Ear Infections And Kids Anatomy
Its their anatomy that makes them particularly susceptible.
Older children and adults have a more efficient system for clearing colds. The fluid that builds up in the ear during and after an upper respiratory illness drains down the Eustachian tube, the canal that links the ear to the nose and throat.
In children younger than age 7, the Eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontally positioned, so the fluid takes longer to drain. The build-up can press on the eardrum, causing pain that is especially noticeable to kids when they lay down, breastfeed or suck on a bottle.
Watchful Waiting Recommended For Otitis Media In Children34
In March 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an update to clinical practice guidelines for managing acute otitis media. The update extends the recommended approach of watchful waiting for patients as young as 6 months.
Encourage parents to keep an eye on their childs ears to see if the infection resolves without an antibiotic. Let them know that:
- 70% of ear infections get better within a few days
- Limiting antibiotic use helps ensure medicine works when its needed most
- When antibiotics are used too often, the bacteria theyve been designed to kill in your body can adapt and grow stronger over time, which makes it harder for the antibiotic to fight
- Antibiotics can have side effects
Who Should Take Oral Antibiotics For Ear Infections
- Children without ear tubes should take oral antibiotics for middle-ear infections, especially when they have severe ear pain or high fever.
- Children with ear tubes should take oral antibiotics if:
- They are very ill.
- They have another reason to be on an antibiotic.
- The infection doesnt go away with eardrops.
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Related Resources For Sinus Infections
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This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
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Are There Any Over
Over-the-counter oral antibiotics are not approved in the U.S. A bacterial infection is best treated with a prescription antibiotic that is specific for the type of bacteria causing the infection. Using a specific antibiotic will increase the chances that the infection is cured and help to prevent antibiotic resistance. In addition, a lab culture may need to be performed to pinpoint the bacteria and to help select the best antibiotic. Taking the wrong antibiotic — or not enough — may worsen the infection and prevent the antibiotic from working the next time.
There are a few over-the-counter topical antibiotics that can be used on the skin. Some products treat or prevent minor cuts, scrapes or burns on the skin that may get infected with bacteria. These are available in creams, ointments, and even sprays.
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Which Common Infections Require Antibiotics
Patients often ask doctors for antibiotics, not knowing whether antibiotics actually treat those conditions. And doctors tend to over-prescribe antibiotics for conditions that dont always require them. Below, well talk about some common infections and what you should know about treating them.
Colds and flu
Colds and the flu are caused by viruses, so antibiotics wont help. Instead, youll want to focus on managing your symptoms. If you have the flu, your doctor may recommend an antiviral medication like .
If your cold or flu lasts for 2 weeks or more, you may be more likely to develop a bacterial sinus infection or pneumonia. In these cases, its important to visit the doctor to talk about your symptoms. If they prescribe antibiotics, its because youve developed a bacterial infection on top of your cold or flu.
Sinus infections occur when fluid builds up in the air-filled pockets in your face , allowing germs to grow. Symptoms include pain or pressure in your face, a runny or stuffy nose, headache, and mucus dripping down the back of your throat.
Urinary tract infections
Common antibiotics doctors prescribe for UTIs are , , and .
Sore throat, strep throat, and tonsillitis
Inflammation of your throat or tonsils can cause soreness and pain, and you may or may not need antibiotics to treat it. If your sore throat is caused by a virus , you wont need antibiotics. But when its due to bacteria, as in strep throat and bacterial tonsillitis, you will.
Tips To Prevent The Clogged Ear:
- Avoid placing extreme temperatures on the ear.
- A warm shower for 15 minutes can provide relief from blocked ears.
- Scuba diving or diving needs to be done slowly so the ears get used to the pressure. Do not do it if you are suffering from respiratory infections like asthma, cold, bronchitis, sinus, etc.
- Consumption of foods like garlic, onions, radish, jalapeno, pepper, chilies, etc. helps to provide relief from congestion.
- Warm soups soften the mucus to prevent the clogged ear. You can also have broths, tea or coffee, etc.
- Inhaling and exhaling gently through closed mouth and nostrils will help you unplug the ears.
- Yawning also helps to unblock the ears if it is caused due to pressure.
- When flying, suck a sweet or chew a chewing gum. Chewing gum opens up the Eustachian tubes and relieves the excess pressure in the ears and opens up the clogged ears.
