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.
What are some inner ear infection home remedies?
Besides medication, there are steps you can take at home to ease the symptoms of an inner ear infection. For example:
- Keep your head upright as much as possible. Sitting or standing can help to drain the ear.
- Apply a warm compress to the affected ear to relieve pain.
- Avoid smoking and drink as little alcohol as possible.
- Reduce your stress levels, since tension can worsen symptoms.
For labyrinthitis, specifically, to combat dizziness and nausea, you can try:
- Resting in a dark, quiet place
- Drinking plenty of water, especially if your nausea leads to vomiting
- Keeping your vision focused in one place instead of glancing around at your surroundings
- Going for walks as soon as you feel you can, with someone for support until you get your balance back
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Prevention Of Dog Ear Infections
Seeing your dog in pain can be an unsettling experience. So, its always good to know how you can prevent your dog from getting an ear infection.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure your canine companion doesnt contract one of these annoying disorders in the first place:
- Keep up with grooming One likely possibility is that your dogs ears are not being cleaned regularly. Bacteria and fungi can harbor inside the ear canal and feed on dirt and wax. If not properly cleaned, these microbes can grow and cause infection.
- Dry the ears A useful technique for preventing your dogs ears from infection is to dry their ears with cotton balls after bathing or swimming. This will prevent moisture from lingering in their ears and causing an infection.
- Remove debris Another tip is to clean out any foreign objects you see in the outer ear. Any debris left in the ear can end up down in the ear canal and potentially cause infection.
- Avoid harsh cleansers When bathing your dog, be sure to use a mild shampoo that wont strip their skin of the oils meant to protect it. Although shampoo is NOT supposed to get into their ears, there is always a chance it can. Harsh shampoos can dry out the ears and make them prone to infection.
- Provide supplements Omega-3 fatty acids are especially helpful in enhancing the immune system and keeping the skin healthy, which go a long way in combatting ear infections. Hemp seed, salmon, and flaxseed oil are excellent sources of Omega-3 acids for dogs.
Fungal Ear Infection Symptoms
A fungal infection in your ear canal will generally result in one or more of the following symptoms:
- Painful or itchy ears
If your baby is less than 2 years old, watch out for these symptoms:
- Fever: An ear infection may cause a mild fever or no fever at all.
- Pain or fussiness: A baby with an ear infection may rub at his ears, cry inconsolably or be unusually fussy.
- Redness or swelling: The outside of the pinna may appear red and swollen.
- Sleep problems: A baby with an ear infection might be sleeping fitfully because hes uncomfortable.
If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor to determine if you have a fungal ear infection and what treatment options are available.
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Warm Water Bottle Or Compress
Whenever a person suffers physical pain, treating it with a hot substance often becomes the first option as an effective remedy.
Generally, using a warm water bottle or a warm compress works most of the time. Applying a warm cloth on the infected ear for a few minutes and then repeating the process can help in reducing the pain in the ear.
Home Remedies And Complementary Medicine
Many parents also use home remedies or complementary medicine methods to treat middle ear infections. But the effectiveness of most of these treatments has either not been tested in scientific studies at all, or has not been confirmed by research.
Cooling wet towels are sometimes wrapped around the child’s lower legs to reduce a fever. Some parents also place onion wraps on their childs ear, or they warm the affected ear with infrared light. Although these home remedies have not been scientifically proven to work, some children find them soothing.
Other parents use homeopathic or herbal remedies. But here again, there is no proof that these kinds of remedies can help in children with acute middle ear infections.
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What Increases Your Risk
Some things that increase the risk for middle ear infection are out of your control. These include:
- Age. Children ages 3 years and younger are most likely to get ear infections. Also, young children get more colds and other upper respiratory infections. Most children have at least one ear infection before they are 7 years old.
- Birth defects or other medical conditions. Babies with cleft palate or Down syndrome are more likely to get ear infections.
- Weakened immune system. Children with severely impaired immune systems have more ear infections than healthy children.
- Family history. Children are more likely to have repeat middle ear infections if a parent or sibling had repeat ear infections.
- Allergies. Allergies cause long-term stuffiness in the nose that can block one or both eustachian tubes, which connect the back of the nose and throat with the middle ears. This blockage can cause fluid to build up in the middle ear.
Other things that increase the risk for ear infection include:
Things that increase the risk for repeated ear infections also include:
How Is Acute Middle Ear Infection Diagnosed
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians have determined the criteria needed to diagnose acute otitis media , acute onset, middle ear effusion , and middle ear inflammation.
- The new guidelines describe this as “moderate to severe bulging of the tympanic membrane or new onset of otorrhea not due to external otitis or mild bulging of the ear drum, and recent ear pain or intense reddening of the ear drum.”
- The guideline also strongly recommends that clinicians should not diagnose AOM without the presence of MEE.
- Recurrent acute otitis media is defined as at least three well-documented and separate acute otitis media episodes in 6 months or four well-documented and separate AOM episodes in the past 12 months with at least one in the past 6 months.
- There is no definitive lab test for acute otitis media.
Identification of the three criteria is dependent on clinical observation middle ear effusion and middle ear inflammation are the most difficult to observe and as a consequence there are studies that suggest acute otitis media is overdiagnosed.
- One method that helps determine acute otitis media versus otitis media with effusion is pneumatic otoscopy and the appearance of the tympanic membrane .
- However, not everyone is skilled at this technique pediatricians, family practice physicians, ENT specialists, and ER doctors who work in pediatric ER’s are likely to be skilled in the diagnostic procedure.
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When To Call A Doctor
While home remedies are often all that is needed for a childs ear infection, a visit to a healthcare provider may be necessary.
- They are under six months of age
- They are under three months of age and have a temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- They have a fever of 102.2°F or higher
- Symptoms last longer than two to three days or get worse
- Symptoms are severe
- Your child snores while asleep
- You think your child needs to be seen
Your childs healthcare provider may want to see the child even if home remedies seem to be working.
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Treatments For Outer Ear Infection
Outer ear infections may heal on their own without treatment. Antibiotic eardrops are the most common treatment for an outer ear infection that hasnt healed on its own. They can be prescribed by your doctor.
Doctors may also prescribe antibiotic drops mixed with steroids to reduce swelling in the ear canal. The ear drops are typically used several times a day for 7 to 10 days.
If a fungus is the cause of the outer ear infection, your doctor will prescribe antifungal ear drops. This type of infection is more common in people with diabetes or a depleted immune system.
To reduce symptoms, its important to keep water out of the ears while the infection is healing.
Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used to reduce pain. In extreme cases, prescription pain medication may be prescribed.
The most important part of home treatment for outer ear infections is prevention. Keeping the ear dry as much as possible decreases the risk of infection.
Other tips to keep in mind include:
- using a cotton ball or soft ear plugs to prevent water from entering the ear while showering or bathing
- using a swim cap
- avoiding scratching the inner ear, even with cotton swabs
- avoiding removing ear wax on your own
- using an eardrop mixture of rubbing alcohol and/or vinegar after swimming to help dry up excess water
- toweling the head and ears dry after swimming
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Final Thoughts Home Remedy For Dog Ear Infections
If your pet is suffering from an ear infection, there are many home remedies you can try to help fight it off.
As you try some of these home remedies for your dogs ear infection, keep in mind that healing is a gradual process. Nothing gets cured overnight!
Before going straight for the home remedies, however, you may want to get the problem diagnosed by your vet. That way, you will know what treatment is best for your dogs situation.
How To Treat A Middle Ear Infection
Proper treatment of an ear infection, also known as acute otitis media , will greatly reduce the amount of ear pain you experience and reduce the risk of other complications from an untreated infection. Options include over-the-counter and prescription medications that your healthcare provider can prescribe.
Explore these treatments for pain and infection, as well as other treatments you might want to know about.
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Which Specialties Of Doctors Treat Middle Ear Infections
- The majority of children and adults are diagnosed and treated by either pediatricians, primary health care doctors, emergency or urgent care medical providers, or other health care professionals.
- Ear, nose, and throat specialists may be consulted for some individuals.
- On rare occasions, a neurologist or neurosurgeon may be needed to treat a severe infection that may extend to other organ systems.
What Is Ear Swelling
Ear swelling is caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues in or around your ear. The skin around your outer ear is very thin, so even a small amount of swelling is obvious. Swollen ears may be red, painful to the touch, or feel itchy.
Ear swelling can be caused by trauma, like from getting hit in the ear by a ball or even getting your ears pierced.
Some medical conditions, like an ear infection, can cause your ears to swell.
If the swelling is uncomfortable, using ice or heat, on and off, can reduce swelling and lessen pain. Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help, too.
While a swollen ear isnt usually serious, it can be a sign of an infection that needs to be treated right away. Its important to monitor your symptoms and see a doctor if they get worse.
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What Are The Complications Of Swimmers Ear
If left untreated, swimmerâs ear may cause other problems such as:
- Hearing loss from a swollen and inflamed ear canal. Hearing usually returns to normal when the infection clears up.
- Ear infections that keep coming back
- Bone and cartilage damage
- Infection spreading to nearby tissue, the skull, brain, or the nerves that start directly in the brain
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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What Causes Chronic Middle Ear Infection Or Inflammation
- The Eustachian tube normally prevents the accumulation of fluid by allowing fluid to drain through the tube.
