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Can you get an ear infection from a cold: Ear infection (middle ear) – Symptoms and causes


Causes, Acute vs. Chronic, & Recovery Time

What Is an Ear Infection?

An ear infection, or otitis media, is the most common cause of earaches. Although this condition is a frequent cause of infant distress and is often associated with children, it can also affect adults.

The infection in the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum where tiny bones pick up vibrations and pass them along to the inner ear) very often accompanies a common cold, the flu, or other types of respiratory infections. This is because the middle ear is connected to the upper respiratory tract by a tiny channel known as the Eustachian tube. Germs that are growing in the nose or sinus cavities can climb up the Eustachian tube and enter the middle ear to start growing.

Most parents are frustratingly familiar with ear infections. Except for wellness baby visits, ear infections are the most common reason for trips to the pediatrician, accounting for approximately 30 million doctor visits a year in the U. S.

Today, almost half of all antibiotic prescriptions written for children are for ear infections, and the cost of treating middle ear infections in the U.S. has been estimated at more than $2 billion a year. 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.

What Causes an Ear Infection?

The middle ear is a small space behind the ear drum that is supposed to be well ventilated by air that normally passes up from behind the nose, through the Eustachian tube, keeping the middle ear clean and dry. When there is not enough fresh air ventilating the middle ear, such as when the Eustachian tube is clogged or blocked, the area becomes damp, stagnant, and warm, a perfect breeding ground for germs.

In children and infants, the Eustachian tube is often too soft or immature and has a harder time staying open. Allergies, post nasal drainage, sinus infections, common cold viruses and adenoid problems can all interfere with the Eustachian tube’s ability to let air pass into the middle ear.


When the doctor looks at the eardrum, he or she will see that it is red, often bulging, and be able to make the diagnosis of an ear infection.

For children, the most common trigger of an ear infection is an upper respiratory viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. These disorders can make the Eustachian tube so swollen that air can no longer flow into the middle ear. Allergies — to pollen, dust, animal dander, or food — can produce the same effect as a cold or flu, as can smoke, fumes, and other environmental toxins. Bacteria can cause an ear infection directly, but usually these organisms come on the heels of a viral infection or an allergic reaction, quickly finding their way into the warm, moist environment of the middle ear. Invading bacteria can wreak major havoc, turning inflammation into infection and provoking fevers.


Among the bacteria most often found in infected middle ears are the same varieties responsible for many cases of sinusitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory infections. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ear, nose, and throat physicians), the conjugate pneumococcal vaccine is very effective against several strains of the most common bacteria that cause ear infections. This vaccine is routinely given to infants and toddlers to prevent meningitis, pneumonia, and blood infections. Your child’s doctor should advise you on the use of this vaccine, which may help to prevent at least some ear infections.

Ear infections occur in various patterns. A single, isolated case is called an acute ear infection (acute otitis media). If the condition clears up but comes back as many as three times in a 6-month period (or four times in a single year), the person is said to have recurrent ear infections (recurrent acute otitis media). This usually indicates the Eustachian tube isn’t working well. A fluid buildup in the middle ear without infection is termed otitis media with effusion, a condition where fluid stays in the ear because it is not well ventilated, but germs have not started to grow.

In recent years, scientists have identified the characteristics of people most likely to suffer recurrent middle ear infections:

  • Males
  • Individuals with a family history of ear infections
  • Babies who are bottle-fed formula (babies who are fed breastmilk have fewer ear infections)
  • Children who attend day care centers
  • People living in households with tobacco smokers
  • People with abnormalities of the palate, such as a cleft palate
  • People with poor immune systems or chronic respiratory diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma

How To Prevent Ear Infections When It’s Cold

It’s not just kids who get ear infections — adults can have them, too. Here’s how to reduce your risk.

If you feel pain or fullness in your ear, notice fluid leaking out or are having trouble hearing, you might have an ear infection. Although more common in children, adults can get them, as well — especially in the winter, when colds and flu lead to secondary infections.

Ear infections occur when your middle ear gets clogged and air can’t get through, creating a moist breeding ground for bacteria.

“Simple acute ear infections can occur if the Eustachian tube, which connects the nose to the middle ear space, gets blocked and fluid builds up,” says John S. Oghalai, MD, an otolaryngologist at Keck Medicine of USC, and chair and professor of otolaryngology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Children are more likely to get ear infections, because their Eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal, so they don’t drain as well.”

You can take measures to reduce your risk of infection, especially in the colder months when they are more common:

Practice cold prevention

The more you’re sick with colds, the more likely one will turn into an ear infection. So, remember to wash your hands well, especially before touching your face or eating, and avoid sick people.

Try nasal irrigation

Oghalai recommends rinsing out your nose, to keep your passages free and clear.

“The best preventive measure is probably daily nasal irrigation with saline, to remove irritants and allergens from the nasopharynx, the back of the nose where the Eustachian tube opening is,” he says.

Get a flu shot

Along with cold prevention, you should take measures for avoiding the flu, as well. Reducing your risk of coming down with influenza means less risk of germs migrating to your ears, while you’re sick.

Take care of allergies

Allergies can wreak havoc, when heading into winter, but keeping them under control can keep your ear tubes from getting swollen. Oghalai recommends anti-allergy nasal sprays, such as Flonase or Nasonex.

Keep your ears clean and dry

Proper hygiene also can help keep your ears healthy. After showering, use your finger and a tissue. You can even use a blow-dryer, while you’re drying your hair. But, “never use a cotton swab,” according to Oghalai.

“It takes out about half the earwax and pushes the other half in very deep, where it is really hard to get it out,” he says. “Earwax naturally comes out in the shower, and most people have no need to worry about buildup.”

Don’t smoke

Cigarette smoke is an irritant, and smoking can lead to your tubes becoming inflamed. And secondhand smoke can have a similar effect.

“Stay away from irritants, pollution and smoke,” Oghalai says.

When to see the doctor

Ear infections often clear up on their own, without antibiotics, but if you’re in a lot of pain or it’s been a few days, call your doctor. Chronic ear infections can be a problem for some people with a perforated eardrum or a long history of ear disease since childhood. Talk to your doctor about your options in this case.

“If fluid continues to build up in the middle ear space, we now consider Eustachian tube dilation,” Oghalai says. “A balloon is used to dilate the Eustachian tube, to improve aeration and fluid drainage. If this is done, an ear tube is not needed, lowering the risk for long-term side effects that can be associated with this treatment.”

by Tina Donvito

If you think you may have an ear infection, make an appointment with one of our otolaryngology specialists at Keck Medicine. If you are in the Los Angeles area, schedule an appointment, by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment.

Looking for the Signs of an Ear Infection

By Gregory K. Milani, MD
Family Medicine, Rush Copley Medical Group

Ear infections are very common in children, especially those younger than 2. A parent should suspect an ear infection when a child becomes ill with a fever, is irritable and complains of pain in the ear. Ear infections are not contagious, but the colds that result in ear infections are. Colds are spread when germs are released from the nose or mouth during coughing or sneezing. Anything that can reduce the spread of germs will help reduce ear infections.

A parent should not solely diagnose an ear infection. A physician should examine the child. Usually, the child should be seen within 24 hours. An emergency room visit is not necessary unless ordered by your physician. To help control pain before a doctor’s visit, you can give the child a non-aspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

There are two main types of ear infections in children, outer ear infections and middle ear infections. Outer ear infections (also called swimmers ear) usually occur when water gets in the ear, which may lead to inflammation and infection. Your child will have symptoms of an earache, which is worse when the outer earlobe is touched. The child may also have discharge from the ear and should not have a fever. These infections are usually treated with antibiotic eardrops.

Middle ear infections usually occur one to two weeks after your child has an upper respiratory tract infection, which can cause inflammation and fluid to build up behind the eardrum. This fluid can then become infected with bacteria and your child will likely develop ear pain, fever and/or irritability. Your physician can tell if a middle ear infection exists by looking inside the ear at the eardrum. With an ear infection, the eardrum will look red and can be bulging because of pus building up behind it. Most middle ear infections are felt to be viral in nature, and your physician might recommend observation when the ear infection is mild.

