Middle-ear infections are common in children, but they can also happen inadults. An ear infection in an adult may mean a more serious problem thanin a child. So you may need additional tests. If you have an ear infection,you should see your health care provider for treatment.
Sometimes fluid stays in the middle ear even after you take antibiotics andthe infection goes away. In this case, your health care provider maysuggest that a small tube be placed in your ear. The tube is put at theopening of the eardrum. The tube keeps fluid from building up and relievespressure in the middle ear. It can also help you hear better. This surgeryis called myringotomy. It is not often done in adults.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to control pain associated with a painful type of ear infection called acute otitis media (AOM).
Some sleep positions will aggravate pain from ear infections, while some can help relieve it. Sleep with the affected ear raised instead of having it faced down toward the pillow. This can help the ear drain better if necessary.
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe pain from earaches. Apply ginger juice, or strained oil that was warmed with ginger in it, around the outer ear canal. Do not put it directly into the ear.
Hydrogen peroxide has been used as a natural remedy for earaches for many years. To use this method of treatment, place several drops of hydrogen peroxide into the affected ear. Let it sit for several minutes before letting it drain into a sink. Rinse your ear with clean, distilled water.
No Need For Antibiotics The latest guidelines from the AAP suggest that doctors should focus on pain management, not antibiotics, for ear infections. This is because ear infections often go away on their own, and the overuse of antibiotics could lead to antibiotic-resistant infections.
Over-the-counter pain relievers are often effective at alleviating the pain associated with an ear infection. Heating pads can also be helpful if the temperature is regulated properly. For middle ear infections, keeping your upper body elevated may reduce some of the pressure in the ear.
An ear infection (sometimes called acute otitis media) is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.
Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment may begin with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Sometimes, antibiotics are used to clear the infection. Some people are prone to having multiple ear infections. This can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
Because adenoids are near the opening of the eustachian tubes, swelling of the adenoids may block the tubes. This can lead to middle ear infection. Swelling and irritation of adenoids is more likely to play a role in ear infections in children because children have relatively larger adenoids compared to adults.
Another condition that affects the middle ear is called otitis media with effusion. This condition occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear without causing an infection. Otitis media with effusion does not cause fever, ear pain, or pus build-up in the middle ear.
Dr. Wang: An outer ear infection, or otitis externa, is the type we most frequently encounter in adults. These can strike anyone at any age, with or without a history of ear infections. Outer ear infections are also known as swimmer's ear, because they are typically caused by the introduction of moisture from outside the body. The ear canal is a warm, moist area of the body, the perfect breeding ground for bacterial or fungal growth and an easy entry point for moisture to enter. Adults who are more predisposed to getting otitis externa include those with eczema of the ear canal and those who frequently insert cotton swabs into their ear canal.
Dr. Wang: Correct. Use of Q-Tips can cause not only outer ear infections, but also trauma of the ear canal or eardrum, which can affect hearing and cause other types of infection and ear pain. Also, part of the swab can break off, leaving a foreign body in your ear that needs to be removed. It's a common reason for ER visits, actually. If you feel you have a buildup of ear wax, I recommend applying a tissue or soft thin cloth to your finger and wiping gently around the entrance to the ear. There are also over-the-counter ear wax removal kits from Debrox® that are safe to use, when used as directed.
Dr. Wang: Frontline treatment for middle ear infections is a course of oral antibiotics. Sometimes steroids can be added if the pain is severe, which doesn't help resolve the infection any faster but can reduce the inflammation and pressure causing the pain. If you've been on standard treatments for several days but your ear still aches or feels full, you should be referred to an ENT, who may recommend different medications or elect to lance the eardrum to remove the fluid. If you keep getting middle ear infections, you may have to have ear tubes placed in your ears, just like we do with children.
Dr. Wang: They function pretty much the same for kids as adults. You still have to have relative water precautions. You can swim but it may be safest to use ear plugs or a swim band to keep water out. The main difference is adults typically do fine with ear tube placement in the office. There's no need for an OR or general anesthesia like there traditionally has been for kids. Actually, there's a new procedure for placing ear tubes in kids that allows us to do it super quickly with local anesthesia only. So now we can do that in clinic as well.
Dr. Wang: There is something called an inner ear infection. Inner ear infections are pretty different from outer and middle ear infections, and much rarer overall. We see them primarily in adults. Inner ear infections typically present with hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, you should rest, avoid driving, sudden movements and alcohol. Inner ear infections will usually clear up in several days on their own, but if symptoms don't go away, you should call your primary care provider or ENT doctor. Note: If you have sudden hearing loss in one ear, get in to see your doctor immediately or call 911, because tests need to be performed immediately.
Dr. Wang: Do not stick anything in your ears! Also, if you have diabetes, be very careful with ear infections. They might be much more persistent, painful and treatment resistant. If this happens to you, really prioritize getting your blood sugar under control, because that can greatly affect your body's ability to shake the infection.
If you have recurring episodes of otitis externa that haven't responded to treatment, your GP may take a swab of the inside of your ear. This will be tested to help determine what type of infection you have, if any, so appropriate medication can be prescribed.
While otitis externa can clear up by itself, this can take several weeks without treatment. Your GP can usually prescribe medicated ear drops that speed up the healing process. These usually need to be taken several times a day for about a week.
Once treatment is complete and the inflammation has settled, your doctor may want to re-examine your ear to check for any underlying physical problems that could have contributed to the condition, such as having an abnormal or perforated (torn) ear drum.
It's not always necessary to see your GP if you or your child have earache. Your local pharmacist is always on hand to offer help and advice on how you can manage the problem. The pain will often improve in a few days and there are things you can do to help in the meantime.
Glue ear (also known as otitis media with effusion, or OME) is a build-up of fluid deep inside the ear, which commonly causes some temporary hearing loss. The condition tends to be painless, but sometimes the pressure of this fluid can cause earache.
The ear canal is very sensitive and can easily become damaged. The ear should heal on its own without treatment, but it can take up to two months for a perforated eardrum to heal. If you have a perforated eardrum, eardrops shouldn't be used.
If you find it painful to swallow and you have a sore throat, your earache could be a symptom of a throat infection, such as tonsillitis or quinsy (an abscess on one side of the back of your throat, which can sometimes make it very difficult to swallow even fluids).
Some types of tonsillitis will clear up after a few days without the need for antibiotics. But if you have quinsy, you will need to see your GP as soon as possible for treatment. You may have quinsy if your sore throat gets worse very quickly.
Earache is occasionally caused by a problem with the joint of your jaw bone (where the jaw meets the skull). This is known as temporomandibular joint pain and can be caused by problems such as arthritis or teeth grinding.
A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form in your teeth or gums as a result of a bacterial infection. The main symptom is pain in your affected tooth, which can be intense and throbbing, although the pain can sometimes spread to your ear.
Certain situations and actions put some people more at risk for ear infections than others. However, several useful steps can help toward prevention and treatment. Learn more about them in this article.
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.
Although ear infections occur most commonly in children, adults may get them as well, and they may be more serious. People with diabetes or chronic skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may be more prone to them. 2b1af7f3a8