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.
When Taking An Antibiotic
It is important to take antibiotics in the correct way. If you do not, this may reduce how well they work. For example, some antibiotics need to be taken with food and others should be taken on an empty stomach. If you do not take your antibiotics in the right way it will affect how much of them get into your body and therefore they may not work as well. So, follow the instructions as given by your doctor and on the leaflet that comes with the antibiotic you are prescribed.
Always take the entire course of antibiotics as directed by your doctor. Even though you may feel better before your medicine is entirely gone, follow through and take the entire course. This is important for your healing. If an antibiotic is stopped in mid-course, germs may be partially treated and not completely killed. Bacteria may then become resistant to that antibiotic.
Overuse of antibiotics has led to some bacteria changing their form or structure and becoming resistant to some antibiotics, which may then not work when really needed. For example, meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that has become resistant to many different antibiotics and is difficult to treat. Other bacteria produce chemicals called enzymes such as extended-spectrum beta-lactamases which allow them to be resistant to certain antibiotics.
Cause Of Ear Infections
- A bacterial infection of the middle ear
- Blocked eustachian tube, usually as part of a common cold. The eustachian tube joins the middle ear to the back of the throat.
- Blockage results in middle ear fluid .
- If the fluid becomes infected , the fluid turns to pus. This causes the eardrum to bulge out and can cause a lot of pain.
- Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years. They are a common problem until age 8.
- The onset of ear infections is often on day 3 of a cold.
- How often do kids get ear infections? 90% of children have at least 1 ear infection. Frequent ear infections occur in 20% of children. Ear infections are the most common bacterial infection of young children.
Read Also: Are You Hungry In Sign Language
Making A Full Recovery
If your doctor does prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection, make sure you finish the entire dosage even if you feel better. Your infection could come back and will be more resistant to treatments.
This will ensure you will make a full recovery a quick as possible.
If you or a family member has an earache, dont panic. Weve got you covered. Come to see us so we can help you get feeling better. You can either or just walk-in. Were here whenever you need us.
Which Antibiotic Is Usually Prescribed
The choice of antibiotic mainly depends on which infection you have and the germ your doctor thinks is causing your infection. This is because each antibiotic is effective only against certain bacteria and parasites. For example, if you have pneumonia, the doctor knows what kinds of bacteria typically cause most cases of pneumonia. He or she will choose the antibiotic that best combats those kinds of bacteria.
There are other factors that influence the choice of an antibiotic. These include:
- How severe the infection is.
- How well your kidneys and liver are working.
- Dosing schedule.
- A history of having an allergy to a certain type of antibiotic.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Pattern of infection in your community.
- Pattern of resistance to antibiotics by germs in your area.
Even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding there are a number of antibiotics that are thought to be safe to take.
Recommended Reading: Pairing Phonak Compilot
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.
When Antibiotics Are Needed
Antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial infections that:
- are unlikely to clear up without antibiotics
- could infect others
- could take too long to clear without treatment
- carry a risk of more serious complications
People at a high risk of infection may also be given antibiotics as a precaution, known as antibiotic prophylaxis.
Read more about when antibiotics are used and why they are not routinely used to treat infections.
Recommended Reading: What Is Poop In Sign Language
Ranking The Best Antibiotics For Uti Of 2021
Antibiotics for UTI alleviate the pain and discomfort of urinary tract infections quickly and reliably.
Every year more than six million Americans visit their doctors seeking treatment of UTIs. The overwhelming majority are women, who are 30 times more likely to suffer UTIs than men.
In nearly all confirmed UTI cases, antibiotics are prescribed and start providing relief within 24 hours. Typically, within a few days, most or all symptoms have been eliminated.
There are more than 100 different antibiotics, but not all are useful in treating a UTI. The following are the best antibiotics for UTI of 2021. Speak to your doctor to determine which one is right for you.
Accidentally Taking An Extra Dose
There’s an increased risk of side effects if you take 2 doses closer together than recommended.
Accidentally taking 1 extra dose of your antibiotic is unlikely to cause you any serious harm.
But it will increase your chances of getting side effects, such as pain in your stomach, diarrhoea, and feeling or being sick.
If you accidentally take more than 1 extra dose of your antibiotic, are worried or you get severe side effects, speak to your GP or call NHS 111 as soon as possible.