After a middle ear infection, your child’s eardrum will typically have fluid behind it for one to three months. This is normal, and the fluid will usually clear up on its own. It is not an infection, and the fluid does not usually require antibiotics to clear up. In young children, a physician will typically recheck a child’s ears every 4 to 6 weeks until all of the fluid has cleared up.

For some children, if their ear infection does not clear up with repeated courses of antibiotics, if they have fluid in both ears for more than 3 to 6 months and it is affecting their hearing, or if they have recurrent ear infection episodes every 4 to 6 months or 6 to 12 months then they may require a referral to an otolaryngologist, a physician that specializes in the ear, nose and throat.

Because most ear infections occur in children under the age of 3, often they can be prevented. Here are some things parents can do to help prevent ear infections:

  • Teach children that tissues should be used only once and then thrown away properly and to wash their hands after sneezing or coughing into them.
  • Do not allow children to share toys, cups or other utensils that they put in their mouths.
  • Feed a baby upright. Lying down while bottle-feeding can cause the milk to irritate the eustachian tube which can contribute to ear infections.
  • Keep the nose clear. When a runny nose and cold start, do your best to keep the nose clear by using steam, saline nose drops and suctioning in young children.
  • Wash dirty toys in hot, soapy water before other children play with them.
  • Regularly wash and disinfect all surface areas and common play areas.
  • Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. These can greatly boost your child’s immune system and help fight off infections.
  • In addition, an immunization called Prevnar can help protect against infection of the bacteria that commonly causes of ear infections. It is recommended that all children younger than 2 get this vaccine, and you should especially consider it if your child is prone to ear infections or other family members get recurrent ear infections.

Ear Infections in Children

An ear infection is one of the most frequent reasons parents take a child to see a doctor. This brochure will help you understand this disease and the treatment methods that may be suggested by your child’s doctor or health caregiver.

What is acute otitis media?

Acute otitis media is the medical term for the common ear infection. Otitis refers to an ear infection and media means middle. So, acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum.

There is a tube, called the Eustachian tube, that connects the middle ear to the nose. This tube helps drain extra fluid from the middle ear. When a child has a cold, swelling in the nose may impede drainage. Germs (either viruses or bacteria) can enter the middle ear and cause an infection. The infection results in increased fluid in the ear and can cause pain, fever and irritability.

When should a parent suspect an ear infection?

A parent should suspect an ear infection when a child becomes ill with fever, is irritable, and usually complains of pain in the ear. Many children who develop ear infections will first have colds. However, ear pain can be caused by other problems, such as a sore throat, without an ear infection.

How is an ear infection diagnosed?

An ear infection should not be diagnosed over the telephone. A doctor or other health caregiver should examine the child. Usually, the child should be seen within 24 hours. However, an emergency room visit is not necessary unless ordered by your health caregiver. While waiting for the office visit, you can give the child a non-aspirin pain reliever, such as ACETAMINOPHEN or IBUPROFEN, to control the pain.

During the examination, your child’s health caregiver will take a brief history and carefully examine the ear, checking the appearance and movement of the eardrum.

How is an ear infection treated?

Research suggests that many children with ear infections will get better without antibiotics, and with no ill effects. This is called the “observation option” or “watchful waiting.” This option reduces the use of unnecessary antibiotics and limits the child’s exposure to the side effects of antibiotics. It also reduces the chance that “super bacteria” — bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics — will develop.

Your child’s health caregiver may offer this option for your child depending on his or her age and symptoms. If your health caregiver does not discuss it, you may want to ask if this is an option for your child.

It is important that you discuss the plan with your health caregiver if the observation option will be used. If, on the other hand, antibiotics are needed, you should trust him or her to select the proper medication and course of treatment. A parent should not insist on a particular antibiotic.

If an antibiotic is prescribed, it will likely be amoxicillin, unless the child is allergic to penicillin. Depending on the situation, the provider may decide that the child should take the antibiotic for five days instead of 10 days.

Of course, differences in children, and the severity of the illness, may change these choices.

Remember, a single dose of an antibiotic will not make the ear infection feel better! In fact, the antibiotic will not relieve the symptoms. Ear pain from an infection should be treated with a non-aspirin pain reliever.

Even if your child appears better, make sure that your child takes all the antibiotics prescribed by your health caregiver.

Is follow-up care necessary?

If the child is better in 48 hours with either treatment option, the health caregiver may choose not to see the child again for two to four weeks. If, however, the symptoms are not resolved in 48 hours, the child should be re-examined.

Can ear infections be prevented?

Ear infections are very common in children. But there are things parents can do to reduce the number of ear infections their children may have.

Ear infections are not contagious or spread from one person to another, but the colds that result in ear infections are. Colds are spread when germs are released from the nose or mouth during coughing or sneezing. Anything that can reduce the spread of germs will help reduce ear infections.

Because most ear infections occur in children under the age of three, parents can play an active role in preventing them:

  1. Have children use disposable tissues when they blow their noses or to cover their mouths when they cough.
  2. Teach children that tissues should be used only once and then thrown away properly.
  3. Do not allow children to share toys that they put in their mouths.
  4. Wash dirty toys in hot, soapy water before allowing other children to play with them.
  5. Teach children to always wash their hands after sneezing or coughing into them.
  6. Do not allow sick children to share food or drinks.
  7. Regularly wash and disinfect all surface areas and common play areas.
  8. Do not share bathroom cups and other utensils that go in the mouth.

You should also remember:

  1. Breastfeeding appears to lower an infant’s risk of ear infections.
  2. Children under age two should not lie flat when they bottle-feed.
  3. No one should be allowed to smoke around children. Secondhand smoke increases a child’s risk for ear infections. In fact, even smoke from wood stoves can irritate breathing and increase the risk of an ear infection.
  4. Children in day care centers tend to have more colds and a higher risk of ear infection. Although it would be best to keep an ill child at home, this may not be possible. Parents should work with day care center staff to ensure proper handwashing, tissue use and cleanliness.

If, despite your best efforts, you think that your child has an ear infection, make sure that he or she is examined by a doctor or health caregiver. And, if there is an infection, be sure to follow the recommended treatment approaches. Always contact your child’s doctor or health caregiver first!

Ear Infection Questions

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • Your child was diagnosed with an ear infection
  • Your child’s ears were recently looked at by a doctor
  • You are worried that the fever or ear pain is not getting better fast enough
  • Your child is still taking an antibiotic for the ear infection

Symptoms of Ear Infections

  • The main symptom is an earache.
  • Younger children will cry, act fussy or have trouble sleeping because of pain.
  • About 50% of children with an ear infection will have a fever.
  • Complication: In 5% to 10% of children, the eardrum will develop a small tear. This is from the pressure in the middle ear. The ear then drains cloudy fluid or pus. This small hole most often heals over in 2 or 3 days.

Cause of Ear Infections

  • A bacterial infection of the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum)
  • 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 (called viral otitis).
  • If the fluid becomes infected (bacterial otitis), 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.

