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Do Bacterial Infections Need Antibiotics

Do You Need Antibiotics

Antibiotics

There is a serious problem with overuse of antibiotics. Many antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria are becoming a major concern. One of the most common MRSA, but there are many others. Before you jump straight to the idea that you need antibiotics to treat your infection, make sure its definitely a bacterial one.

Viral infections annoyingly have no treatments. Fungal infections need a different type of treatment. Antibiotics will kill all bacteria in the body leading to possibly other health problems afterward, such as fungal and yeast infections.

Your doctor will want to listen to all your symptoms and look at those that are visible. There are some that are more serious than others, especially discharge from wounds and rashes, that can indicate bacterial infections immediately. However, most of the time, the only way to determine if theres a bacterial infection is a culture test. Check out more info on apple cider vinegar for mucus in throat here

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Keep Up With Vaccinations

Vaccinations help prevent infections that may require antibiotics and help prevent diseases from spreading.

This information was adapted from Krinsky DL, Ferreri SP, Hemstreet B, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs, 18th Edition, Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Dont Antibiotics Treat

Antibiotics DO NOT work on viruses, such as those that cause:

  • Colds and runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green
  • Most sore throats
  • Flu
  • Most cases of chest colds

Antibiotics also ARE NOT needed for some common bacterial infections, including:

  • Many sinus infections
  • Some ear infections

This is because these illnesses will usually get better on their own, without antibiotics.

Taking antibiotics when theyre not needed wont help you, and their side effects can still cause harm.

Viruses are germs different from bacteria. They cause infections, such as colds and flu. However, antibiotics do not treat infections caused by viruses.

For more information on common illnesses and when antibiotics are and arent needed, visit Common Illnesses.

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Diagnosis Of Ear Infections

Your physician will look into your ear with an otoscope, a medical instrument with a light on one end designed to get a better view inside the ear. Your doctor will look for the visual signs of ear infection, such as redness and inflammation.

To check for fluid buildup, a pneumatic otoscope, which blows air at the eardrum, will be used. If there is excessive fluid behind the eardrum, it will not move as it should when the air hits it.

In some cases, hearing tests may also be performed to assess any damage to the ear from the infection.

Different types of ear infections present with different symptoms, which can include:

  • Inner ear infections: Hearing loss, ringing in the ears , dizziness, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting, and ear pain
  • Middle ear infections: Fluid in the ear, ear pain, fever, a feeling of general illness, pressure in the ears, and hearing loss
  • Outer ear infections: Inflammation of the ear canal, itching in the ear, ear pain, swelling of the ear canal, redness, and fluid draining from the ear

Ear Infection Doctor Discussion Guide

Children with ear infections, especially toddlers or infants, may not be able to describe their symptoms, but an ear infection will often present with the following signs:

  • Tugging or pulling at their ears
  • Fussing or crying
  • Being clumsy and having balance issues
  • Trouble hearing or responding to quiet noises
  • not respond to noises that would normally attract their attention

See your doctor if:

Why Wasn’t I Prescribed Antibiotics

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Many common infections are caused by germs called viruses. Antibiotic medicines do not kill viruses. Also, many infections caused by germs called bacteria do not need antibiotics. These infections often get better without antibiotic treatment. Excessive use of antibiotics may allow the germs to become resistant to the antibiotic medicines, so that they will not work when they really are needed. They may also sometimes cause side-effects.

This is why antibiotics are not prescribed for many infections.

11-Oct-17·3 mins read

Recommended Reading: Do Antibiotics Weaken Your Immune System

If You Have Sinus Pain Or Pressure

  • Put a warm compress on top of your nose and forehead to relieve sinus pressure.
  • Prepare a bowl with hot water and breathe the steam from it.

Is it a viral or bacterial infection? If you want to know, you can connect with a doctor now and ask all the medical questions you need to. After all, you deserve timely healthcare and getting to a doctors office in winter can be a daunting task. Simply click the button below and get the answers you deserve via our free doctor chat.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

What About Bacterial Infections

The immune system can clear most infections caused by germs called bacteria. For example, antibiotic medicines usually do little to speed up recovery of bronchitis, or most ear, nose and throat infections that are caused by bacteria. However, you do need antibiotics if you have certain serious infections caused by bacteria, such as meningitis or pneumonia. When you are ill, doctors are skilled at checking you over to rule out serious illness and to advise if an antibiotic is needed.

