Trying to figure out the best treatment for an ear infection?
If you’re like most people, you’ve likely had an ear infection before.
They can be incredibly painful, difficult, and somewhat annoying to treat.
But if caught early enough, they are easy to get rid of!
In this article, we will teach you everything there is to know about how to treat ear infections so that next time one strikes, you’ll how to make it go away faster.
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Now, let’s dive into the best treatment for ear infections.
What Causes an Ear Infection?
Every human ear has three unique sections.
The middle of a person’s ear is the space between the eardrum and inner ear.
The middle ear is where ear infections develop.
Each person has two eustachian tubes that carry air through the upper throat into the middle ear.
These tubes also get rid of the fluid and maintain air pressure between the nose and ears.
Eustachian tubes will not fully develop until adulthood.
Children are more likely to experience liquid buildup and blockages due to ongoing development.
Bacteria essentially cause ear infections to build up in the inner or outer ear.
Humans also have a pair of adenoids in the back of the nose.
Their main job is to fight off infections by acting as a filter between mouth bacteria and the nose.
During illness, adenoids become swollen and weak.
If the adenoids are not functioning correctly, the immune system becomes highly receptive to viruses and bacteria.
Common causes of ear infection are sore throats, colds, the flu, and allergies.
Congestion and mucous transmit harmful bacteria.
Both viral and bacterial illnesses can result in a fluid buildup within the ear.
Types of Ear Infections
There are two prominent types of ear infections.
The first type, Acute Otitis Media, is an inner middle ear infection.
The second type, Otitis Externa or swimmer’s ear, is when the outer ear canal becomes infected.
Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) is not an infection but still causes discomfort in the ear.
OME is when fluid remains in the ear after an infection has cleared up.
Each of these conditions is diagnosed by a family doctor, internist, ENT, or pediatrician.
Signs And Symptoms Of An Earn Infection
Many different risk factors can determine the likelihood of an ear infection.
Possible risk factors include age, out-of-home child care, bottle feeding, seasonal changes, and air pollution.
Pain in the ear, disrupted sleep, fever, ear drainage, irritability, and hearing challenges are common ear infection symptoms.
Child-specific signs of ear infection are ear tugging, excessive crying, fussiness, and difficulties with balance.
In both children and adults, a fever of 100 degrees or higher is a symptom of a middle ear infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer’s ear commonly occurs when water gets stuck in the outer ear canal for extended lengths of time.
A dark and damp ear canal is the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
Signs of swimmer’s ear include ear pulling, itchiness, redness, ear drainage, and swelling.
Preventing An Ear Infection
The first step to prevent ear infection is working with a doctor or pediatrician to receive recommended pneumococcal and bacterial vaccines.
An annual flu shot is another great preventative tool.
Combat the spread of germs by teaching children proper handwashing and cough or sneeze etiquette.
Keeping second-hand smoke out of the home is another way to prevent ear infections.
Lastly, if an infant is bottle feeding, the baby needs to eat in an upright position.
Do Ear Infections Go Away On Their Own?
Ear infections can be bacterial or viral.
A licensed medical professional will complete an examination and review multiple variables to determine the appropriate course of action.
Even though an ear infection can go away on its own, it is essential to contact a primary care provider for an expert consultation.
How Many Days Does an Ear Infection Last?
In the majority of cases, painful symptoms will be gone within two to three days.
In more severe cases, fluid can remain in the middle ear for more than six weeks.
Duration of symptoms is individualized and based on many factors.
A medical provider will be able to give the most accurate estimate about the length of illness.
Treatment For Ear Infection
Treatment for ear fungal infection depends on the type of infection, patient age, the severity of disease, length of illness, and ear infection frequency.
Doctors will commonly monitor a patient for a few days to see if the infection goes away before prescribing antibiotics.
Instead of relying on an antibiotic, medical providers will prescribe medications to alleviate pain and reduce fever.
Severe illnesses are treated immediately with antibiotics.
Health care providers are cautious not to misuse or overprescribe antibiotics.
Excessive antibiotic use can reduce efficacy when needed the most.
Therapy for a middle ear infection is different for viral and bacterial infections.
Antibiotics are not appropriate for viral ear infections.
If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic for a bacterial ear infection, patients must take the medication as prescribed.
The best treatment for an ear infection is to follow the doctor’s orders.
Home Remedies For Ear Infections
There are many opinions on how to cure an ear infection at home.
Homeopathic and naturopathic remedies are relied on by many parents and families.
Ear drops made using the Belladonna plant are often used to treat middle ear infections.
Other home remedies include Chamomilla, Pulsatilla, Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum, and Ferrum Phosphoricum.
ENT specialists endorse home remedies too.
Over-the-counter pain medications, cold compresses, and hot compresses are a few helpful options.
Ideas to eliminate ear pressure include raising the head and switching sleep sides.
Ear infections can be caused by different types of bacteria, viruses or fungi.
There are a few signs and symptoms that may indicate an ear infection is present such as ear pain, hearing loss and wax build up in the ears.
If these persist for more than 48 hours it’s best to see your doctor to determine if you have an ear infection and what treatment methods would work best for you.
Allergies also play a role in causing ear infections so make sure your house has plenty of dust-free surfaces like wood floors or vinyl flooring instead of carpeted ones where allergens can collect without being picked up on a vacuum cleaner!
To help prevent future bouts with inflammation, try limiting contact with products containing high levels of alcohol.
So there you have it! If you’re looking at treatments for an ear infection, make sure to follow these tips and tricks.
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