When to Call for Ear Infection Questions

Call 911 Now

  • Not moving or too weak to stand
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Stiff neck (can’t touch chin to the chest)
  • Walking is not steady
  • Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  • Ear pain is severe and not better 2 hours after taking ibuprofen
  • Crying is bad and not better 2 hours after taking ibuprofen
  • Pink or red swelling behind the ear
  • Crooked smile (weakness of 1 side of the face)
  • New vomiting
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
  • Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and ear pain not better
  • Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and ear discharge still there or comes back
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Ear infection on antibiotic with no other problems
  • Normal hearing loss with an ear infection
  • Prevention of ear infections
  • Ear tube (ventilation tube) surgery questions

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

Care Advice

Treatment for an Ear Infection

  1. What You Should Know About Ear Infections:
    • Ear infections are very common in young children.
    • Most ear infections are not cured after the first dose of antibiotic.
    • Often, children don’t get better the first day.
    • Most children get better slowly over 2 to 3 days.
    • Note: For mild ear infections in older children, antibiotics may not be needed. This is an option if over 2 years old and infection looks viral.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Keep Giving the Antibiotic:
    • The antibiotic will kill the bacteria that are causing the ear infection.
    • Try not to forget any of the doses.
    • Give the antibiotic until it is gone. Reason: To stop the ear infection from flaring up again.
  3. Fever Medicine:
    • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Note: Fevers less than 102° F (39° C) are important for fighting infections.
    • For all fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
  4. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  5. Cold Pack for Pain:
    • Put a cold wet washcloth on the outer ear for 20 minutes. This should help the pain until the pain medicine starts to work.
    • Note: Some children prefer heat for 20 minutes.
    • Caution: Heat or cold kept on too long could cause a burn or frostbite.
  6. Limits on Activity:
    • Your child can go outside and does not need to cover the ears.
    • Swimming is fine as long as there is no drainage from the ear. Also, do not swim if there is a tear in the eardrum.
    • Air Travel. Children with ear infections can travel safely by aircraft if they are taking antibiotics. For most, flying will not make their ear pain worse.
    • Give your child a dose of ibuprofen 1 hour before take-off. This will help with any pain they might have. Also, during descent (coming down for landing) have your child swallow fluids. Sucking on a pacifier may help as well. Children over age 6 can chew gum.
  7. Return to School:
    • Your child can go back to school when any fever is gone.
    • Your child should feel well enough to join in normal activities.
    • Ear infections cannot be spread to others.
  8. What to Expect:
    • Once on antibiotics, your child will get better in 2 or 3 days.
    • Make sure you give your child the antibiotic as directed.
    • The fever should be gone by 2 days (48 hours).
    • The ear pain should be better by 2 days. It should be gone by 3 days (72 hours).
  9. Ear Infection Discharge:
    • If pus is draining from the ear, the eardrum probably has a small tear. This can be normal with an ear infection. Discharge can also occur if your child has ear tubes.
    • The pus may be blood-tinged.
    • Most often, this heals well after the ear infection is treated.
    • Wipe the discharge away as you see it.
    • Do not plug the ear canal with cotton. (Reason: Retained pus can cause an infection of the lining of the ear canal)
  10. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Fever lasts more than 2 days on antibiotics
    • Ear pain becomes severe or crying becomes nonstop
    • Ear pain lasts more than 3 days on antibiotics
    • Ear discharge is not better after 3 days on antibiotics
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

Treatment for Hearing Loss with an Ear Infection

  1. Brief Hearing Loss:
    • During an ear infection, fluid builds up in the middle ear space.
    • The fluid can cause a mild hearing loss for a short time.
    • It will slowly get better and go away with the antibiotic.
    • The fluid is no longer infected, but sometimes, may take weeks to go away. In 90% of children, it clears up by itself over 1 to 2 months.
    • Permanent harm to the hearing is very rare.
  2. Talking With Your Child:
    • Get close to your child and get eye contact.
    • Speak in a louder voice than you usually use.
    • Decrease any background noise from radio or TV while talking with your child.
  3. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Hearing loss not better after the antibiotic is done.

Prevention of Recurrent Ear Infections

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Some children have ear infections that keep coming back.
    • If this is your child’s case, here are some ways to prevent future ones.
  2. Avoid Tobacco Smoke:
    • Contact with tobacco smoke can lead to ear infections.
    • It also makes them harder to treat.
    • No one should smoke around your child. This includes in your home, your car or at child care.
  3. Avoid Colds:
    • Most ear infections start with a cold. During the first year of life, try to reduce contact with other sick children.
    • Try to put off using a large child care center during the first year. Instead, try using a sitter in your home. Another option might be a small home-based child care.
  4. Breastfeed:
    • Breastfeed your baby during the first 6 to 12 months of life.
    • Antibodies in breast milk lower the rate of ear infections.
    • If you breastfeed, continue it.
    • If you do not, think about it with your next child.
  5. Do Not Prop the Bottle:
    • During feedings, hold your baby with the head higher than the stomach.
    • Feeding while lying down flat can lead to ear infections. It causes formula to flow back into the middle ear.
    • Having babies hold their own bottle also causes milk to drain into the middle ear.
  6. Get All Suggested Vaccines:
    • Vaccines protect your child from serious infections.
    • The pneumococcal and flu shots also help to prevent some ear infections.
  7. Control Allergies:
    • Allergies may lead to some ear infections.
    • If your baby has a constant runny or blocked nose, suspect an allergy.
    • If your child has other allergies like eczema, ask your child’s doctor about this. The doctor can check for a milk protein or soy protein allergy.
  8. Check Any Snoring:
    • Large adenoids can cause snoring or mouth breathing. Suspect this if your toddler snores every night or breathes through his mouth.
    • Large adenoids can contribute to ear infections.
    • Talk to your child’s doctor about this.

Ear Tube Surgery Questions

  1. Ear Tubes:
    • Ear tubes are tiny plastic tubes that are put through the eardrum. They are placed by an ENT doctor.
    • The tubes allow fluid to drain out of the middle ear space. They also allow air to re-enter the space.
    • This lowers the risk of repeated ear infections and returns the hearing to normal.
  2. Ear Tubes – When Are They Needed?
    • Fluid has been present in the middle ear nonstop for over 4 months. Both ears have fluid.
    • Also, the fluid has caused a hearing loss greater than 20 decibels.
    • Hearing should be tested first. Some children have nearly normal hearing and tubes are not needed.
    • Ear infections that do not clear up after trying many antibiotics may need tubes.
    • Prevention should be tried before turning to surgery.
    • Talk to your child’s doctor about when ear tubes are needed.
  3. What to Expect:
    • In most cases, the tubes come out after about a year. They fall out of the ear on their own. This happens with the normal movement of earwax.
    • If the tubes stay in over 2 years, talk with your child’s doctor. The surgeon may need to take them out.
  4. Risks of Ear Tubes:
    • After the tubes come out, they may leave scars on the eardrum. They may also leave a small hole that doesn’t heal. Both of these problems can cause a small hearing loss.
    • Because of these possible problems, there is a small risk with ear tubes. There is also a small risk when giving anesthesia to young children.
    • Therefore, doctors suggest ear tubes only for children who really need them.

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 04/18/2021

Last Revised: 03/11/2021

Copyright 2000-2021. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Middle-Ear Infection in Adults | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Otitis media is another name for a middle-ear infection. It means an
infection behind your eardrum. This kind of ear infection can happen after
any condition that keeps fluid from draining from the middle ear. These
conditions include allergies, a cold, a sore throat, or a respiratory

Middle-ear infections are common in children, but they can also happen in
adults. An ear infection in an adult may mean a more serious problem than
in a child. So you may need additional tests. If you have an ear infection,
you should see your health care provider for treatment.

What are the types of middle-ear infections?

Infections can affect the middle ear in several ways. They are:

  • Acute otitis media.
    This middle-ear infection occurs suddenly. It causes swelling and
    redness. Fluid and mucus become trapped inside the ear. You can
    have a fever and ear pain.

  • Otitis media with effusion.
    Fluid (effusion) and mucus build up in the middle ear after the
    infection goes away. You may feel like your middle ear is full.
    This can continue for months and may affect your hearing.

  • Chronic otitis media with effusion.
    Fluid (effusion) remains in the middle ear for a long time. Or it
    builds up again and again, even though there is no infection. This
    type of middle-ear infection may be hard to treat. It may also
    affect your hearing.

Who is more likely to get a middle-ear infection?

You are more likely to get an ear infection if you:

  • Smoke or are around someone who smokes

  • Have seasonal or year-round allergy symptoms

  • Have a cold or other upper respiratory infection

What causes a middle-ear infection in adults?

The middle ear connects to the throat by a canal called the eustachian
tube. This tube helps even out the pressure between the outer ear and the
inner ear. A cold or allergy can irritate the tube or cause the area around
it to swell. This can keep fluid from draining from the middle ear. The
fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Bacteria and viruses can grow in this
fluid. The bacteria and viruses cause the middle-ear infection.

What are the symptoms of a middle-ear infection in adults?

Common symptoms of a middle-ear infection in adults are:

  • Pain in 1 or both ears

  • Drainage from the ear

  • Muffled hearing

  • Sore throat

You may also have a fever. Rarely, your balance can be affected.