- Never use waterpik or any other mechanized water jet on the ear.
- Never scratch your ear drum with a finger nail to unclog it, as it will damage the ear drum.
- Make sure to consult your doctor if there is a foreign object in the ear while removing the wax.
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any other methods that works better than the mentioned above. Share your experience, suggestions and queries in the comments section below.
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What Your Doctor Needs To Know
To find out if youÃ¢ve got more than a bad cold, you need to learn the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor can help you figure out whether you have sinusitis or something else.
Tell your doctor how long youÃ¢ve had sinus symptoms, and whether theyÃ¢ve gotten worse or stayed the same. If youÃ¢ve had them for less than 10 days and theyÃ¢re not getting worse, you probably have a viral infection. It will likely go away on its own.
Over-the-counter treatments like saline sprays, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may help ease symptoms along the way. might reduce the swelling and inflammation temporarily. If you use them, read the directions carefully and only use as directed. Using nasal decongestant sprays for more than a few days could make the congestion worse.
How Ear Drops Work For Earwax
All ear drops are designed to break down and dissolve the earwax buildup that is causing issues. The different substances used in the drops work in different ways:
- Mineral oil: Some OTC ear drops contain various types of mineral oil. Mineral oil softens hard and dry wax, which allows the wax to be cleared out of the ear once it becomes soft enough.
- Glycerin: Glycerin is used to soften the wax that has built up in the ears. This helps to clear any blockage or buildup, as the wax can then clear out on its own.
- Carbamide peroxide: Carbamide peroxide releases oxygen in the ear. The oxygen thats released causes foaming within the ear, and that foam softens, loosens, and helps remove the excess buildup of wax.
- Saline solution: Saline solution helps soften the wax that has become hard.
- Baking soda: Since baking soda is an alkaline substance, it can help clear out earwax by dissolving it. It can do this because the earwax is acidic. The chemical reaction that occurs between baking soda and earwax is what dissolves the earwax.
- Acetic acid: Acetic acid is found in water-based ear drops and helps dissolve the earwax buildup.
Although ear drops can be helpful in the removal of built-up earwax, there are some downfalls. For those who have sensitive skin, ear drops can cause irritation of the skin in and around the ear canal. Therefore, they should be used sparingly or as directed.
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To Use The Eardrops Follow These Steps:
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Causes & Risk Factors
Any health situation that blocks off the vital drainage channels of your sinuses can cause a sinus infection including:
- Respiratory infections like the common cold
- Hay fever or exposure to allergens such as cigarette smoke, dry air and pollutants
- Obstructions in the nasal or sinus cavities including nasal polyps, deviated septum, or nasal bone spur
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Infections resulting from dental problems
- Physical injury to the sinuses
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi
The five most common bacteria that can cause sinus infections are: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Risk factors for sinus infections include:
- Having asthma
- Being in the hospital, especially if the reason you are in the hospital is related to a head injury or you needed a tube inserted into your nose
Who Is Most Likely To Get An Ear Infection
Middle ear infection is the most common childhood illness . Ear infections occur most often in children who are between age 3 months and 3 years, and are common until age 8. Some 25% of all children will have repeated ear infections.
Adults can get ear infections too, but they dont happen nearly as often as they do in children.
Risk factors for ear infections include:
- Age: Infants and young children are at greater risk for ear infections.
- Family history: The tendency to get ear infections can run in the family.
- Colds: Having colds often increases the chances of getting an ear infection.
- Allergies: Allergies cause inflammation of the nasal passages and upper respiratory tract, which can enlarge the adenoids. Enlarged adenoids can block the eustachian tube, preventing ear fluids from draining. This leads to fluid buildup in the middle ear, causing pressure, pain and possible infection.
- Chronic illnesses: People with chronic illnesses are more likely to develop ear infections, especially patients with immune deficiency and chronic respiratory disease, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma.
- Ethnicity: Native Americans and Hispanic children have more ear infections than other ethnic groups.
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Why Are Children More Likely Than Adults To Get Ear Infections
There are several reasons why children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.
Eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than they are in adults. This makes it difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. If the eustachian tubes are swollen or blocked with mucus due to a cold or other respiratory illness, fluid may not be able to drain.
A childs immune system isnt as effective as an adults because its still developing. This makes it harder for children to fight infections.
