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.
What Are Other Causes Of Ear Pain
Other causes of ear pain include:
- A sore throat.
- Teeth coming in in a baby.
- An infection of the lining of the ear canal. This is also called swimmers ear.
- Pressure build up in the middle ear caused by allergies and colds.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/16/2020.
Cold And Allergy Remedies
Recent research has questioned the general safety of cough and cold products for children. They are currently banned for use in children under age 4 years. The American College of Chest Physicians recommends against the use of nonprescription cough and cold medicines in children age 14 years and younger.
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How Do You Prevent Ear Infections
You may be able to prevent ear some ear infections if you:
- Use earplugs when swimming or diving
- Dry ears thoroughly after swimming
- Never use cotton swabs inside the ear canal
- Wash hands properly to prevent the spread of viruses
- Use soap and warm water and wash for at least 20 seconds
Who Should Take Oral Antibiotics For Ear Infections
- Children without ear tubes should take oral antibiotics for middle-ear infections, especially when they have severe ear pain or high fever.
- Children with ear tubes should take oral antibiotics if:
- They are very ill.
- They have another reason to be on an antibiotic.
- The infection doesnt go away with eardrops.
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What Are Complications Of Ear Infections
Complications of ear infections are uncommon with proper treatment. Complications may include:
- Hearing loss: usually temporary but may become permanent if the eardrum or middle ear structures are damaged
- Infection that spreads to nearby tissues, such as infection of the mastoid bone, which helps drain middle ear fluid
- Eardrum tears: most will heal on their own within a few days, though in some cases surgery is needed to repair it
- Speech or developmental delays in infants and toddlers if hearing is impaired
What Are The Advantages Of Ototopical Antibiotics
Administration of antibiotics directly in the ear has several advantages over systemic delivery including the following:
Topical antibiotic solutions contain vastly greater concentration of antibiotic than the medications administered orally, or even intravenously. The high antibiotic concentration, delivered directly at the site of the infection, is much more effective in killing the bacteria. It also reduces the possibility for development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
The lowest level of drug concentration that can prevent bacterial growth is known as minimum inhibitory concentration . Some drug-resistant bacteria have a high MIC, but ototopical antibiotics far exceed the MIC required for destroying even highly resistant bacteria.
Absence of systemic effects
The absence of systemic effects with topical administration eliminates the risk of systemic antibiotic side effects. The normal beneficial bacteria that live in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts are unaffected. Absence of systemic antibiotics also prevents the natural selection and proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria.
Alteration of microenvironment
Ototopical antibiotics are generally less expensive than comparable systemic medications.
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What Are The Possible Side
It is not possible in this leaflet to list all the possible side-effects of each antibiotic. However, as with all medicines, there are a number of side-effects that have been reported with each of the different antibiotics. If you want more information specific to your antibiotic then you should read the information leaflet that comes with the medicine.
Most side-effects of antibiotics are not serious. Common side-effects include soft stools , diarrhoea, or mild stomach upset such as feeling sick . Less commonly, some people have an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and some have died from a severe allergic reaction – this is very rare.
Antibiotics can kill off normal defence bacteria which live in the bowel and vagina. This may then allow thrush or other bad bacteria to grow.
You should tell your doctor if you have any of the following side-effects:
- Severe watery diarrhoea and tummy cramps: signs of a serious bacterial infection of the gut – Clostridium difficile infection.
- Shortness of breath, hives, rash, swelling , fainting: signs of an allergic reaction.
- White patches on the tongue: signs of oral thrush.
- Being sick .
Some antibiotics may interact with other medicines that you might take. This may cause reactions, or reduce the effectiveness of one or other of the treatments. So, when you are prescribed an antibiotic you should tell a doctor if you take other medicines.
What Antibiotic Treats Uti In Dogs
Antibiotics for dogs and cats, like Cephalexin or Clavamox, are the most common treatment for UTIs due to their ability to destroy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Some veterinarians recommend a follow-up urine culture after antibiotic treatment is complete to confirm that the infection has been eradicated.
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Do Uti Antibiotics Help Ear Infections
Now, the question can UTI antibiotics help to cure ear infections? Will have a simple yes or no answer depending on your circumstances.
If you have an acute infection and the only thing you are using to treat it is antibiotics then it will most likely require a round of antibiotics to help clear up the infection.
If you suffer from recurring urinary tract infections and your doctor has prescribed an antibiotic to help, then there is a chance that it will help.