These symptoms may be the same as for other conditions. It’s important to
talk with your health care provider if you think you have a middle-ear
infection. If you have a high fever, severe pain behind your ear, or
paralysis in your face, see your provider as soon as you can.

How is a middle-ear infection diagnosed in adults?

Your health care provider will take a medical history and do a physical
exam. He or she will look at the outer ear and eardrum with an otoscope.
The otoscope is a lighted tool that lets your provider see inside the ear.
A pneumatic otoscope blows a puff of air into the ear to check how well
your eardrum moves. If you eardrum doesn’t move well, it may mean you have
fluid behind it.

Your provider may also do a test called tympanometry. This test tells how
well the middle ear is working. It can find any changes in pressure in the
middle ear. Your provider may test your hearing with a tuning fork.

How is a middle-ear infection  in adults treated?

A middle-ear infection may be treated with:

  • Antibiotics, taken by mouth or as ear drops

  • Medication for pain

  • Decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal steroids

Your health care provider may also have you try autoinsufflation. This
helps adjust the air pressure in your ear. For this, you pinch your nose
and gently exhale. This forces air back through the eustachian tube.

The exact treatment for your ear infection will depend on the type of
infection you have. In general, if your symptoms don’t get better in 48 to
72 hours, contact your health care provider.

Middle-ear infections can cause long-term problems if not treated. They can
lead to:

If you have a middle-ear infection that doesn’t get better, you may need to
see an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist). You may need a
CT scan or MRI to check for head and neck cancer.

Ear Tubes in Adults

Sometimes fluid stays in the middle ear even after you take antibiotics and
the infection goes away. In this case, your health care provider may
suggest that a small tube be placed in your ear. The tube is put at the
opening of the eardrum. The tube keeps fluid from building up and relieves
pressure in the middle ear. It can also help you hear better. This surgery
is called myringotomy. It is not often done in adults.

The tubes usually fall out on their own after 6 months to a year.

Ear infections: Symptoms, types, and causes

Viral or bacterial infections can occur in the middle of the ear. These often cause pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup.

Around 75 percent of children will have at least one ear infection before they reach 3 years old. Ear infections are the most common reason that children visit doctors.

Ear infections are also known as glue ear, secretory otitis media, middle ear infection, or serous otitis media.

Infections in the ear are well understood, and their common occurrence means that research is frequently carried out. This article explains the symptoms and causes of ear infections, the treatment options available, as well as the different types and testing methods.

Fast facts on ear infections:

Here are some key points about ear infections. More detail and supporting information is available in the main article.

  • Ear infections are more common in young boys than young girls.
  • Most ear infections improve without treatment.
  • Vaccinating a child against the flu can help prevent ear infections.
  • Biofilms of antibiotic-resistant bacteria may be to blame for prolonged and repeated cases of ear infection
  • Secondhand smoke increases the risk of ear infections.

Share on PinterestEar infections are very common and affect 5 out of 6 children in their first 3 years.

An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear. This infection causes inflammation and the buildup of fluid within the internal spaces of the ear.

The middle ear is a air-filled space situated behind the eardrum. It contains vibrating bones that convert sound from outside of the ear into meaningful signals for the brain.

Ear infections are painful because the inflammation and buildup of excess fluid increases pressure on the eardrum.

An ear infection can be acute or chronic. Chronic ear infections may permanently damage the middle ear.

In adults, the symptoms are simple. Adults with ear infections experience ear pain and pressure, fluid in the ear, and reduced hearing. Children experience a wider range of signs. These include:

  • tugging 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
  • headache

Ear infections are generally divided into three categories.

Acute otitis media (AOM)

AOM is the most common and least serious form of ear infection. The middle ear becomes infected and swollen, and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. Fever can also occur.

Otitis media with effusion (OME)

After an ear infection has run its course, there may be some fluid left behind the eardrum. A person with OME may not experience symptoms, but a doctor will be able to spot the remaining fluid.

Chronic otitis media with effusion (COME)

COME refers to fluid repeatedly returning to the middle ear, with or without an infection present. This leads to a reduced ability to fight other infections and has a negative impact on hearing ability.

An ear infection often begins with a cold, flu, or allergic response. These increase mucus in the sinuses, and lead to the slow clearance of fluid by the eustachian tubes. The initial illness will also inflame the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes.

The role of eustachian tubes

The eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the throat. The ends of these tubes open and close to regulate air pressure in the middle ear, resupply air to this area, and drain normal secretions.

A respiratory infection or allergy can block the eustachian tubes, causing a buildup of fluids in the middle ear. Infection can occur if this fluid becomes infected bacterially.

The eustachian tubes of young children are smaller and more horizontal than in older children and adults. This means that fluid is more likely to collect in the tubes rather than drain away, increasing the risk of an ear infection.

The role of adenoids

The adenoids are pads of tissue located at the back of the nasal cavity. They react to passing bacteria and viruses and play a part in immune system activity. The adenoids can sometimes trap bacteria, however. This can lead to infection and inflammation of the eustachian tubes and middle ear.

The adenoids are close to the openings of the eustachian tubes, and if they swell, they can cause the tubes to close. Children have relatively large adenoids that are more active than those of adults. These make children more likely to contract ear infections.

Share on PinterestThere are a number of ways to diagnose ear infections. Doctors will typically use a device called an otoscope.

Testing for ear infection is a relatively simple procedure and a diagnosis can often be made based on symptoms alone.

The doctor will generally use an otoscope, an instrument with a light attachment, to check for fluid behind the eardrum.

A physician will sometimes use a pneumatic otoscope to test for infection. This device checks for trapped fluid by releasing a puff of air into the ear. Any fluid behind the eardrum will cause the eardrum to move less than normal.

If in doubt, the doctor may use other methods to confirm a middle ear infection.


The doctor uses a device that seals off and adjusts the pressure inside the ear canal. The device measures the movement of the eardrum. This allows the physician to determine the pressure of the middle ear.

Acoustic reflectometry

This method works by bouncing sound against the eardrum. The amount of sound that is bounced back indicates fluid buildup levels. A healthy ear will absorb the majority of the sound, but an infected ear will reflect more soundwaves.


If an ear infection has not responded well to treatment, a doctor may use tympanocentesis. This procedure involves creating a small hole in the eardrum and draining a small amount of fluid from the inner ear. This fluid can then be tested to determine the cause of the infection.

Infants under 6 months of age need antibiotic treatment to help prevent the spread of infection. Amoxicillin is often the antibiotic of choice.

For children aged 6 months to 2 years, physicians typically recommend monitoring the child without antibiotics, unless the child has signs of a severe infection.

Ear infections will often clear up without treatment, and the only medication necessary is pain management. Antibiotics are only used in more severe or prolonged cases.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommend watchful waiting for:

  • children aged 6 to 23 months who have experienced mild inner ear pain in one ear for less than 48 hours and a temperature of less than 102.2° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius)
  • children aged 24 months and over with mild inner ear pain in one or both ears for less than 48 hours and a temperature of less than 102.2°F

For children older than 2 years, antibiotics are not normally prescribed. Overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance. This can mean that serious infections become more difficult to treat.

The AAFP recommend pain management medicine for persistent infections, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or eardrops. These help with fever and discomfort.

A warm compress, such as a towel, may soothe the affected ear.

If ear infections continue with recurring episodes over several months or a year, the doctor may suggest a myringotomy. In this procedure, a surgeon makes a small cut in the eardrum, enabling the release of built-up fluid.

A very small myringotomy tube is then inserted to help air out the middle ear and prevent further fluid buildup. These tubes are left in place for 6 to 12 months and will often naturally fall out instead of needing manual removal.

