Ear Infection

An ear infection is never something we want to deal with. However, it’s important to realize the symptoms of this common condition and available treatment options.

Symptoms & Causes

You might have an infection if you’re suffering an earache, difficulty or muffled hearing, high temperature or a liquid/puss draining from the ear. It’s important to consult your primary care doctor and an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor immediately if you are suffering severely from these symptoms. This condition is usually caused by a build-up of liquid in the ear because of an inflamed drainage tube.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor might recommend one of several different options depending on the severity of your pain and progression of the infection. Mild cases can heal on their own without the need for a treatment solution such as antibiotics. The use of a warm compress and gargling with salt water are other low-cost remedies your doctor might consider. Conversely your physician might prescribe an over-the-counter ear-drop pain reliever or consider the use of antibiotics.

Ear Infection Prevention

The best treatment is prevention. The cause can be bacterial or viral infections so try to avoid germs as much as possible. Wash your hands frequently, keep your immune system healthy by getting sleep and drinking less alcohol, avoid secondhand smoke, stay current on immunizations and be careful not to overuse antibiotics as they can increase bacterial resistance.

Further Reading

National Institutes of Health