Sunday, November 20, 2022

Do Antibiotics Help Ear Infections

Bacterial Culture And Sensitivity

Medical Myth: Ear Infections Require Antibiotics

Culture and sensitivity may be useful in identifying specific otic pathogens and assisting with treatment decisions however, a limitation is that antibiotic sensitivity data reflect the serum level needed systemically and may not predict true susceptibility of otic topical antibiotics.

Typical indications for bacterial C/S include the following14:

  • Chronic otitis associated with bacteria seen on cytology
  • Rods seen on cytology
  • Suspected or confirmed cases of otitis media
  • History of multidrug-resistant bacteria
  • History of long-term oral or topical antibiotic therapy
  • Bacteria persisting on cytology despite apparently appropriate therapy

FIGURE 5. Cytologic appearance of degenerate neutrophils and cocci .

FIGURE 6. Cytologic appearance of degenerate neutrophils and rods .

Clinicians should sample the middle ear separately if otitis media is confirmed when the tympanic membrane is intact. The types and sensitivity pattern of bacteria isolated from the middle ear may differ from those of bacteria isolated from the external canal.8 In one study, different organisms were cultured from the middle and external ear, and even when Pseudomonas species were cultured twice from the same ear, different strains were suspected on the basis of the sensitivity pattern exhibited.8 Culture results should be interpreted with caution because mixed bacterial flora and light commensal and contaminant bacteria might be present and may not be relevant as pathogens.

How To Administer Antibacterial Ear Drops

Antibiotic ear drops are for the ears only and should never be put into the eyes. Always take the entire prescribed amount even if your symptoms improve as it prevents a recurrence of the infection.

Follow these steps to correctly administer ear drops:

  • Warm the bottle in your hand for two minutes, inserting cold ear drops can cause dizziness
  • Wash your hands
  • Have the person with the ear infection lie on their side with the problem ear up
  • For children three years and older, gently pull the outer ear outward and upward in the direction toward the top of their head
  • For children younger than three years, gently pull the outer eat outward and downward in the direction toward their feet
  • Without allowing the dropper to touch the ear, carefully put the drops in the ear
  • Remain laying on their side for two minutes or put a cotton plug in the ear

What Can I Do To Prevent Ear Infections

Middle ear infections are often a result of a simple cold. While its hard to prevent colds, good hygiene can help lower your chance of catching one.

Keep your child away from cigarette smoke. Exposure to cigarette smoke increases your childs risk of ear infections.

If your child keeps getting ear infections, they may need grommets put in their ears to prevent recurring infection.

Your risk of an outer ear infection may be reduced by:

  • ensuring that you or your child drain water out of your ears after swimming
  • using ear plugs for swimming if you are prone to these infections
  • not putting anything into your ear, not even a cotton bud, even if your ear feels blocked or painful

Read Also: Urinary Tract Infection Women Antibiotics

Should My Child See Her Pediatrician For An Ear Infection

In some cases with older babies and toddlers, mild symptoms may go away on their own. But if your child is under 6 months old, has a high fever, severe pain, drainage or swelling in the ear, its time to call your pediatrician. However, your doctor wont necessarily prescribe antibiotics right away. Ear infections are caused by both bacteria and viruses, so antibiotics arent always the solution. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are several reasons why doctors dont prescribe antibiotics for every ear infection:

  • Antibiotics dont work for ear infections caused by viruses.
  • Antibiotics dont help the pain associated with ear infections
  • Infections from both viruses and bacteria often disappear without antibiotics in a few days, especially in children over two years old.
  • Physicians are keenly aware that the overprescription of antibiotics makes vital medicines less effective, so we work hard to use them only when truly necessary. In many cases, your doctor will watch the infection for a few days to see if it goes away on its own.

What Are Complications Of Ear Infections

What is the best antibiotic for an ear infection?

Complications of ear infections are uncommon with proper treatment. Complications may include:

  • Hearing loss: usually temporary but may become permanent if the eardrum or middle ear structures are damaged
  • Infection that spreads to nearby tissues, such as infection of the mastoid bone, which helps drain middle ear fluid
  • Eardrum tears: most will heal on their own within a few days, though in some cases surgery is needed to repair it
  • Speech or developmental delays in infants and toddlers if hearing is impaired

Recommended Reading: When Does A Uti Go Away Without Antibiotics

Steroid Treatments Equally Effective Against Sudden Deafness

Injecting steroids into the middle ear works just as well as taking them orally when it comes to restoring hearing for sudden deafness patients. This finding, the result of a large clinical trial comparing the therapies, will help doctors choose the best treatment for patients with this condition.

Sudden deafness, also called sudden sensorineural hearing loss, is an emergency medical condition that affects several thousand people annually, usually between the ages of 40 and 60. It often arises without an obvious cause and occurs in one ear all at once or over a period of up to 3 days. Oral steroids, such as prednisone, are usually prescribed over the course of 2 weeks to restore hearing. There is only a 2- to 4-week window of time for treatment before hearing loss becomes permanent.