Ear infections are extremely common, especially among children. This is due to an immature immune system and differences in the anatomy of the ear. There is no guaranteed way to prevent infection, but there are a number of recommendations that will reduce the risk:

  • Vaccinated children are less likely to get ear infections. Ask a physician about meningitis, pneumococcal, and flu vaccinations.
  • Wash your hands and your child’s hands often. This prevents potentially spreading of bacteria to your child and can help prevent them catching colds and flu.
  • Avoid exposing a child to second-hand smoke. Infants who spend time around people who are smoking more likely to get ear infections.
  • Breastfeed infants where possible. This helps enhance their immunity.
  • When bottle-feeding an infant, feed them sitting up to reduce the risk of milk flowing into the middle ear. Do not let a baby suck on a bottle while they are lying down.
  • Avoid letting your child play with sick children, and try to minimize their exposure to group care or large groups of children.
  • Do not use antibiotics unless necessary. Ear infections are more likely in children who have had an ear infection within the previous 3 months, especially if they were treated with antibiotics.

Ear infections are a part of most people’s childhood. They can be painful and debilitating, but they present very few long-term problems if properly managed.

90,000 Scientists have identified a new symptom of coronavirus :: Society :: RBC

Scientists warn of “brain fog” for “protracted COVID”

At the same time, British scientists emphasize that tinnitus and hearing problems in themselves do not mean infection with coronavirus and can accompany other diseases.Considered as a symptom of COVID-19, tinnitus can be combined with other symptoms associated with the disease.

Read on RBK Pro

As the pulmonologist Sergei Puryasev told RBC, if a viral infection is affected, you can face a large number of complications: kidneys, intestines, and nervous system suffer. “Hearing impairment is associated with neuritis of the auditory nerve. At first, it manifests itself as noise in the ears, and later there may be paresis and paralysis of the auditory nerve, a person may lose hearing, ”he said.

“After viral infections, both impotence and prostatitis can develop. It happens that people also lose sight. At the first signs of neuritis, it is necessary to take measures, to take stronger anti-inflammatory drugs “, – added the doctor

Associate Professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the RUDN University Sergei Voznesensky, in turn, said that he had not heard of such a symptom as hearing loss. “COVID-19 is a disease that can occur either with symptoms of acute respiratory infections, or with respiratory failure and the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome in adults.Development of infectious-toxic shock and septic process is still possible if secondary bacterial flora is added, ”he noted.

The list of the main symptoms of coronavirus provided by Rospotrebnadzor includes high fever, chills, headache, weakness, nasal congestion, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, conjunctivitis. In some cases, symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders may appear.


The World Health Organization also adds to them fatigue, loss of taste and smell, skin rash.

Last week, scientists named several more symptoms that may indicate infection with the coronavirus: muscle aches, fatigue and blisters on the legs. Scientists emphasized that they can manifest themselves in different ways depending on the age of the sick and the characteristics of the organism.

The doctor called the signs of an asymptomatic course of COVID-19

Experts interviewed by RBC believe that new symptoms discovered after nine months of fighting the virus may indicate new variants of infection.“We have been dealing with this infection for nine months, and during this time it is rather difficult to discover new symptoms. If they arise, then you need to think about whether there are new variants of the virus. Of the symptoms listed here, blisters on the legs are really unusual, the rest are typical of respiratory viral infections. This arouses interest, here we can talk about new variants of the virus, ”says Anatoly Altshtein, virologist at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.

In turn, the infectious disease doctor Valery Beznosenko pointed out that the variants of the skin manifestations of the coronavirus were described back in the spring and are in the methodological recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

The spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in the world

Number of confirmed cases

Source: JHU

World data i

90,000 HOW TO DEFINE INFECTION – Unique Singapore

Ear infections are a common problem in both children and adults.And if in cold climates they are not so common, then when moving to the tropics they suddenly attack us with a terrible speed. Why do they happen, what to avoid and what the consequences of these diseases can be, says the leading ENT doctor in Singapore, the chief physician of the Lynne Lim Ear Nose Throat & Hearing Center (Child & Adult) clinic, Professor Lynne Lim.

The middle ear cavity is connected to the nasopharynx by means of the Eustachian tube, through which the average air pressure inside and outside of the eardrum is equalized.On the plane, sometimes the ears get blocked – the Eustachian tube closes. The pressure in the ear builds up, which can feel like severe pain and cause fluid to collect in the middle ear. Children’s Eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal, which increases the risk of nasal infections, belching, or milk transmission. In addition, children are more prone to allergies, adenoid hypertrophy, and upper respiratory tract infections.

The adult’s eustachian tube is longer, but an adult may be at risk of middle ear infections if they have frequent nasal allergies and sinusitis.Also, the middle ear can become inflamed for several more months after a badly healed cold. This can lead to hearing loss of up to 50%. Also, adults have a higher risk of nasal cancer or swelling, which can lead to a middle ear infection. If a person has received head radiotherapy or chemotherapy, they most likely have blocked fluid in the middle ear.

Chronic middle ear infections often have no pain or fever. Patients complain of ear congestion, ringing in the ear, and sometimes even mild discoordination.Cigarette smoke should be avoided, and early colds, allergies and sinusitis should be treated. Surgery is sometimes required to drain fluid from the middle ear. This can prevent erosion of the bones in the middle ear, scarring, eardrum punctures, and hearing loss.

Acute infections in the ear canal or middle ear can cause pain and fever. If these symptoms persist for more than two days, antibiotics may be required to avoid infecting the brain, as only a very thin bone separates it from the ear.Ear drops are usually quite helpful. However, if the infection has affected the bones and settled in them or in the middle ear, then pills may be needed. In rare cases, such as diabetes, ear infections can be so severe and painful that antibiotic shots and hospitalization may be required.

The more common types of ear infections are usually caused by foul-smelling discharge from the ear. Insufficient attention to hygiene, dirty water in the pool, increased cleaning of the ears with cotton and metal swabs, due to which the protective layer of sulfur and thin skin disappears, a narrow winding canal, skin problems can all cause an ear infection.If after applying the drops, the discharge does not go away, this may be a symptom of a deep infection of the mastoid process of the temporal bone or cholesteatoma of the middle ear. In this case, it is important to conduct a careful examination of the ear through a microscope after thorough cleaning, before any drops or antifungal agents are prescribed. In difficult cases, ear swabs or computed tomography of the ear are taken.

Advice to swimmers from Professor Lim

Avoid swimming in dirty water in principle and practicing in the pool while you have an ear infection.If you swim often, choose your own individual swimming earplugs (they are also made in the clinic where I work). If you have frequent ear infections, use a shower cap, and after swimming, use a pharmacy standard ear drop to dry your ear canal after swimming (only if you are sure that the eardrum is intact). If infections persist, see a doctor to get your ears cleaned and prescribed medication.

Dr. Lynn LimLynne Lim)

  • Pioneer of many surgical practices, medical services and educational programs, active participant in scientific research and lecturer at the National University.

Lynne Lim Ear Nose Throat & Hearing Center (Child & Adult)

  • 3 Mount Elizabeth # 17–07
    Mount Elizabeth Medical Center
    Singapore 228510
  • 1 Farrer Park Station Road # 15–02
    Connexion-Farrer Park Medical Center
    Singapore 217562

Tel.: +65 6737 7787

90,000 Coronavirus can cause long-term hearing loss

Photo author, Getty Images

A 45-year-old Briton with coronavirus has completely lost his hearing. According to doctors, this is the first such case in their practice.

Unexpected hearing loss is sometimes observed with complications after a viral infection, but in the case of coronavirus, this has not yet been described in medical practice.

At the same time, otorhinolaryngologists argue that hearing loss can be avoided with the timely use of steroids.

Ringing in the ears – an alarm

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Doctors are advised to pay special attention to hearing problems in patients with coronavirus

A patient suffering from asthma was admitted to a London hospital with symptoms of Covid-19 and was admitted to intensive care because he had difficulty breathing.

Analyzes confirmed the diagnosis, and the patient was connected to a ventilator. He was prescribed several medications, as well as a blood transfusion, after which he went on the mend and after 30 days was disconnected from the ventilator.

However, a week after leaving intensive care, the patient began to feel ringing in his ears, and then suddenly became deaf in his left ear.

The examination showed that hearing loss was most likely due to damage to either a nerve or middle ear, or both, but not due to inflammation or blockage of the ear canal.

Doctors call Covid-19 the only possible cause of such injuries.

After a course of steroid pills and injections, hearing partially returned, but never fully recovered.