If evidence and guidelines suggest that an infection will get better without an antibiotic, it is best not to use one unnecessarily. Excessive use of antibiotics results in the bacteria becoming used to them and adapting. If this happens, bacteria have become “resistant”, which means the antibiotic no longer works against them. When this happens it means that doctors may have no useful treatment for infections which are serious and life-threatening

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Antibiotics: When You Need Them And When You Dont

Antibiotics often are seen as wonder drugs. And in many ways they are. Antibiotics revolutionized medicine and have saved countless lives over the past century. Unfortunately, many health care providers now rely too heavily on antibiotics and prescribe them when they arent necessary. Patients also have come to expect and even demand antibiotics every time they get sick.Nearly one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in the United States arent appropriate for the conditions being treated, according to a May 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association .Why is this a problem? Because its led to a surge in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. In fact, the first bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic treatment was identified in the United States in May 2016.If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic , learn which conditions they can treat, why antibiotic resistant infections are so scary, and how doctors and patients can be smarter about antibiotic use.

What Are The Possible Side

Colds, Flu and Antibiotics

It is not possible in this leaflet to list all the possible side-effects of each antibiotic. However, as with all medicines, there are a number of side-effects that have been reported with each of the different antibiotics. If you want more information specific to your antibiotic then you should read the information leaflet that comes with the medicine.

Most side-effects of antibiotics are not serious. Common side-effects include soft stools , diarrhoea, or mild stomach upset such as feeling sick . Less commonly, some people have an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and some have died from a severe allergic reaction – this is very rare.

Antibiotics can kill off normal defence bacteria which live in the bowel and vagina. This may then allow thrush or other bad bacteria to grow.

You should tell your doctor if you have any of the following side-effects:

Some antibiotics may interact with other medicines that you might take. This may cause reactions, or reduce the effectiveness of one or other of the treatments. So, when you are prescribed an antibiotic you should tell a doctor if you take other medicines.

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Side Effects Of Antibiotics

As with any medicine, antibiotics can cause side effects. Most antibiotics do not cause problems if they’re used properly and serious side effects are rare.

The common side effects include:

  • being sick
  • bloating and indigestion
  • diarrhoea

Some people may have an allergic reaction to antibiotics, especially penicillin and a type called cephalosporins. In very rare cases, this can lead to a serious allergic reaction , which is a medical emergency.

Read more about the side effects of antibiotics.

When Are Antibiotics Usually Prescribed

Antibiotics are normally only prescribed for more serious infections with germs .

Most common infections are caused by viruses, when an antibiotic will not be of use. Even if you have a mild bacterial infection, the immune system can clear most bacterial infections. For example, antibiotics usually do little to speed up recovery from most ear, nose and throat infections that are caused by bacteria.

So, do not be surprised if a doctor does not recommend an antibiotic for conditions caused by viruses or non-bacterial infections, or even for a mild bacterial infection.

However, you do need antibiotics if you have certain serious infections caused by bacteria, such as meningitis or pneumonia. In these situations, antibiotics are often life-saving. When you are ill, doctors are skilled at checking you over to rule out serious illness and to advise if an antibiotic is needed. Urine infections also commonly need antibiotics to prevent spread to the kidneys.

Antibiotics can also be prescribed to treat acne – a less serious condition. For acne, antibiotics can be taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin.

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What Is A Sore Throat

Sore throats can be painful and annoying. But most of the time they go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.

Most sore throats are caused by a virus, such as a cold. A bacterial infection can also cause a sore throat.

If you have a sudden, severe sore throat without coughing, sneezing, or other cold symptoms, you could have strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils. About 1 out of 10 sore throats in adults is caused by strep throat. This means that 9 out of 10 sore throats aren’t strep.

How To Get Rid Of A Bacterial Infection Without Antibiotics

Does antibiotic is used for viral infection?
Read Next

Bacterial infection can indeed be haunting. From severe coughing fits running nose and sore throat, bacterial infection manifests and spreads in some different ways. But instead of wasting time and money upon doctors and chemical antibiotics, try switching over to some incredible natural cures and remedies that will treat the bacterial infection, inhibit the germs and restore your health in no time. No need to stress out on how to get rid of a bacterial infection without antibiotics as bacterial infection treatment without antibiotics is now a guaranteed possibility with the scientifically proven natural cures of infection.