The doctor may prescribe either of these drugs, especially if you have a cold, sinus infection, fever, recurrent ear pain, headache, and fever.
These are prescription-strength antibiotics that can be purchased over-the-counter.
If you have UTI, you will find that both Macrobid and Augmentin can work wonders for you.
This is because the antibiotics will help to clear up any of the infections in the ear.
However, you will need to consider how often you are taking these antibiotics and how often you are going to need to take them.
You need to consider the possible side effects and their severity.
Some women are still wondering if the antibiotic will help because a UTI can come back even after treatment with an antibiotic.
The best way to find out is to have the infection evaluated by a doctor.
If it is an acute infection, then antibiotics may just be able to help you get rid of it.
Sometimes you can consider using other alternatives.
These treatments can range from homeopathic remedies to vitamins and herbs.
When To See A Doctor
Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a minor earache may not be a worry.
A doctor should typically be seen if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms occur, such as a fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be seen immediately.
Any sign of discharge coming from the ear would also require a visit to the doctor.
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What Is The Treatment For Ear Infections
Medications used to treat ear infections include:
- Pseudoephedrine to ease ear pressure
- Antibiotic ear drops for infections of the ear canal
- Polymyxin B
- Steroid ear drops for infections of the ear canal
- Oral antibiotics for infections of the middle ear , and severe infections of the outer ear
For mild cases of ear infection, doctors often recommend watching and waiting before starting use of antibiotics, as many cases will go away on their own. Consult your childs pediatrician before giving any over-the-counter medications to your child.
Home remedies to relieve symptoms include:
- Warm compresses applied to the area to help soothe pain
- Over-the-counter pain eardrops
How Middle Ear Infections Are Treated
Make sure any painkillers you give to your child are appropriate for their age. Read more about giving your child painkillers.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely used to treat middle ear infections, although they may occasionally be prescribed if symptoms persist or are particularly severe.
Read more about treating middle ear infections
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Diagnosis Of Ear Infections
Your physician will look into your ear with an otoscope, a medical instrument with a light on one end designed to get a better view inside the ear. Your doctor will look for the visual signs of ear infection, such as redness and inflammation.
To check for fluid buildup, a pneumatic otoscope, which blows air at the eardrum, will be used. If there is excessive fluid behind the eardrum, it will not move as it should when the air hits it.
In some cases, hearing tests may also be performed to assess any damage to the ear from the infection.
Different types of ear infections present with different symptoms, which can include:
- Inner ear infections: Hearing loss, ringing in the ears , dizziness, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting, and ear pain
- Middle ear infections: Fluid in the ear, ear pain, fever, a feeling of general illness, pressure in the ears, and hearing loss
- Outer ear infections: Inflammation of the ear canal, itching in the ear, ear pain, swelling of the ear canal, redness, and fluid draining from the ear
Ear Infection Doctor Discussion Guide
Children with ear infections, especially toddlers or infants, may not be able to describe their symptoms, but an ear infection will often present with the following signs:
- Tugging or pulling at their ears
- Fussing or crying
- Being clumsy and having balance issues
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet noises
Antibiotics Provide Limited Benefit For Ear Infection
Ear infections are not always caused by bacteria. Research estimates that ear infections have bacterial origin in 51 to 78 percent of cases. This means that 22 to 49 percent of cases are due to other causes, such as viruses or even food sensitivities. When an ear infection is caused by a virus or food sensitivity, antibiotics will not help.
Research suggests that over time, without treatment, 80 percent of ear infections clear on their own.
A recent review analyzed a large collection of trials about antibiotics and ear infections. Two main types of studies were looked at: those that compared antibiotic treatment to placebo treatment and those that compared immediate antibiotic treatment to an expectant watchfulness, or watch and wait, approach. In the watch-and-wait treatment, antibiotics were only given if symptoms and pain persisted or got worse after three to seven days.
In comparing antibiotic treatment to placebo, antibiotic prescription did slightly reduce pain at various follow-up times up to two weeks following the start of treatment. Instances of ruptured eardrums and infection of the originally unaffected ear were also decreased mildly in the antibiotic group compared to placebo. However, 20 percent fewer children had recurrent ear infections in the placebo group. Perhaps a less damaged gut flora better protected the placebo-group children from subsequent infections.
Does your child need antibiotics for an ear infection?