Experts believe that the virus could penetrate into certain types of lung cells due to the receptors on their surface and infect them.

These same receptors are found on the surface of the cells lining the middle ear.

Therefore, doctors are now advised to pay special attention to hearing problems in patients with coronavirus and, in the event of unexpected hearing loss, immediately refer them to the appropriate specialists who can take measures to avoid long-term hearing loss.

Cold and Flu Symptoms – Control Guide

Both viral infections can also be accompanied by a sinus infection, a reaction that often persists long after the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection have cleared.

By the end of the day, regardless of illness, you may feel completely overwhelmed. Fatigue and pain are usually indicative of the flu. If this is the case, then you will not be able to continue working or other activities.Many feel the need to stay at home and relax. And you need to do this regardless of the type of disease. If you still can’t tell if you have a cold or the flu, please refer to in our article , which goes into more detail on this topic.

Fever / fever with colds

In children and adults, the symptoms of the common cold are similar. Moreover, signs of fever / fever can be an additional symptom of a cold in children and optional in adults.Fever / fever is a common symptom in children and adults with the flu.

Fever / fever is an increase in body temperature. Typical body temperature ranges from 36 to 37 ° C. When the temperature rises above 37.4 ° C, they speak of the onset of heat.

Fever can be associated with many different symptoms: sweating, chills and redness of the skin. Fever can also trigger dizziness and general weakness, muscle soreness and headache. Although you don’t feel well in the heat, a rise in body temperature indicates that your body is fighting the virus.

The fever often goes away within a few days as the body successfully fights off the infection. However, you should consult your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Temperature rise to 39-40 ° C
  • After three days of illness, the fever does not subside
  • Drowsiness or blurred consciousness
  • The appearance of hallucinations, nausea, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, heart palpitations, muscle spasms
  • Severe pain in various parts of the body, including headaches
  • The appearance of tumors or inflammation in different parts of the body
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain when urinating or bad urine odor
  • Skin rash that does not brighten with pressure

Don’t wait and hope that everything will go away by itself.Seek medical attention or treatment as soon as possible.

How to minimize cold or flu symptoms

Some tips for relieving the first symptoms and alleviating the general condition

This may sound a little odd, but blowing your nose regularly and correctly can be helpful in combating disease.

  • Do not blow your nose too hard, as the strong pressure generated by blowing your nose pushes mucus from the nose into the ear canal, which can cause ear pain.
  • Try to gently blow one nostril, closing the other, until it is completely free of mucus.
  • Rinsing your nose with warm salted water is a surefire way to cleanse it.
  • You can also use salted water or a special solution to rinse your throat.

What to do if the temperature rises?

Despite the fact that an increase in body temperature is a sign of the body’s struggle with the flu or cold virus, an excessively high body temperature is by no means a boon.The following measures should be taken to reduce it:

  • Drink as much liquid as possible
  • Place a napkin soaked in cold water on your forehead
  • Consume light food and give up tea or coffee for a while
  • Wear light clothing to keep your body cool
  • Use light bedding so as not to overheat at night

These are some simple home remedies to help reduce fever if you have a cold or flu.It’s time to talk about the treatment of the disease.

Drug treatment for colds and flu in adults

Antibiotics have no effect on cold or flu viruses. They are only effective if there is a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections include, but are not limited to, infections of the upper respiratory tract, ear, or throat.

However, there are many drugs that can help reduce the symptoms of a cold or flu. After using such remedies, you begin to feel much better, while the body’s immune system is actively fighting the virus.Most drugs are sold freely at every pharmacy. Here is a list of drugs that should always be in your home medicine cabinet:

  • Volatile compound rub (applied to the chest or back to facilitate breathing)
  • Lozenges for sore throat (for treating sore throat, pain and irritation when swallowing, and in some cases nasal congestion)
  • Vitamins and minerals (contributes to healing and the maintenance of well-being)
  • Analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretic drugs, e.g. Nurofen .

Not every cold and flu medicine for adults is suitable for children. Therefore, we have developed Nurofen for children , which can help relieve fever and pain even in the smallest patients.

Nurofen for children, contains ibuprofen as an active ingredient. Nurofen for children acts quickly and effectively:

  • Nurofen for children in the form of a suspension against heat and pain begins to act after 15 minutes 3 and its effect continues for a period of up to 8 hours 4
  • Nurofen for children in the form of a suspension is produced with strawberry or orange flavor – it is intended for children from 3 months old, has a convenient measuring syringe-dispenser, does not contain sugar, alcohol and dyes.

One word of warning: Caution is required with combination cold and flu medications. They may contain several active ingredients. Make sure that you do not take more than one drug with the same ingredient, so as not to exceed the recommended dose.

Practical advice on self-help during illness

In addition to fighting fever, there are many more recommendations that will improve your well-being and accelerate recovery.

Try to get more rest. It is advisable not to go to work during illness. Many strive to continue to exist as usual, despite the first symptoms of the disease, out of fear that their absence from work will be misunderstood. However, staying at home with a cold or flu can help you get some rest and, most importantly, not infect your colleagues at work. Moreover, in our time of high technology and excellent communication, it is often possible to work from home. Do just that by notifying your superiors.You will recover faster and get back to work without infecting anyone else.

Try to avoid stressful situations. Don’t take anything to heart as much as possible. Ask loved ones to help you with household chores. Reduce standing by the stove when you are sick and eat simple but nutritious meals.

What to eat during a cold or flu

During illness, there is almost no appetite, but, nevertheless, your body needs proper nutrition to maintain strength in the fight against infections.It turns out that the popular home remedy, a bowl of hot chicken soup, is one of the best options for when you’re sick. Not only is it light and nutritious, but some experts believe it has medicinal properties. Plus, soups are easy to prepare.

Light, well-digestible dishes such as fish, eggs, cereals, are healthy, easy to prepare and can be eaten without hindrance when it hurts to swallow (as opposed to hard food).

Fresh salads, fruits, vegetables, or quick-cooked vegetable dishes should also be consumed.These foods are nutritious and healthy, especially during illness, as they contain a lot of fiber and vitamins.

Avoiding infecting others and catching colds and flu

How viruses spread

Regardless of how many cold and flu medications are available, it is best not to take (or give) them first. Influenza and cold viruses are transmitted by airborne droplets. That is why, if someone sneezes or coughs near you, the likelihood of getting sick increases.When sneezing, droplets of liquid along with viruses are carried over considerable distances. The infection spreads very easily and quickly in public places and institutions.

There are other ways of transmission of infections. A person sick with a cold or flu touches his nose or, when sneezing, covers himself not with a handkerchief, but with a palm, onto which drops of liquid fall along with viruses. Then, touching any surfaces with his hands, the diseased leaves particles of viruses there. If you next touch the same surface with your hand, the virus is transmitted to you.In the same way, you become infected if you just touch the skin of the sick person. Influenza and cold viruses can spread from the hands into the body, even if you just rub your eyes or touch your nose or mouth. Some viruses live for 24 hours on any surface. Therefore, it is possible to become infected without even knowing it, before any symptoms appear.

How to avoid contamination

It is difficult even to imagine the number of surfaces that different people touch in everyday life: doorknobs, cups, furniture countertops or communication devices.Children also actively transmit viruses to each other by exchanging toys, books or comics. Here are some practical tips for preventing virus transmission:

  • If you have a cold or flu, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. You should also do this if a sick colleague is working next to you.
  • Hand sanitizers or antiseptic gels can be used as an alternative to constantly going to the toilet to wash your hands. It is also very convenient if you are driving in a car all day.
  • If you cough or sneeze, use disposable handkerchiefs and discard immediately after use.
  • Wipe down your countertop and cabinet doors regularly.
  • Do not share tea towels or utensils with someone with the flu or cold. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose again. Easier said than done? We agree, but just constantly keep in mind that in this way you protect yourself from the virus entering the body.

Even if you get very cold on a cold day, you don’t necessarily get the flu. This is possible only after infection with pathogens. Still, dress for the weather and always dry wet clothes thoroughly. Some viruses thrive in cold and humid conditions, so don’t give them a chance to activate.

