Learn What to Do for an Ear Infection

Ear infections are a common ailment, especially in children. Ear infections occur when bacteria or viruses infect the body, causing many uncomfortable symptoms. Ear infections are often the result of another underlying illness or allergy, but in some cases, an ear infection can be the only ailment.

Ear infections cause severe pain, which can be very difficult to relieve. Because ear infections are so common, do you know what to do for an ear infection? There are many methods that can be used to relieve the pain from an ear infection, such as over-the-counter medications and home remedies. However, sometimes these methods aren’t enough and prescription medications may be needed.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be used to relieve the pain associated with ear infections; however, if the pain persists for more than 2 days, it’s best to seek a consultation from a physician in case antibiotics are needed. Acetaminophen is beneficial for relieving the pain from an ear infection, as well as Ibuprophen. Over-the-counter ear drops can be used as well to relieve the ear infection pain. Common brand names for these ear drops include Auralgan, Otocain, and Americaine. These drops contain a local anaesthetic and can temporarily relieve the pain of an ear infection.

Home Remedies

When home remedies are combined with the use of over-the-counter medications, positive results are often achieved. The most common home remedy used to treat the pain associated with ear infections is using either a warm cloth or warm water bottle. This should be placed behind the ear with the pain to relieve the symptom.

Prescription Medications

When over-the-counter medications and home remedies have failed, prescription medications are often needed. Prescription medications are typically only prescribed for serious ear infections. Penicillin’s, such as Amoxicillin, are often prescribed to treat ear infections. Erythromycins, such as Azithromycin, are also prescribed to treat ear infections. Other prescription medications used to treat ear infections include Cephalosporin’s, such as Cefdinir and Cefpodoxime. Prescription medications can be used in combination with over-the-counter pain relievers and the previously stated home remedy. Generally, ear infection pain subsides within 2 days of starting a prescription medication treatment.

What to Do for an Ear Infection?

It’s generally considered safe to try over-the counter medications and home remedies for ear infections prior to seeking medical advice. However, it’s important to seek medical advice immediately if a child younger than six months has ear pain and a fever. If the ear pain is associated with a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, medical advice should be sought. If there are other pains or symptoms associated with the ear pain, medical advice is needed because there may be another cause of the pain, such as an underlying illness or infection. If the ear pain causes other medical complications, seek medical advice immediately.

References:

"Ear Infection- Acute" Medline Plus

"Ear Infections" Baptist