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Ear Infection

Ear infection Symptoms

Ear infection though common to children but it can also happen to adults. During the childhood years, the Eustachian tube, a part of the ear is connected to the throat. The tube acts by keeping the pressure from building up making the air move in and out of the ear. Since in children the tube is smaller, there is small chance of getting the germs out, thus results to ear infection. On the other hand, other ear infection can be due to viral or bacterial infections and it usually happens in the middle and inner ear. The common ear infection symptoms usually present ear pain or otalgia in both children and adults. Most of the time, children will tend to pull or tug their ears and it is associated with fever. Sometimes, there is a fluid drainage in the ears and children will have difficulty hearing.

For adults on the other hand, the above symptoms can also happen. They will have fever and ear pain as well as difficulty hearing because they feel that something is blocking their ear. An adult will also feel dizzy and seems to be out of balance. This usually happens when the infection is at the innermost part of the ear.

Ear infection Treatment

When having ear infections, doctors would normally subscribe medications depending on the microorganism that affects the ear. Also, pain relievers like NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inaflammatory drugs and acetaminophen or paracetamol would help especially when pain is felt.

Home remedies like application of heat at the ear can help resolve the pain. but for children, it is important not to let the child sleep with heating pads because it can cause burns. Rest is also very important for faster recovery from the infection.

Fungal ear infection Treatment

Fungus can also cause ear infection. This disease is called otomycosis and it affects mainly the outer ear and the ear canal. The ear canal happens to be warm and dark and fungus usually thrive to those places. When a patient has otomycosis, he or she will experience discomfort along with an itching sensation in the ear. There will also be inflammation and a scaly skin on the outer ear. Pus will also be produced along with pain and inflammation

To treat that, doctors would suggest topical fungal creams like ketoconazole, clotrimazole and econazole. There are also home remedies like mixing white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in warm water and pouring it to the ear. It should be drained after a minute to help clean the ear. Another home remedy would be to thoroughly dry the ear by using hair dryers after swimming.

Bacterial and Viral ear infection Treatment

Ear infections are commonly caused by bacteria or virus. The presentation of symptoms with the said microorganisms includes fever, ear pain, loss of balance, feeling of blockage in the ear, pus drainage and others.

For bacterial ear infections, the most common treatment for ear infection would be antibiotics. One of the most common drug would be amoxicillin and to be taken orally. There are cases when ear drops would also be used. There are also home remedies that can be taken and natural ways on how to treat the problem like taking foods rich in zinc, avoiding process foods as well as sugar and sweets, washing of hands and increasing vitamin C intake. It is also important to avoid ear candles when infection occurs.

When virus is the pathogen that affects the ears, physicians would be more aggressive in treating the problem. Sometimes, a minor surgery would be done in order to drain the pus or discharges from the ear.

What causes Ear infection?

There are a lot of causes for ear infection. These can be due to infections caused by microorganisms like virus, bacteria or fungus. Also, the length of Eustachian tube is an important factor. Shorter Eustachian tube means it is prone to ear infection.

Other than that, allergies like rhinitis can also be a cause for ear infection. And the lifestyle of children can mostly cause the infection. For instance, admission to day care centers where there is an increase exposure to other children with respiratory problems is linked with ear infection. Exposure to second-hand smoke and even bottle-feeding can also be linked with the problem.

Ear infection symptoms in Adults

Ear infection in adults can either be the swimmers ear otitis externa or otitis media. When an adult has swimmers ear, he or she will feel itchiness in the ear, flaking or peeling skin on the ear, drainage of puss or other fluids and fever. This is common for swimmers and it happens because of the frequent exposure to the water where bacteria would thrive.

In otitis media, the infection is deeper yet the patient will also feel pain, fever and drainage of fluid from the ear. Adults may feel hearing loss or that something has blocked their ear and even vertigo of they feel out of balance.

Ear infection treatment in Adults

The treatment of the problem depends on the pathogen or microorganism that is responsible for the infection. For bacterial infection, antibiotics will be given. This can be in forms of drops or should be taken orally. Fungal ear infections can be treated by using antifungal creams like ketoconazole. But viral infection can be more tedious and minor surgeries may be required.

Home remedies may be applied with some garlic oil dropped on the ear before sleeping at night. Also mixture of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are good treatments for fungal ear infection.

Infant ear infection Symptoms

Since most ear infections happen in children, it is best to know what the usual symptoms are and signs parents should notice when infants have ear infections. The most obvious sign is when a foul and drainage of fluids may it be yellow or white are found outside of the ear. But if this does not happen yet, parents should notice that the child is irritable and pulls their ear more often.

If that happens, it is best to consult the doctor. Antibiotic treatments are done but doctors are careful because they want to avoid antibiotic resistance at a young age. Also, vaccinations to avoid ear infections are now available.

Inner ear infection Symptoms

Labyrinthtitis is the infection that affects the inner ear. This is often caused by bacteria or virus and the patient will have fever, tinnitus or ringing of eat, headache and even neck and joint pain. The patient may also exhibit photophobia, double vision and sometimes vomiting. In severe cases, the patient will be forgetful, develops anxiety, confusion, forgetfulness, as well as motion sickness.

Inner ear infection Treatment

Aside from the antibiotic treatment, there are alternative and safe home remedies that can be done to recovery easily. Garlic oil drops are proven to be good anti-microbial and this is good for inner ear problems. a few drops of it will also make the patient feel relax. Aside from that, gingersnaps, sesame oil and olive oil can be another alternative. Headstands can also be done. This helps clear out the drainage from the Eustachian tubes and even sinus problems can be relieved.

Outer ear infection Symptoms

Outer ear infection is also called as otitis externa or the swimmers ear. the effect of the microbes can be seen by the eye since the outer ear is the ones affected. Patients would feel pain especially when slightly touched or felt. Also, itchiness and ear discharges can be seen. When pushing the auricles, fluid pus can also be seen at the ear canal.

Outer ear infection Treatment

There are antibiotics that are also prescribed by the doctors to treat the problem right away. Topical solutions can also come in handy. Aside from that, a Burow’s solution is a good alternative to treat the problem. This is a mixture of aluminum sulfate and acetic acid to fight against fungal outer ear problems.

Most of all, it  is best to avoid swimming in public pool when infected with swimmers ear. using of earplugs are advisable and never attempt to insert anything on the ear canal. Proper diet and high zinc intake would be required since it helps fight off fungal infections.

Middle ear infection Symptoms

Otitis media is also called as the middle ear infection. Most of the time, the problem is at the tympanic membrane or the ear drums and patients will experience pain. This is because of the pressure building up in the ear right behind the ear drums. When the pressure is high, rupture of the ear drum may occur causes pus to drain out of the ear. Aside from that, the patient will also feel as if something is blocking their ears.

Middle ear infection Treatment

Antibiotic treatment must be administered to the patient with otitis media. This should be taken for seven days and the first drug of choice is amoxicillin. But if the patient has amoxicillin resistance, the physicians will then have to prescribe a higher antibiotic. Aside from that, analgesics like NSAIDS will also be prescribed to relieve off the pain.

References:

http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/ear_infection.html

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Fungal-Ear-Infection-(Otomycosis).htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otitis_externa



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