Recently, doctors have started injecting steroids directly into the middle ear a procedure called intratympanic treatment. This technique is thought to deliver more of the drug to the ear and to avoid some of the side effects that can come along with oral steroids. The side effects of oral therapy can be mild, like weight gain, mood changes and sleep disruption, or more serious, like high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar. Side effects of injected steroids are usually local, such as ear infection and vertigo. However, up until now, no study had compared the 2 treatments to see whether direct injection worked as well as oral steroids.

Tips To Prevent Swimmers Ear:

  • After showering, hair washing or swimming, help the water run out of the ear by having your child tilt her head to one side.
  • Hold a hair dryer, set on low, at arms length away from the ear to dry it.
  • Dont use cotton swabs to clean the ear as this can pack the earwax and cause water to get trapped behind it.

Read Also: Im Sorry In Sign Language

Don’t Miss: List Of Antibiotics For Dogs

What Can I Do To Feel Better

At home, follow your doctors directions for using ear drops and take all doses of antibiotic medicine as prescribed. Keep taking these for all days of treatment, even if you are starting to feel better. If you stop too soon, the infection could come back.

You can try acetaminophen or ibuprofen for ear pain. If they dont help, your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain reliever. Youll use this only for a short time until the ear drops and antibiotics begin to work.

To protect your ear while it heals, your doctor will probably tell you to keep your head out of water for several days or weeks even while showering or shampooing! This can be tough, but your doctor can give you suggestions on how to do this, such as using a cotton ball as an earplug.

When Your Doctor May Prescribe Antibiotics

How to Relieve Ear Infection Pain

While every situation is unique, there are several factors that doctors consider when recommending antibiotics:

  • What they see If the infection is in the outer ear, it may be clear its caused by bacteria. In this case your doctor may recommend antibiotic eardrops to help clean out the ear infection. If your doctor cant see the ear infection because its on the inside of the ear, they may not prescribe antibiotics right away.
  • How long its been Viral infections typically go away on their own in 1-2 weeks. If the ear infection has been around for less than a week, your doctor may recommend waiting to see if the ear infection goes away on its own, a sign that its viral. If its been more than a week, your doctor may recommend starting antibiotics.
  • Your childs age The doctor may be more likely to prescribe antibiotics for children under 2 years old, especially if they have infections in both ears, have pain thats moderate to severe, or have a fever.
  • Symptoms If you or your child have certain symptoms, such as an extremely high fever or severe dehydration, your doctor may recommend starting antibiotics sooner.
  • Medical conditions Your doctor may recommend starting antibiotics right away if there are certain medical conditions, such as cleft palate or repeat infections, that could lead to problems with an ear infection. In most cases, antibiotics will also be recommended when someone with a cochlear implant gets an ear infection.

Don’t Miss: Broad Spectrum Antibiotics Over The Counter

What Does Research Tell Us About Cbd

A recent 2019 study adds that CBD and other cannabinoids will interact with the bodys endocannabinoid system, and carry messages throughout the body.

The study from the American Society of Microbiology explains that Given cannabidiols documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation.

The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive, via Science Daily.

Also, the study adds that Importantly, the drug retained its activity against bacteria that have become highly resistant to other common antibiotics. Under extended exposure conditions that lead to resistance against vancomycin or daptomycin, Cannabidiol did not lose effectiveness. Cannabidiol was also effective at disrupting biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.

Cannabidiol may help to ease pain, anxiety, seizures, as well as a host of other health conditions in dogs, cats, horses, and people. It has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing cancer treatment side effects in pets, stimulate appetite, and reduce the growth of blood vessels to tumors.

Right now, we now that CBD reduces seizure activity after the FDA approval of Epidiolex for two rare seizure disorders.

What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection

Ear infections are common in children. Adults can get them too. Most ear infections are not serious. Your healthcare provider will recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Pain relief may begin as soon as a few hours after taking the drug.

Your healthcare provider may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Many infections go away on their own without the need for antibiotics. If you or your child receives an antibiotic, you should start to see improvement within two to three days.

If you or your child has ongoing or frequent infections, or if fluid remains in the middle ear and puts hearing at risk, ear tubes may be surgically implanted in the eardrum to keep fluid draining from the eustachian tube as it normally should.

Never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.

You May Like: What Is The Ivy League Formula For Tinnitus

You May Like: Do Std Clinics Prescribe Antibiotics

Natural Ear Infection Remedies

Are you struggling with symptoms of an ear infection and wondering how to cure an ear infection fast? Ear infections, whether they afflict adults or more commonly children, can be really unpleasant and outright painful.

Ear infections can be in the outer, middle or inner ear. For this article, Im going to focus on the most common type of ear infection, which is an infection of the middle ear.

According to the CDC, middle ear infections, may not need antibiotics in many cases because the bodys immune system can fight off the infection without help from antibiotics and a mild case often will get better on its own without antibiotic treatment, so your health care professional may recommend watchful waiting before prescribing antibiotics to you or your loved one.