Influenza vaccines

Getting vaccinated before the cold, windy season can help you actively fight a range of influenza viruses.Influenza vaccination is highly recommended for certain populations. This includes diabetics, people with heart disease, and those over 65. Vaccination is also recommended for severely ill children. You should discuss with your doctor if you need a flu vaccine. Below (see footnote 5) is a complete list of individuals recommended for seasonal vaccination. 5 It also contains complete information on influenza vaccines for children and adults.

This list is a great start to fighting a cold or flu.However, if you are in doubt about a symptom or illness, seek professional medical attention immediately.

Hopefully, you will not fall victim to colds and flu by being in contact with people who are sick. If you do get infected, now you know what to do to get better faster!

1 Overweight people are more likely to suffer from influenza because obesity affects the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.Scientists claim that due to being overweight, a person loses antibodies developed to fight the virus faster (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm)

2 http://www.lvrach.ru/2007/09/4716625/

3 Pelen F. Verriere F. et al. Treatment of fever: Monotherapy with ibuprofen – Multicentre acceptability study conducted in hospital. Annales de P diatrie 1998; 45 (10): 719-728.

4 Instructions for the medical use of Nurofen for children

5 WHO Regional Office for Europe recommendations on influenza vaccination for the 2015–2016 winter season.September 2015 (http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/293085/WHO-Euro-recommendations-influenza-vaccination-2015-2016-ru.pdf)

90,000 ENT diseases: risk factors, prevention,

March 27, 2019

Everyone has long known that it is much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it later. Every year, the number of diseases of the ENT organs increases, and it is their prevention that is more relevant than ever. ENT organs include the ear, throat, nose, and the branch of medicine that studies these organs is called otolaryngology.The fact that three organs are united in one direction is explained by their anatomical proximity, in addition, a disease that affects one of the three organs can give complications to the rest.

The most common are such ENT diseases as sinusitis, sinusitis, otitis media, pharyngitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis and adenoids. The cause, as a rule, is such inflammatory diseases as colds, SARS, flu. The inflammatory process can also appear after contact with a sick person; weak immunity also contributes to it, especially in the winter-spring periods, when the body feels an acute lack of vitamins.

Symptoms of inflammatory processes occurring in the ENT organs can be: discharge from the ears, tinnitus, sore throat, inflammation of the tonsils, nasal congestion. A common disease of the upper respiratory tract is sinusitis (acute or chronic inflammation of the sinuses). Symptoms: runny nose, headache, weakness, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing. Often, sinusitis is a complication after previous illnesses (acute respiratory viral infections, acute respiratory infections, flu, colds). One of the most common ear diseases is otitis media, often also caused by previous infections.Otitis media is divided into types: outer ear, middle and inner.

The most effective prevention of ENT diseases is strengthening the immune system. To do this, you must observe the daily regimen, have a balanced diet, and walk in the fresh air. It is also important to go in for sports, hardening, maintaining cleanliness in living quarters, regular ventilation and maintaining the optimum temperature. Do not overcool, and it is also recommended to wash the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx after returning from the street, this will wash away dust, microbes, allergens and viruses from the mucous membrane.

It is worth thinking about visiting a specialist if you suffer from coughing and voice changes, inflammation of the tonsils, dry and sore throat, difficulty breathing, reduced sense of smell and hearing loss.

Symptoms requiring immediate attention to the ENT doctor:

Pain in the bridge of the nose and under the eyes is present

Feeling of ear congestion and change in perception of own voice

Regional lymph nodes are enlarged

Noise, pain and tooth in ears

There is discharge from the external auditory canal

If we neglect the treatment of ENT diseases, they will quickly flow into a chronic form and can give serious complications to the entire body.

Any disease is much easier to prevent than to cure, therefore the prevention of ENT diseases, especially in the autumn-winter period, is very important. Prevention of ear, nose and throat diseases can protect our bodies from many infections. These organs are in close proximity to each other, and the disease of one of them can complicate the other.

Most often, the cause of the disease can be a cold, SARS or flu, malaise can occur after contact with a sick person.The main signs of diseases are considered to be pain in the ears and discharge from them, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath and headache, all this can occur against the background of an increase in body temperature. If you or your loved ones have these signs, you should immediately consult a specialist in order to prevent complications.

Prevention of nasal diseases

The nose protects our airways from cold air, dust and infection. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out hygienic procedures every day to clean the nasal cavity.It is helpful to rinse your nose, especially in a flu epidemic, with herbal infusions such as chamomile, mint, oregano, or St. John’s wort. Rinsing will stimulate the nerve endings of the nasal cavity, after which breathing will be easy.

The solution for rinsing the nose should not be cold, it is collected in the palms, the nose is lowered there and the liquid is slowly drawn into itself. Then the head is thrown back so that the solution gets into the throat, and then into the mouth. You can, while in a reclining position, use a syringe to inject liquid in turn into each nostril.

When a runny nose appears, treatment should be started immediately in order to prevent complications such as sinusitis. It is important to thoroughly get rid of mucus; you need to blow your nose separately from each nostril, closing them in turn. It is necessary to use an individual handkerchief so as not to endanger your loved ones infecting you. It is best to use tissue paper and throw it away after each use. If someone close to you gets sick, wear a gauze bandage to protect yourself from dangerous viruses.

A runny nose can be caused by allergies to pollen, chemicals or animals. Try to protect yourself from possible allergens as much as possible, when you return home, be sure to wash your face and rinse your eyes and nose.

In order to combat hypothermia, the body is hardened, but it is better to start with the feet and gradually. First, every day they wipe their feet with a damp towel, then you can start dousing your feet with cool water and foot baths. The water temperature should be gradually reduced from 37 to 18 ° C.After about a month, you can start a contrasting shower for the whole body, alternating between cold and hot water.

Avoid hypothermia of the legs and the whole body, try not to be in a draft and close to the air conditioner. It is very important to eat wholesome and varied food, try to eat more foods rich in vitamins. Eat compotes made from natural fruits or dried fruits. Be sure to walk every day, walks for children are especially useful, but dress for the weather.

Prevention of throat diseases

One of the important methods of preventing sore throat is gargling, it is especially important to do this in the cold season to avoid colds. You need to start rinsing with warm water, which will be pleasant for you, then gradually the temperature of the water can be lowered. Instead of water, you can make a decoction of sage, calendula, eucalyptus, or pine cones. In summer, gargling with seawater is helpful several times a day. It is useful for small children who do not know how to gargle their throat every hour to give them warm tea with lemon or juice from fruits, it is useful to eat a slice of lemon with the zest.

It is advisable to change your toothbrush more often, especially after an illness, in order to prevent germs from entering the body. In order to prevent sore throat, it is necessary to follow the rules of personal hygiene, strengthen the immune system, eat a variety of foods, and treat teeth on time. If possible, do not communicate with sick people or protect yourself from them with a gauze bandage. Avoid hypothermia, do not let your feet get wet in wet weather. Do not overuse cold drinks and do not eat a lot of ice cream.

To prevent germs from lingering in your home, periodically ventilate it and carry out wet cleaning in it. At the first signs of a sore throat, you need a plentiful and warm drink, try to speak less so as not to strain your ligaments, and consult a doctor. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, be sure to complete the entire course of treatment to avoid complications.

To improve immunity, it is useful to drink rosehip decoction with the addition of honey. Honey has excellent antiseptic properties, so it is useful to eat it in a spoon every day.It is useful to chew propolis, you can take a small piece and hold it in your mouth, sometimes roll it from side to side. If there is an opportunity to walk in the coniferous forest, then you can chew the resin of the trees, this will protect against sore throat and saturate your body with beneficial microorganisms.

For prevention and treatment, it is useful for children to give rosehip syrup, which can be bought at a pharmacy. It can be added to tea or diluted with warm water. It will give the child vigor and increase his activity and efficiency.It is useful to eat garlic, you can teach a child to do it. Garlic can be cut into small pieces and added to ready-made meals. Pieces of garlic can be spread out in the child’s room, this will perfectly protect him from a viral infection.