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How Do You Know When A Uti Becomes A Kidney Infection
There are many common signs and symptoms of kidney infections that can help you to know.
Lets take a look at the signs of UTI and how you can judge whether it is time to take antibiotics.
Symptoms of UTI normally manifest themselves in the form of frequent urination.
Pain, burning sensation when urinating.
Other symptoms of UTI can include muscle and joint pain,lower back or leg pain, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
These are just a few of the common symptoms of UTI but there are other symptoms of UTI that most doctors operate on.
And these include blood in the urine, bladder, and bowel incontinence, dark urine, painful urination, swelling of one side of the abdomen, or any combination of these symptoms.
How do you know when a UTI has progressed from a mild case to a kidney infection?
The answer is that it becomes very difficult to detect until advanced stages.
Some of the symptoms of kidney infections include blood in the urine, loss of weight, jaundice, nausea, and vomiting, lethargy, and fever.
When urine does not pass through your body completely, you may experience pain while urinating.
How do you know when a UTI has progressed to a kidney infection?
There are many causes of UTIs including antibiotics.
Some of the bacteria that can cause UTIs are also able to multiply due to the presence of bacteria.
UTI infections are caused by organisms that can infect the urinary tract and bladder.
Many types of bacteria can live in the bladder and urethra.
When Are Antibiotics Prescribed
Antibiotics are typically only prescribed to treat AOM and swimmers ear. This is because OME and COME occur after the bacterial infection has passed antibiotics are not effective against the fluid buildup alone.
Your doctor will examine your ear with an otoscope and evaluate your symptoms to determine what type of infection you have and whether antibiotics will be effective. If your symptoms are mild, they may recommend taking a wait-and-see approach. If symptoms dont resolve on their own or if theyre severe, then antibiotics will likely be prescribed.
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How Do Ear Infections Happen
A middle ear infection usually happens because of swelling in one or both of the eustachian tubes . The tubes let mucus drain from the middle ear into the throat.
A cold, throat infection, acid reflux, or allergies can make the eustachian tubes swell. This blocks the mucus from draining. Then, or grow in the mucus and make pus, which builds up in the middle ear.
When doctors refer to an ear infection, they usually mean otitis media rather than swimmer’s ear . Otitis media with effusion is when noninfected fluid builds up in the ear. It might not cause symptoms, but in some kids, the fluid creates a sensation of ear fullness or “popping.”
Synthetic Antibiotics Derived From Dyes
Synthetic antibiotic chemotherapy as a science and development of antibacterials began in Germany with Paul Ehrlich in the late 1880s. Ehrlich noted certain dyes would color human, animal, or bacterial cells, whereas others did not. He then proposed the idea that it might be possible to create chemicals that would act as a selective drug that would bind to and kill bacteria without harming the human host. After screening hundreds of dyes against various organisms, in 1907, he discovered a medicinally useful drug, the first synthetic antibacterial organoarsenic compoundsalvarsan, now called arsphenamine.
The first sulfonamide and the first systemically active antibacterial drug, Prontosil, was developed by a research team led by Gerhard Domagk in 1932 or 1933 at the Bayer Laboratories of the IG Farben conglomerate in Germany, for which Domagk received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sulfanilamide, the active drug of Prontosil, was not patentable as it had already been in use in the dye industry for some years. Prontosil had a relatively broad effect against Gram-positivecocci, but not against enterobacteria. Research was stimulated apace by its success. The discovery and development of this sulfonamide drug opened the era of antibacterials.
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When Are Antibiotics Usually Prescribed
Antibiotics are normally only prescribed for more serious infections with germs .
Most common infections are caused by viruses, when an antibiotic will not be of use. Even if you have a mild bacterial infection, the immune system can clear most bacterial infections. For example, antibiotics usually do little to speed up recovery from most ear, nose and throat infections that are caused by bacteria.
So, do not be surprised if a doctor does not recommend an antibiotic for conditions caused by viruses or non-bacterial infections, or even for a mild bacterial infection.
However, you do need antibiotics if you have certain serious infections caused by bacteria, such as meningitis or pneumonia. In these situations, antibiotics are often life-saving. When you are ill, doctors are skilled at checking you over to rule out serious illness and to advise if an antibiotic is needed. Urine infections also commonly need antibiotics to prevent spread to the kidneys.
Antibiotics can also be prescribed to treat acne – a less serious condition. For acne, antibiotics can be taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin.