prevent infection from spreading to the eustachian tubes.
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How Is It Treated
Most ear infections go away on their own, although antibiotics are recommended for children younger than 6 months of age and for children at high risk for complications. You can treat your child at home with an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen , a warm cloth on the ear, and rest. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 18. Your doctor may give you eardrops that can help your child’s pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Your doctor can give your child antibiotics, but ear infections often get better without them. Talk about this with your doctor. Whether you use them will depend on how old your child is and how bad the infection is.
Minor surgery to put tubes in the ears may help if your child has hearing problems or repeat infections.
Sometimes after an infection, a child cannot hear well for a while. Call your doctor if this lasts for 3 to 4 months. Children need to be able to hear in order to learn how to talk.
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How Can I Treat Earache At Home
Placing a warm flannel against the affected ear may also help relieve the pain.
Your pharmacist may also be able to recommend over-the-counter eardrops for your earache, but let them know your symptoms and ask for their advice first.
Eardrops or olive oil drops should not be used if the eardrum has burst, and they will not help an ear infection.
If you or your child has an ear infection, you should avoid putting objects in the ear, such as cotton buds, or getting the affected ear wet.
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What Are The Symptoms
The main symptom is an earache. It can be mild, or it can hurt a lot. Babies and young children may be fussy. They may pull at their ears and cry. They may have trouble sleeping. They may also have a fever.
You may see thick, yellow fluid coming from their ears. This happens when the infection has caused the eardrum to burst and the fluid flows out. This isn’t serious and usually makes the pain go away. The eardrum usually heals on its own.
When fluid builds up but doesn’t get infected, children often say that their ears just feel plugged. They may have trouble hearing, but their hearing usually returns to normal after the fluid is gone. It may take weeks for the fluid to drain away.
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Pharmacy First Scotland: Earache Treatment From Your Pharmacy
Earache isn’t usually serious and can be treated by a pharmacist. Your pharmacist may recommend that you contact your GP practice if required.
You should only contact your GP or local out-of-hours service if:
- you or your child also have other symptoms, such as a high temperature , vomiting, a severe sore throat, hearing loss, swelling around the ear, or discharge from the ear
- there is something stuck in your or your child’s ear
- the earache doesn’t improve within a few days
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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External Causes Of Ear Pain
Sometimes a pain in the ear is not because there is a problem with the ear itself. Instead, the pain is felt in the ear even though the issue is somewhere else .
Common causes of referred ear pain include:
- Dental problems: A dental abscess or tooth infection causes a throbbing sensation in the affected area of the mouth and can also be felt in the ear.
- Throat infection:Sore throats can make it painful to swallow, and the discomfort can be felt up in the ear as well. Sometimes an earache is a sign of a throat infection, such as tonsillitis.
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome: Pain in the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull can sometimes be felt in your ear.
- Chew gum or yawn to help your ears “pop.”
- Hold a cold or warm compress to the outer ear for 15 minutes at a time .
- Perform neck and jaw exercises that rotate the neck and move the jaw.
- Sit in an upright position.
- Take a hot bath or shower to loosen congestion.