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Do I Need An Antibiotic Bacterial Vs Viral Infections

Bacteria vs virus learn the difference and the best way to fight each.

Think a good dose of antibiotics will knock that cold or flu out of you? Think again. Antibiotics, if prescribed and taken correctly, usually can kill bacteria but they are useless against viruses such as the cold and flu.

Unlike bacteria, viruses generally require a vaccination to prevent them in the first place or antiviral drugs to treat them. Often, the only treatment for a viral infection is to let the illness run its course.

Taking Unnecessary Antibiotics May Do More Harm Than Good

Heres the biggest problem with overusing antibiotics: Bacteria adapt.

Bacteria become resistant to drugs over time, making it harder to treat bacterial infections. In rare cases, this leads to deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Drug-resistant bacteria make it harder to find effective drug options when you do face a severe infection, Dr. Allan says. When you are talking about large groups of people, this resistance can be dangerous, making it easier for an infection to spread.

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When You Need Antibiotics

Children with ear infection with high temperature and vomiting are more likely to benefit from immediate treatment with antibiotics. Children who dont have high fever and vomiting are unlikely to have complications and unlikely to benefit from immediate antibiotics4.

There are situations when antibiotics should be given promptly:

  • Moderate or severe ear pain .
  • High fever .
  • Dehydration .
  • Chronic conditions, such as heart disease or cystic fibrosis, which could put a person at risk for complications from an ear infection.
  • Child younger than 2 years of age, because the risk of complications is higher for very young children.
  • The condition worsens or fails to improve within 48 to 72 hours of onset of illness.

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The Test Cultures Come Back Positive

Virus vs bacteria : Use Of Antibiotics

The only way to definitely tell you to need antibiotics is to get a test culture. This is something your doctor will be able to carry out, with the majority of them happening while you wait. Without the test culture, your doctor is making an educated decision on whether the infection is likely viral, bacterial or infection.

If you want to make sure you have been treated for the right infection, ask for a culture test. Depending on where the infection is, this can be tricky. For example, a bacterial ear infection will usually mean perforating the eardrum to get some of the fluid, so it avoided unless absolutely necessary.

The most common tests are carried out when theres the consideration that the illness is in the throat or chest. Its much easier to collect the fluid, whether through the salvia in the mouth or through the phlegm that you bring up. If you have a stay in the hospital, other fluids are collected for testing to make sure you get the right treatment.

Cultures dont just help to test for bacterial infections, but will also tell the doctors the type of bacterial infection you have. These tests can also help doctors determine the best type of treatment for your wounds.

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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.

Why Dont Antibiotics Work On Viruses

Viruses are different to bacteria they have a different structure and a different way of surviving. Viruses dont have cell walls that can be attacked by antibiotics instead they are surrounded by a protective protein coat.

Unlike bacteria, which attack your bodys cells from the outside, viruses actually move into, live in and make copies of themselves in your bodys cells. Viruses can’t reproduce on their own, like bacteria do, instead they attach themselves to healthy cells and reprogram those cells to make new viruses. It is because of all of these differences that antibiotics dont work on viruses.

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When Antibiotics Can Help

When they’re used the right way, antibiotics can save lives. For example, they can treat bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, ear infection, and pinkeye — as long as they’re caused by bacteria.

Sometimes, you get infected with a bacteria after you’ve got a cold. Some signs of bacterial sinus infection are pain around your face and eyes that may get worse when you bend over. You might also cough up thick, yellow or green mucus.

These symptoms may also occur with a cold. But if they last for more than a week or are severe, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics.

Only your doctor can prescribe antibiotics. Talk to them if you think you might need them.

Continued

What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision

Antibiotics: The Limited Resource

Check the facts

  • You’re right. Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
  • Sorry, that’s not right. Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
  • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
  • You’re right. Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful and costly. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
  • Sorry, that’s not right. Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful and costly. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
  • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful and costly. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
  • Sorry, that’s not right. Most sore throats are caused by a virus, such as a cold. Antibiotics won’t work for sore throats caused by a virus.
  • You’re right. Most sore throats are caused by a virus, such as a cold. Antibiotics won’t work for sore throats caused by a virus.
  • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Most sore throats are caused by a virus, such as a cold. Antibiotics won’t work for sore throats caused by a virus.

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