You May Like: Hungry In Sign Language
Are Some Dogs More Susceptible To Inner Ear Infection
Dogs with long, heavy ears seem to be predisposed to chronic ear infections that can ultimately lead to otitis interna. Spaniel breeds, such as the Cocker Spaniel, and hound breeds, such as the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, are the most commonly affected breeds. Regardless of breed, any dog with a chronic ear infection that is difficult to control may develop otitis interna if the eardrum is damaged, as a damaged ear drum allows bacteria to migrate down into the inner ear.
“Dogs with long, heavy ears seem to be predisposed to chronic ear infections that ultimately lead to otitis interna.”
Excessively vigorous cleaning of an infected external ear canal can sometimes cause otitis interna. Some ear cleansers are irritating to the middle and inner ear and can cause signs of otitis interna if the eardrum is damaged and allows some of the solution to penetrate too deeply.
Do You Need Antibiotics
Your physician may recommend a watch-and-see approach rather than prescribing antibiotics right away. Typically, you will keep an eye on symptoms for three days to see if they improve. This approach usually is used for children whose ear infections cannot be definitively diagnosed or who are under the age of 2.
If the infection does not clear up, you will need antibiotics. In some cases, a doctor will write you a prescription just in case the infection does not clear up.
If the ear infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be prescribed because they do not work against viruses. Relieving symptoms while keeping an eye on the progression of the infection is the best course of treatment for a viral ear infection.
Persistent Or Recurrent Aom
Children with persistent, significant AOM symptoms despite at least 48 to 72 hours of antibiotic therapy should be reexamined.8 If a bulging, inflamed tympanic membrane is observed, therapy should be changed to a second-line agent.2 For children initially on amoxicillin, high-dose amoxicillin/clavulanate is recommended.8,10,28
For children with an amoxicillin allergy who do not improve with an oral cephalosporin, intramuscular ceftriaxone, clindamycin, or tympanocentesis may be considered.4,8 If symptoms recur more than one month after the initial diagnosis of AOM, a new and unrelated episode of AOM should be assumed.10 For children with recurrent AOM with middle ear effusion, tympanostomy tubes may be considered to reduce the need for systemic antibiotics in favor of observation, or topical antibiotics for tube otorrhea.8,10 However, tympanostomy tubes may increase the risk of long-term tympanic membrane abnormalities and reduced hearing compared with medical therapy.33 Other strategies may help prevent recurrence .3437
Strategies for Preventing Recurrent Otitis Media
Check for undiagnosed allergies leading to chronic rhinorrhea
Eliminate bottle propping and pacifiers34
Eliminate exposure to passive smoke35
Routinely immunize with the pneumococcal conjugate and influenza vaccines36
Use xylitol gum in appropriate children 37
Strategies for Preventing Recurrent Otitis Media
Can Ear Infections Be Prevented
Currently, the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Here are some things you might want to do to lower your childs risk for ear infections.
- Vaccinate your child against the flu. Make sure your child gets the influenza, or flu, vaccine every year.
- It is recommended that you vaccinate your child with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine . The PCV13 protects against more types of infection-causing bacteria than the previous vaccine, the PCV7. If your child already has begun PCV7 vaccination, consult your physician about how to transition to PCV13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children under age 2 be vaccinated, starting at 2 months of age. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections than children who arent vaccinated. The vaccine is strongly recommended for children in daycare.
- Wash hands frequently. Washing hands prevents the spread of germs and can help keep your child from catching a cold or the flu.
- Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Studies have shown that babies who are around smokers have more ear infections.
- Never put your baby down for a nap, or for the night, with a bottle.
- Dont allow sick children to spend time together. As much as possible, limit your childs exposure to other children when your child or your childs playmates are sick.
Recommended Reading: How To Pair Compilot With Hearing Aids
When Else Are Antibiotics Needed
Antibiotics can be the right treatment for kids who get a lot of ear infections. Their doctors might prescribe daily antibiotics to help prevent future infections. And younger children or those with more severe illness may need antibiotics right from the start.
The “wait-and-see” approach also might not apply to children with other concerns, such as cleft palate, genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, or other illnesses such as immune system disorders.