As part of the immune system, the adenoids respond to bacteria passing through the nose and mouth. Sometimes bacteria get trapped in the adenoids, causing a chronic infection that can then pass on to the eustachian tubes and the middle ear.
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What Are Other Causes Of Ear Pain
Other causes of ear pain include:
- A sore throat.
- Teeth coming in in a baby.
- An infection of the lining of the ear canal. This is also called swimmers ear.
- Pressure build up in the middle ear caused by allergies and colds.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/16/2020.
Homeopathic Earache Relief Ear Drops
- Chamomilla 10X for sensitivity to drafts, soothing
- Mercurius solubilis 15X relieves fullness, sensitivity to cold
- Sulphur 12X reduces itchiness, sensitivity to water
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Which Antibacterial Eye Drops Are Best For You
Eye health is essential, and you should take it as seriously as all other medical conditions. Do not ignore an eye infection if it lasts more than two days.
Speak to your ophthalmologist if you believe you have a bacterial eye infection. They will prescribe antibiotic medication to treat the infection. In most cases, medication will be in the form of eye drops or ointments.
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Which Home Remedies And Otc Medications Soothe Sinus Infections And Sinusitis Symptoms And Headache Pain
Home care can help relieve sinus infection or sinusitis symptoms, open the sinuses, and alleviate dryness.
Home Remedies to Promote Drainage
- Drink plenty of water and hydrating beverages such as hot tea.
- Inhale steam two to four times per day by leaning over a bowl of hot water or using a steam vaporizer. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways.
OTC Medications to Thin Mucus
Expectorants are medications that help expel mucus from the lungs and respiratory passages. They help thin mucous secretions, enhancing drainage from the sinuses. The most common is guaifenesin . OTC sinus medications also can combine decongestants and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms and eliminate the need for the use of many prescription medications. Read label ingredients to find the right combination of ingredients or ask the pharmacist.
OTC Medications to Relieve Pain
Pain medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. These medications help to open the airways by reducing swelling. Acetaminophen can be used for pain and fever but does not help with inflammation.
Nasal Saline Irrigation
There are several methods of nasal irrigation, and a popular sinus remedy is the Neti-pot, a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdins magic lamp.
What Are The Best Tips For Ear Infection Pain Relief
Ear infections can cause overwhelming distress. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are often the most effective way to reduce any fever and relieve acute pain. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed to cure the infection and reduce irritation. Placing medicated drops into the affected ear, or applying a warm compress, are also frequently recommended and helpful in achieving ear infection pain relief. In many cases, using a hairdryer near the ear can offer immediate, albeit temporary, alleviation of discomfort.
When an infection is present, doctors sometimes prescribe oral antibiotics to get rid of it and to aid in ear infection pain relief. If the symptoms are severe, or if it is believed that the medicine will be helpful, they may suggest or prescribe it. Not all cases require this type of treatment, however.
As an alternative to an oral antibiotic, or sometimes in addition to it, pain-relieving eardrops are recommended. Usually, these drops are warmed, and with the patient lying on his or her side with the affected ear facing up, they can be administered to ease discomfort. This form of pain relief is generally most effective when used in conjunction with over-the-counter pain medications.
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What Causes Nasal And Sinus Pain
Nasal and sinus membranes respond to viruses, allergic triggers, and common bacterial infections similarly. The membranes become swollen and congested. The congestion then causes pain and pressure. Your mucus production increases during the inflammation. This results in a runny nose. The nasal secretions may begin to thicken and slow the drainage. This can result in a sinus bacterial infection.
When the nasal membranes become congested, it may block the eustachian tubes leading to the ears, which results in a feeling of pressure in the ear or fluid behind the eardrum. Nasal airway congestion causes mouth breathing.
Every year, over 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis. This includes nasal congestion, thick yellow-green mucus, facial pain, and pressure around the eyes. Frequently, before visiting a doctor, people try to get relief for their nasal and sinus discomfort by taking non-prescription or over-the-counter medications.
When Should I Call The Doctor
- has other serious medical problems,
- seems ill,
- vomits over and over,
- is younger than 6 months old,
- is older than 6 months old and has had a fever for more than 48 hours,
- has swelling behind the ear,
- is very sleepy,
- has a skin rash,
- isnt hearing well or at all,
- remains in a lot of pain despite at least one dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or
- still has an earache after 2 days of treatment with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.