Ear infection treatment

Ear infections can be quite painful but luckily they are usually very easily treated. There is a belief out there that ear infections will always require antibiotic treatment, but this is not always the case. In some cases the body will be able to handle the infection on its own. Doctors will usually prescribe antibiotics right away in children under two, if your child has a history of ear infections, or if they have a history of ear infection complications or a chronic disease. In many cases an ear infection will improve in two to three days, so treating at home is an option. In fact, eight out of 10 ear infections will clear up on their own if they are given the opportunity.

Ear infection treatment should start by using pain relievers. You should anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Motrin, or Aleve. You can combine these medications with Tylenol, which will help provide more pain relief. It’s important that you do not give aspirin to people under 20 as it has been linked to Reye syndrome, which is a serious condition that needs emergency treatment. Continue to give pain relievers as indicated by the manufacturer to keep the pain under control.

Once pain medications have been given, you should then apply heat to the ear. This will not actually heal the ear infection, but will help to relieve the pain associated with the ear infection. You can apply heat by using a warm wash cloth or even a heating pad. If you are using a wash cloth you may want to put it in a plastic sandwich bag so it does not drip on you. If using a heating pad, be sure that you do not fall asleep with it as it could cause severe burns.

One of the best ear infection treatment options at home is rest. When you have an infection you need to put as little stress on the body as possible so it can concentrate on healing the body and fighting the infection. Get as much rest as possible. If you are not able to sleep participate in quiet activities such as reading, watching television, or playing a game. The more you allow your body to rest the faster your body will be able to tend to the ear infection, fighting it off completely.

You might want to use ear drops. You can get these over the counter, and many of them are herbal formulations that will help to relieve pain. If you have ear tubes you should not use the drops without advice from your doctor, because they could make the problem worse. If you do use eardrops, be sure that you follow the directions carefully to ensure safe and effective use of the solution.

If you are suffering from an outer ear infection, such as swimmer’s ear, you can treat at home. Simply mix two parts white vinegar with one part alcohol. Fill the ear canal with the solution and then drain. This solution will help to kill any bacteria causing the infection while the alcohol will dry the ear to stop the growth of new bacteria. Do this until the pain stops and be sure to keep the ear nice and dry.

If after two to three days there is not any improvement you will need to seek the care of a doctor. Depending on the type of ear infection you may need oral antibiotics which will usually be taken two to three times a day for seven to ten days. You may also need to put antibiotic drops in the ear. For repeat ear infections a doctor may want to try a longer course of antibiotics, such as 15 or even 30 days. Not all doctors are willing to try this because they don’t believe it is any more effective than a 10 day course. Another option for repeat ear infection treatment is to have tubes surgically implanted in the ear that will help the ears train more efficiently, and hopefully resulting in fewer ear infections. Discuss the benefits of this option with your doctor.

Last updated on Jan 11th, 2010 and filed under Other Conditions & Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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