What Are The Signs Of An Inner Ear Infection
The signs of otitis interna depend upon the severity and the extent of the infection. Some dogs may show no outward signs at all, but you may notice your dog is reluctant to chew or seems to be in pain when opening his mouth. He may shake his head or paw at the affected ear.
Your dog may develop a head tilt, usually to the side of the infected ear, and he may even lean, fall, or roll toward the infected side. His balance may be completely altered making it difficult to walk properly, and he may even walk in circles toward the side of the infected ear. If both ears are involved, you may see him swing his head from side to side like an elephant swinging its trunk, and he may have a difficult time staying on his feet. Also, dogs with active otitis interna cannot hear on the affected side.
Read Also: Sign Language Hungry
Are There Other Signs I Should Watch For
Vomiting and nausea may occur during the acute phase of otitis interna. If the facial nerve, which is located in the area of the inner ear, is damaged by an inner ear infection, your dog may develop some of the following symptoms:
- drooling from the side of the mouth
- difficulty eating and dropping food
- inability to blink
- development of dry eye in the unblinking eye or Dry Eye in Dogs)
- eye discharge
- drooping of the eyelids, lips, and nostrils on the affected side
- signs of Horners syndrome which include uneven pupil size, called anisocoria, prominent third eyelid, and drooping upper eyelid on the affected side
With long-term facial nerve paralysis the face may actually twist toward the side of the ear infection.
Additional signs include redness in the affected ear and discharge with a foul odor. The outer ear canal may become thickened and hard to the touch from chronic inflammation and the lymph node at the base of the chin on the affected side may become enlarged. Your dog may become reluctant to move at all, preferring to sit or lay in one spot and his head may swing from side to side, even at rest. You may also notice short, rapid, side-to-side movements of the eyeballs called nystagmus.
Ear Infection Treatment Options
Due to the variety of ear infections, patients may be given a few different treatment options. Middle ear infections do not always require prescription medication due to the bodys natural ability to fight off the infection. Your doctor or pediatrician may recommend a method of treatment called watchful waiting. This involves two to three days of rest, drinking lots of fluids, and the use of over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. If after two to three days the patient is not improving, the doctor may write a prescription for antibiotics. Alternatively, the physician may write a prescription for an antibiotic but recommend waiting two to three days before filling in case the ear infection clears up in the meantime.
In some cases, using a tympanostomy tube may be necessary to prevent fluid from building up in the ear and to assist with relieving air pressure near the eustachian tube.
You May Like: Clearflex Hearing Aids
What Causes An Ear Infection
Ear infections are caused by bacteria and viruses. Many times, an ear infection begins after a cold or other respiratory infection. The bacteria or virus travel into the middle ear through the eustachian tube . This tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. The bacteria or virus can also cause the eustachian tube to swell. This swelling can cause the tube to become blocked, which keeps normally produced fluids to build up in the middle ear instead of being able to be drained away.
Adding to the problem is that the eustachian tube is shorter and has less of a slope in children than in adults. This physical difference makes these tubes easier to become clogged and more difficult to drain. The trapped fluid can become infected by a virus or bacteria, causing pain.
Medical terminology and related conditions
Because your healthcare provider may use these terms, its important to have a basic understanding of them:
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.
You May Like: What Is Poop In Sign Language
When You Need Themand When You Dont
Many children get ear infections. The infections are usually in the middle ear behind the eardrum. They may be caused by bacteria or by a virus. Doctors often treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Antibiotics are strong medicines that kill bacteria.
Infants and some babies and children do need antibiotics.
But using antibiotics too often can be harmful. Heres why:
In most cases, antibiotics are not needed.
- They do not work for ear infections caused by viruses.
- They do not help the pain.
- Usually, viral infections and many bacterial infections go away on their own in two to three days, especially in children who are over two years old.
First, call the doctor and treat the pain.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection, you should call the doctors office and describe the symptoms. Usually, your doctor should ask you to wait a few days before bringing your child in.
The main sign of an ear infection is pain, especially on the first day. Or, a child may have a fever.
Start by giving your child an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as:
- acetaminophen .
- ibuprofen .
Antibiotics do not relieve pain in the first 24 hours. They only have a small effect on pain after that. So, pain relievers are an important treatment, and usually they are the only treatment needed.
When is treatment with antibiotics needed?If the infection is very painful and lasts more than a few days, chances are it is a bacterial infection.