Question: Do Viral Ear Infections Need Antibiotics?

What causes a viral ear infection?

The cochlea, a snail-shaped structure, is part of your inner ear.

An ear infection is caused by a bacterium or virus in the middle ear.

This infection often results from another illness — cold, flu or allergy — that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat and eustachian tubes..

What can happen with an untreated ear infection?

Untreated, ear infections can lead to more serious complications, including mastoiditis (a rare inflammation of a bone adjacent to the ear), hearing loss, perforation of the eardrum, meningitis, facial nerve paralysis, and possibly — in adults — Meniere’s disease.

How long do middle ear infections last in adults?

Most ear infections that affect the outer or middle ear are mild and go away within one to two weeks. Inner ear disorders can last longer. Chronic ear infections can last 6 weeks or more.

How long does an ear infection last without antibiotics?

Generally, an ear infection will improve within the first couple days and clear up within one to two weeks without any treatment. It is recommended to use the wait-and-see approach for: Children age 6 to 23 months with mild inner-ear pain in one ear for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F.

What’s the worst ear infection?

Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common type of ear infection. Parts of the middle ear are infected and swollen, and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. This causes pain in the ear—commonly called an earache. Your child might also have a fever.

What is the best antibiotic for ear infection?

Here are some of the antibiotics doctors prescribe to treat an ear infection:Amoxil (amoxicillin)Augmentin (amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate)Cortisporin (neomycin/polymxcin b/hydrocortisone) solution or suspension.Cortisporin TC (colistin/neomycin/thonzonium/hydrocortisone) suspension.More items…•Nov 26, 2018

What is the best decongestant for ears?

Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion caused by the common cold, sinusitis, and hay fever and other respiratory allergies. It is also used to relieve ear congestion caused by ear inflammation or infection.

How long does a viral ear infection last?

How Long Do Ear Infections Last? Middle ear infections often go away on their own within 2 or 3 days, even without any specific treatment. In some cases, an infection can last longer (with fluid in the middle ear for 6 weeks or longer), even after antibiotic treatment.

How do you know if an ear infection is viral or bacterial?

Viral or bacterial infections can occur in the middle of the ear. These often cause pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup….Symptomstugging or pulling at the ear.ear pain, especially when lying down.difficulty sleeping.crying more than normal.loss of balance.difficulty hearing.fever.lack of appetite.More items…

What happens if an ear infection goes untreated in adults?

Ear infections can lead to more serious complications, including mastoiditis (a rare inflammation of a bone adjacent to the ear), hearing loss, perforation of the eardrum, meningitis, facial nerve paralysis, and possibly — in adults — Meniere’s disease.

Can an ear infection get worse while on antibiotics?

However, antibiotics can have side effects, so taking them unnecessarily can make a person feel worse, rather than better. Also, over time, the bacteria that cause some ear infections can become more resistant to antibiotics.

Will a viral ear infection go away on its own?

Many infections will go away on their own and the only treatment necessary is medication for pain. Up to 80% of ear infections may go away without antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed for any child younger than 6 months and for any person with severe symptoms.

How long can you leave an ear infection untreated?

A chronic ear infection can last for 6 weeks or more, but most infections are viral and go away on their own after 3 days without needing to see a doctor. Children are more likely to get an ear infection when they’re exposed to illness from other kids, especially during the winter months.

Can an ear infection be a sign of something more serious?

Unlike childhood ear infections, which are often minor and pass quickly, adult ear infections are frequently signs of a more serious health problem.

How do you remove fluid from your ear?

If water does get trapped in your ear, you can try several at-home remedies for relief:Jiggle your earlobe. … 2. Make gravity do the work. … Create a vacuum. … Use a blow dryer. … Try alcohol and vinegar eardrops. … Use hydrogen peroxide eardrops. … Try olive oil. … Try more water.More items…•Jun 28, 2016

What kills an ear infection?

Middle ear infections should be seen and treated by a doctor.swimmer’s ear drops.cold or warm compresses.over-the-counter pain relievers.tea tree oil.basil oil.garlic oil.eating ginger.hydrogen peroxide.More items…•Mar 4, 2020

When should you go to the hospital for an ear infection?

See a doctor or visit an urgent care center for the less severe earache symptoms: Minor hearing loss, ringing in ears, and/or dizziness. Signs of infection, including a low fever. A sticky or bloody discharge coming from the ear.

When do you need antibiotics for ear infection?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends waiting up to 3 days to see if a mild ear infection clears up on its own. If an infection is either severe or still active after 2 to 3 days, your doctor may decide to prescribe antibiotics.

What are the symptoms of an inner ear infection in adults?

Symptoms of an inner ear infection include:Dizziness.Earache.Ear pain.Issues with balance.Trouble hearing.Ringing in the ear.Spinning sensation.Dec 12, 2019

How do you treat a viral ear infection?

How are ear infections treated?Apply a warm cloth to the affected ear.Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Find ibuprofen or acetaminophen online.Use OTC or prescription ear drops to relieve pain. … Take OTC decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).

When an ear infection is serious?

When to see a doctor Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a minor earache may not be a worry. A doctor should typically be seen if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms occur, such as a fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be seen immediately.