Symptoms Of A Middle Ear Infection
A middle ear infection generally develops very rapidly.
Signs and symptoms in children may include:
- Ear pain
- A child may excessively pull, tug or touch their ears
Symptoms of a middle ear infection in adults may include:
- Ear pain
- Partial hearing loss/muffled hearing
- Fluid in the ear or yellow, clear or bloody discharge from the ears
It is important to consult a doctor when:
- Symptoms develop in a child of six months or younger
- A child displays symptoms for 48 hours or more and has a temperature of 39 C or more
- Symptoms show no sign of improvement after two or three days
- Symptoms become worse rather than better over the first few days
- Discharge presents itself
- Symptoms are experienced by a person with an underlying health condition, such as cystic fibrosis or congenital heart disease, which could make complications more likely
How Long Will It Take My Child To Get Better
Your child should start feeling better within a few days after visiting the doctor. If its been several days and your child still seems sick, call your doctor. Your child might need a different antibiotic. Once the infection clears, fluid may still remain in the middle ear but usually disappears within three to six weeks.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Middle
Common symptoms of a middle-ear infection in adults are:
Pain in 1 or both ears
Drainage from the ear
You may also have a fever. Rarely, your balance can be affected.
These symptoms may be the same as for other conditions. Its important totalk with your health care provider if you think you have a middle-earinfection. If you have a high fever, severe pain behind your ear, orparalysis in your face, see your provider as soon as you can.
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What Does The Doctor Do
The doctor will look into your ear with a special flashlight called an otoscope . With the otoscope, the doctor can see your eardrum, the thin membrane between your outer and middle ear.
The doctor may use the otoscope to blow a little puff of air in your ear. Why? To see if the air causes your eardrum to move the way a healthy eardrum does. An infected eardrum wonât move as it should because the pus presses against it and may make it bulge. An infection also can make the eardrum red.
If you have an ear infection, the doctor will make a decision about what to do next. He or she might ask your parent to watch you over the next day or two to see if you get any better. The doctor also might suggest a pain reliever to keep you comfortable.
If bacteria are causing the problem, the doctor might prescribe a medicine called an antibiotic , which usually clears up a bacterial infection, so youâll feel better in a few days.
If you are given an antibiotic, itâs very important to keep taking the medicine for as many days as the doctor instructs even if your ear stops hurting. If you donât take all the medicine, the infection could come back and your ear will start hurting again.
A kid who has chronic, or frequent, ear infections might need a few other tests. They include an audiogram , which tests your hearing, and a tympanogram , a machine that checks whether your eardrum moves normally.
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Antibiotics And Other Prescriptions
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , using antibiotics by mouth to treat ear infections may not help certain cases of middle ear infections. Antibiotics are not effective against outer ear and viral infections.
The main treatments for outer ear infections are manual cleanings and ear drops. The type of ear drop will depend on what is causing the infection. In the case of malignant otitis externa, intravenous antibiotics are the primary treatment.
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Other Remedies That May Help
These other at-home remedies may provide some relief:
- Neck exercises. Rotating and stretching your neck can help ease pressure thats built up in your ear canal.
- Ginger. With its anti-inflammatory properties, using ginger juice around the outer ear canal may soothe pain.
- Hydrogen peroxide. Place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into your ear. After a few minutes, let it drain into a sink. Rinse off your ear.
How To Use Them
The dosage, type, and frequency of doses depend on the type of medication, the age of the person, their weight, and other mitigating factors such as medical history.
If a child is under age 2 or has never taken this medication before, contact their healthcare provider before administering it.
For children and adults, follow the directions on the package carefully.
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Cold Or Warm Compresses
People often use ice packs or warm compresses, like a heating pad or damp washcloth, to relieve pain. The same can be done for ear pain. This method is safe for both children and adults.
Place the ice pack or warm compress over the ear and alternate between warm and cold after 10 minutes. If you prefer either cold or warm, you can use just one compress.
How To Naturally Treat My Dog’s Ear Infection At Home
Many dog owner are looking for a home remedy for dog ear infection to treat their dog ear infection without vet.
For cases of minor ear infections, we suggest natural products that you can help your dog with at home. We suggest our homeopathic solution, a cleaning technique based on peroxide or apple cider vinegar, and finally a treatment based on coconut oil.
If your dog is showing the first signs of an ear infection, this product is for him. The homeopathic product EAR INFECTION can help your dog. As a pet parent, you want to help soothe itching in your furry companion’s ears and reduce the redness associated with inflammation.This product can be used in case of either liquid or thick secretions in the dog’s infected ear and also in case of ear wax. This natural product can also be used for several species of animals, including cats.
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Signs Of Ear Infection Faqs
Q: How do I know if I have a ruptured eardrum?A: A ruptured eardrum is one of the most common complications of an ear infection. Its symptoms also mirror those of an ear infection, meaning it may be difficult to differentiate between the two. In some cases, however, a ruptured eardrum may result in no symptoms at all. Upon examination, a doctor will be able to identify a ruptured eardrum and advise on appropriate treatment methods. Generally, a ruptured eardrum is considered non-serious and will in most instances heal naturally without the need for medication.
Q: What is the Eustachian tube?A: The Eustachian tube is a narrow canal that connects the middle ear to the throat . Its main function is to ventilate the middle ear and to ensure that the air pressure in both sides of the eardrum remains equalized. When the Eustachian tube becomes blocked as a result of an upper respiratory tract infection , this can create a vacuum in which bacteria can collect and enter the middle ear. This can cause a middle ear infection.
Q: Is earache always a sign of ear infection?A: Although earache is a common symptom of ear infection , earache can also be connected to other conditions such as cold, flu, a buildup of earwax or teething in children. Following an examination, a doctor will be able to identify the root cause of earache and outline treatment options.
Q: What are the signs of an infection around an ear piercing?A: The signs of an ear piercing infection include:
Home Remedies For Your Babys Ear Infection
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What is an ear infection?
If your baby is fussy, cries more than usual, and tugs at their ear, they may have an ear infection. Five out of six children will have an ear infection before their 3rd birthday, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders .
An ear infection, or otitis media, is a painful inflammation of the middle ear. Most middle ear infections occur between the ear drum and the eustachian tube, which connects the ears, nose, and throat.
Ear infections often follow a cold. Bacteria or viruses are usually the cause. The infection causes inflammation and swelling of the eustachian tube. The tube narrows and fluid builds behind the eardrum, causing pressure and pain. Children have shorter and narrower eustachian tubes than adults. Also, their tubes are more horizontal, so its easier for them to get blocked.
Approximately 5 to 10 percent of children with an ear infection will experience a ruptured eardrum, according to the Childrens National Health System. The eardrum usually heals within one to two weeks, and rarely causes permanent damage to the childs hearing.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Why Do Kids Get Ear Infections
Kids get ear infections more than adults do for several reasons:
- Their shorter, more horizontal eustachian tubes let bacteria and viruses find their way into the middle ear more easily. The tubes are also narrower, so more likely to get blocked.
- Their adenoids, gland-like structures at the back of the throat, are larger and can interfere with the opening of the eustachian tubes.
Other things that can put kids at risk include secondhand smoke, bottle-feeding, and being around other kids in childcare. Ear infections are more common in boys than girls.
Ear infections are not contagious, but the colds that sometimes cause them can be. Infections are common during winter weather, when many people get upper respiratory tract infections or colds .
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Should I Use Antibiotics For An Ear Infection
Antibiotics are a medicine prescribed by your doctor. If youre dealing with an ear infection caused by bacteria, youll likely need antibiotics. They are the best way of quickly getting rid of a bacterial infection and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.
The catch is that antibiotics dont work against viruses if you use antibiotics on a viral ear infection, it can actually make the infection worse. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to a condition called antibiotic resistance, which means that the medicine becomes less effective at fighting off bacteria.
Thats why doctors are careful about using antibiotics wisely and may not immediately prescribe them for ear infections.
Easy Ways To Cure Ear Infection
Ear infections are relatively common in both adults and children. Indeed, one in ten adults gets an ear infection at least once in their life, with more women getting it than men. The problem is estimated to affect nine in ten children before their third birthday. Also known as otitis media, ear infection is caused by bacteria or viruses in the ear canal. The infection causes pain due to fluid buildup and increased pressure against the eardrum. How to deal with it?
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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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Natural Remedies For Ear Infections
Having ear pain from an ear infection doesnt always mean you need antibiotics. Instead, try these at-home strategies to feel better.
Ear infections arent just painful they can also take one to two weeks to fully heal, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. And taking a wait-and-see-approach meaning, without antibiotics is recommended for many children and adults with ear infections. This is based on guidelines published in the journal Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in February 2016. Natural remedies can also help.
Theres no scientific data to support home remedies , but they may be soothing, and there could be a placebo effect, says otolaryngologist Matthew Bush, MD, an assistant professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery with University of Kentucky Health Care in Lexington.
The good news about these strategies? They wont harm you and they might do just the trick.
Rose and Bush agree that over-the-counter pain medications can help you feel better. If you have allergies, getting away from any triggers that cause congestion, which leads to ear infections, may also provide some relief, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
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How Do I Get An Ear Infection
Between your middle ear and your throat there is a passage called the eustachiantube. The eustachian tubes keep pressure from building up by letting air move in and out of your middle ear. When you were young, especially before you turned 3, the eustachian tubes were very small and less able to keep germs out.
The eustachian tubes get longer and usually work better in older kids, but they can still cause problems. If you have allergies or catch a cold, the eustachian tubes can get blocked up and let germs get in the middle ear. Then the number of germs can grow inside your middle ear and cause an infection.
You do not catch ear infections from other people, though you might catch a cold that then leads to an ear infection. If you have an ear infection, you might have ear pain, a fever, or trouble hearing. If you have any of these problems, tell your parent so he or she can take you to the doctor.
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.
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How Can You Treat An Ear Infection At Home
There are a few things you can try to get relief from your pain:
- Use OTC pain medication. Acetaminophen can help with the pain, Dr. Kozin says.
- Get rest. Rest allows your bodys immune system energy to do its job and try to help you heal, says Arashdeep Litt, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Spectrum Health.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Drinking a lot of water can help thin the secretions in your ear rather than keeping them thick, says Omid Mehdizadeh, M.D., an otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. That will help drain mucus in your ear.
- Lie down with the affected ear up. This can help any excess fluid thats behind your eardrum drain through your Eustachian tubes and down your throat, Dr. Mehdizadeh says.
- Use a warm compress. While this wont necessarily help with drainage, it may lessen your pain, Dr. Mehdizadeh says.
It can be tempting to use a cotton swab to see if that will help you get relief, but Dr. Kozin recommends against doing this. One should never put anything in the ear if concerned for an ear infection, such as a cotton tip, as manipulation of the ear can make the infection worse, he warns.