- Chronic otitis media develops over time, and often starts with a chronic middle ear effusion that does not resolve.
- This persistent fluid will often become contaminated with bacteria, and the bacteria found in chronic otitis media are often different from those found in acute otitis media.
- Therefore, anything that disturbs the function of the Eustachian tube can lead to chronic otitis media.
- In some individuals that are ill from other diseases, and there is pus draining from the ear, there is a danger that otitis media may invade the mastoid bone and reach the brain.
- These individuals need to be seen urgently by a health care professional.
- Do not delay treatment by trying home remedies.
Mild Frostbite Of The Ears
Frostbite is tissue damage caused by exposure to the cold . It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports. It is also more likely in those who are intoxicated or have a mental disorder.
Top Symptoms: swollen ear, ear numbness, outer ear pain, ear redness, turning blue or purple from coldness
Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the ears: cold ears
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
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What Is A Middle
The middle ear is the space behind the eardrum, which is connected to the back of the throat by a passageway called the Eustachian tube. Middle ear infections, also called otitis media, can occur when congestion from an allergy or cold blocks the Eustachian tube. Fluid and pressure build up, so bacteria or viruses that have traveled up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear can multiply and cause an ear infection.
Middle ear infections are the most common illness that brings children to a pediatrician and the most common cause of hearing loss in children. Middle ear infections can also cause a hole in the eardrum or spread to nearby areas, such as the mastoid bone. Adults also can get middle ear infections.
Children in day care have an increased risk of middle ear infections. The increased exposure to other infected children increases your child’s chances of getting infected.
What Causes Acute Swimmers Ear Infection In Children An Adults
Acute external otitis is a common bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, or Pseudomonas bacteria. Usually, bacterial ear infections in children and adults are transmitted through excessive water exposure from swimming, diving, surfing, kayaking, or other water sports. When water collects in the ear canal , the skin can become soggy, which is an incubator for bacteria to collect and grow. Cuts or abrasions in the lining of the ear canal also can expose the ear canal to a bacterial infection.
Why do ears itch?
Itchy ears can drive a person crazy. It can be the first sign of an infection, but if the problem is chronic, it is more likely caused by a chronic dermatitis of the ear canal. Seborrheic dermatitis and eczema can both affect the ear canal. There is really no cure for this problem, but it can be made tolerable with the use of steroid drops and creams. People with these problems are more prone to acute infections as well. Use of ear plugs, alcohol drops, and non-instrumentation of the ear is the best prevention for infection. Other treatments for allergies may also help itchy ears.
- chronic irritation ,
- allergy, chronic drainage from middle ear disease, tumors , or
- it may simply follow from a nervous habit of frequently scratching the ear.
In some people, more than one factor may be involved. For example, a person with eczema may subsequently develop black ear drainage. This would suggest of an accompanying fungal infection.
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When To See A Doctor About An Earache
Dr. Nguyen-Huynh recommends seeing a doctor if:
- Yoursymptoms remain after twoor three days, even if youve tried over-the-counter or home remedies.
- Yourear is very painful, oryou have other symptoms that bother you.
Other common conditions, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction , can masquerade as earache infections. TMJ causes ear pain because the ear canal and the jaw joint share a nerve. If you have ear pain along with trouble chewing, talking or yawning, then you should see a dentist or TMJ expert to be sure youre treating the right condition, notes Dr. Nguyen-Huynh.
The good news? Hot and cold compresses and OTC pain relievers can also help relieve TMJ pain until you sort things out.
What Can Parents Do About Middle Ear Infections
Children who have an acute middle ear infection usually have an earache and a fever. They sleep badly, are restless and cry a lot. What are the treatment options and when is it important to seek medical advice?
Middle ear infections usually clear up after a few days. Complications are very rare. The earache often already goes away again after one day. Until that happens, medication to relieve pain and reduce fever, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen , can be used to relieve the symptoms. A lot of care and attention is also helpful, and some children feel that certain home remedies have a soothing effect too.
Antibiotics often do not work and can have side effects. So there’s usually a good reason to wait two or three days at first, to see whether a middle ear infection clears up on its own. If the symptoms don’t get better, the child can still take then. Antibiotics also help in children who are leaking pus from their ear, and in children who are under two years old and have an infection in both ears.
If a child is unwell, it can be important to seek medical advice early on. The doctor can tell whether it’s a middle ear infection and how severe it is. You can then discuss the most appropriate treatment approach together. If the symptoms don’t get better despite treatment, or if the child has problems such as hearing loss, it’s advisable to see the doctor again.
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