So even conventional medicine agrees that antibiotics are often not the way to go, which means its time to talk about natural ear infection treatment and ear infection pain relief.

Read Also: What Is The Ivy League Formula For Tinnitus

Should I Use Antibiotics For An Ear Infection

What is the best antibiotic for an ear infection?

Antibiotics are a medicine prescribed by your doctor. If youre dealing with an ear infection caused by bacteria, youll likely need antibiotics. They are the best way of quickly getting rid of a bacterial infection and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.

The catch is that antibiotics dont work against viruses if you use antibiotics on a viral ear infection, it can actually make the infection worse. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to a condition called antibiotic resistance, which means that the medicine becomes less effective at fighting off bacteria.

Thats why doctors are careful about using antibiotics wisely and may not immediately prescribe them for ear infections.

Don’t Miss: My Dog Ate My Antibiotics

What You Can Do To Prevent Ear Infections:

  • Breast-feed your baby for at least six months. Infants who are exclusively formula-fed for the first six months have a 70 percent greater risk of ear infections. If you must bottle-feed, hold your babys head above stomach level to help keep the eustachian tubes from getting blocked.
  • Avoid group daycare during your childs first year, if possible. A recent Journal of Pediatrics study found that around 65 percent of babies in daycare suffered at least six respiratory infections in their first year, compared with only 29 percent of babies who were cared for at home.
  • Avoid smoke-filled environments. Children who inhale second-hand smoke are at a higher risk for ear infections.

You May Like: What Size Battery For Phonak Hearing Aid

Do You Need Antibiotics

Your physician may recommend a watch-and-see approach rather than prescribing antibiotics right away. Typically, you will keep an eye on symptoms for three days to see if they improve. This approach usually is used for children whose ear infections cannot be definitively diagnosed or who are under the age of 2.

If the infection does not clear up, you will need antibiotics. In some cases, a doctor will write you a prescription just in case the infection does not clear up.

If the ear infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be prescribed because they do not work against viruses. Relieving symptoms while keeping an eye on the progression of the infection is the best course of treatment for a viral ear infection.

Don’t Miss: How Long After Antibiotics Are You Contagious Strep

Cause Of Ear Infections

  • A bacterial infection of the middle ear
  • Blocked eustachian tube, usually as part of a common cold. The eustachian tube joins the middle ear to the back of the throat.
  • Blockage results in middle ear fluid .
  • If the fluid becomes infected , the fluid turns to pus. This causes the eardrum to bulge out and can cause a lot of pain.
  • Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years. They are a common problem until age 8.
  • The onset of ear infections is often on day 3 of a cold.
  • How often do kids get ear infections? 90% of children have at least 1 ear infection. Frequent ear infections occur in 20% of children. Ear infections are the most common bacterial infection of young children.

Are There Alternatives To Antibiotics For Dog Ear Infections

Antibiotic Ear Drops – When and How to Use Ear Drops Properly

If your dog is showing signs of an ear infection, it is important to seek veterinary advice. Do not be tempted to try and treat the ear infection at home as the infection could progress, leading to more serious problems such as a ruptured ear drum, middle ear infections, abscesses around the ear, or inner ear infections. Not all ear infections require antibiotics.

Your vet can advise on the most appropriate treatment. Ear cleansers that contain antibacterial ingredients or change the acidity of the ear canal can be used to control mild ear infections. For some infections, controlling the inflammation and removing the underlying cause is enough to allow the infection to resolve without antibiotics.

Ear infections can be painful and uncomfortable for our canine friends, so naturally, we want to resolve them as fast as possible. Seek veterinary advice promptly if you notice signs of infection with your dogs ear and follow the advice carefully to avoid problems or recurring infections. Antibiotics can be a safe and effective treatment for ear infections in dogs. However, they are not always needed. We all have a role to play in ensuring the safe and responsible use of antibiotics and in limiting serious problems such as antibiotic resistance.

You May Like: What Antibiotic Is Used To Treat E Coli

What Are The Best Home Remedies For Ear Infections

Since watchful waiting is a fairly common approach to treating ear infections, home remedies are popular for treating this common condition. There are many different sworn methods out there for treating everything from the earache or ear pain to the infection itself. However, it is important to remember that if untreated by a medical professional, some ear infections can result in a worsening condition such as a ruptured eardrum or hearing loss. Some of the commonly used home remedies for ear infections include:

  • Cold or warm compress: Using a cold or warm compress on the affected ear can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Patients may notice more success by alternating between both a cold compress and warm compress every 10 minutes or so. However, simply using one or the other should make some difference in the condition.
  • Changes to sleep positions: Some ear infections are made worse by sleeping in a way that irritates the affected ear. By sleeping with the infected ear raised instead of down it can help relieve pressure and may allow it to drain more easily or prevent fluid buildup.
  • Olive oil: While it is an older remedy, olive oil is said to have some soothing properties. It is used by putting just a few warmed drops in the patients ear. It may have some soothing benefits. However, given that it isnt a studied treatment for ear infections it might be a better option to use in combination with other home remedies.

Popular Articles
Related news