Prevention of ear disease

Ear diseases are also very common, they can be caused by infection, poor hygiene of the ears or injury. The patient may complain of pain, hearing loss and discharge from the ear, when these signs appear, you should immediately consult a doctor to find out the cause and prescription of treatment.

In the prevention of inflammatory diseases that can be caused by infection, personal and ear hygiene comes first. It is necessary to clean the auricles regularly, starting from birth, and do it carefully. Clean the outer part of the ear with soap and water. Be careful with your ear sticks to avoid damaging your ear canal and eardrum. If a sulfuric plug forms, you cannot remove it yourself, you need to seek help from a doctor. Parents should ensure that young children do not put objects in their ears as this can cause serious hearing impairment.

During water procedures, care must be taken that water does not enter the ear, especially for small children. Dry your ears thoroughly with a soft towel after bathing. Moisture in the ear is a breeding ground for infection. Before bathing, you can cover your ears with cotton swabs lubricated with vegetable oil or any cream, or wear a bathing cap. Do not go outside with a wet head, even a small draft can lead to inflammation.

Prevention of diseases of the inner part of the ear should be aimed at hardening the whole body and strengthening the immune system.It is necessary to timely treat diseases of organs that are located close to the ear, for example, sinusitis, runny nose or sore throat, in order to prevent otitis media. Diseased teeth and inflammation of the oral cavity are also a breeding ground for infection, which can enter the nasopharynx, and from there into the ear.

It is very important, along with prevention, to harden the body so as not to be afraid of worsening weather and to easily cope with colds if they overtake you. Swimming perfectly hardens the body and boosts immunity, especially in children.It is important to keep the house clean, ventilate it regularly and make sure that the air in the room is not dry.

It has long been no secret to anyone that it is easier to prevent a disease than to cure it. Every year, among the population of our country, the frequency of diseases of ENT organs is noticeably increasing (in medicine, ENT organs are called the ear, throat, nose) and their prevention is becoming an increasingly urgent issue.

What to do, why does the baby get sick so often? Adapting to kindergarten is a difficult process: a new daily routine, new people, new experiences.If the child’s immunity is weakened, then various diseases (and first of all, these are ENT diseases) will complicate the adaptation period for a long time. How can you help your baby?

The most effective prevention of inflammatory diseases of the ear, nose and throat is to strengthen the immune system. To do this, you must observe the daily regimen, eat a balanced diet, and regularly walk in the fresh air. Also important for the prevention of inflammatory diseases of the ENT organs are playing sports, hardening, preparing the body for temperature changes (cooling, overheating), dryness or humidity, maintaining cleanliness in living quarters, ventilating and wiping off dust, maintaining normal room temperature in rooms and optimum humidity.
The most important thing in the prevention of diseases of the ENT organs is that it must be carried out from early childhood in order to avoid problems at a more mature age.

Diseases of ENT organs rank first among all diseases that are treated by doctors, both in children’s and adult clinics. That is why a lot of attention is paid to them. The ears, throat and nose are the gateways to infection. That is why they have a system of protection against bacteria and viruses. But when this system is in an unsatisfactory condition, the infection begins to spread and causes various diseases.Diseases of ENT organs can be acute or chronic. The reason for this is the wrong treatment and the weak immune defense of the body.

Diseases of ENT organs Dysfunction of ENT organs is often considered the cause of not only general diseases, but also a violation of the individual development of a person, which limits his abilities. Indeed, the ear, larynx and pharynx, nose together with the paranasal (paranasal) sinuses work as a whole: a disease of one organ can affect the state of another, affecting certain systems of the body.ENT organs: The pharynx is the plexus of the oral, laryngeal and nasal parts. The tonsils are also located in the pharynx, which can become inflamed with certain diseases of this organ. The nasal cavity is lined with a mucous membrane, connected with the help of narrow openings with the frontal and maxillary sinuses. The human ear consists of three sections: inner, middle and outer. The inner ear section consists of a sound and vestibular analyzer. The middle section contains the tympanic cavity and the auditory ossicles, as well as the Eustachian tube and the mastoid process.The outer ear is the auricle and the external auditory canal. Diseases of these three organs are combined into one group for a reason, this is due to their functional dependence and anatomical proximity, as well as the fact that diseases that affect one of these organs have the ability to spread to another organ.

The causes of the development of diseases of the ENT organs are of an infectious nature in most cases. These include the following infections:

streptococcal and staphylococcal;

fungal infection;

virus particles.

Risk factors

weakened immunity;

the presence of adenoids;

anomalies in the structure of ENT organs;

deviated nasal septum;

bad habits;

dental problems;

work in hazardous production.

Typical symptoms of diseases of ENT organs:


gradual hearing loss;

pain of various localization;

feeling of nasal congestion and runny nose;


bleeding nose and ear;

Difficulty breathing, decreased sense of smell and nasal sound.

All these symptoms indicate pathological changes in organs from the ENT system. Therefore, it is necessary to understand where the manifestations come from, what diseases they speak of.

Prevention of diseases of ENT organs

In order to minimize the likelihood of developing diseases of ENT organs to a minimum, the following recommendations must be observed:

strengthen the body’s immune defenses;

to prevent physical and mental stress;

lead an active lifestyle, walk more, play sports;

give up bad habits;

do not overcool;

to temper your body;

avoid stress as much as possible;

to observe the regime of work and rest.

Observing these simple rules, you can preserve the health of not only the ENT organs, but the whole organism for many years!

Everyone has known for a long time that it is much easier to prevent a disease than to cure it later. Every year, the number of diseases of the ENT organs increases, and it is their prevention that is more relevant than ever.

ENT organs include the ear, throat, nose, and the branch of medicine that studies these organs is called otolaryngology. The fact that three organs are united in one direction is explained by their anatomical proximity, in addition, a disease that affects one of the three organs can give complications to the rest.

ENT – organs structure

· The pharynx is a plexus of the nasal, oral and laryngeal parts, the tonsils are located in the pharynx, which become inflamed with a large number of diseases of this organ.

· The nasal cavity is lined with mucous membrane, connected by narrow openings with the maxillary and frontal sinuses.

· The ear consists of an outer, middle and inner ear. In the inner part of the ear there are vestibular and auditory analyzers, in the middle – the tympanic cavity with the auditory ossicles, the mastoid process and the Eustachian tube, the outer part – the auricle and the external auditory canal.A device such as an otoscope is used to examine the ear.

ENT – diseases, symptoms. The most common are ENT diseases such as sinusitis, sinusitis, otitis media, pharyngitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis and adenoids. The cause, as a rule, is such inflammatory diseases as colds, SARS, flu. The inflammatory process can also appear after contact with a sick person; weak immunity also contributes to it, especially in the winter-spring periods, when the body feels an acute lack of vitamins.

Symptoms of inflammatory processes occurring in the ENT organs can be: discharge from the ears, tinnitus, sore throat, inflammation of the tonsils, nasal congestion.

A common disease of the upper respiratory tract is sinusitis (acute or chronic inflammation of the sinuses). Symptoms: runny nose, headache, weakness, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing. Often, sinusitis is a complication after previous illnesses (acute respiratory viral infections, acute respiratory infections, flu, colds).

One of the most common ear diseases is otitis media, often also caused by previous infections.Otitis media is divided into types: outer ear, middle and inner.


The most effective prevention of ENT diseases is strengthening the immune system. To do this, you must observe the daily regimen, have a balanced diet, and walk in the fresh air. It is also important to go in for sports, hardening, maintaining cleanliness in living quarters, regular ventilation and maintaining the optimum temperature. Do not overcool, and it is also recommended to wash the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx after returning from the street, this will wash away dust, microbes, allergens and viruses from the mucous membrane.Before visiting public places, it is worth lubricating the internal nasal passages with an ointment containing antiviral and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Visit to an otorhinolaryngologist

It is worth thinking about visiting a specialist if you are tormented by coughing and voice changes, inflammation of the tonsils, dry and sore throat, difficulty breathing, reduced sense of smell and hearing loss.

Symptoms requiring immediate attention to the ENT doctor:

Pain in the bridge of the nose and under the eyes is present

Feeling of ear congestion and change in perception of own voice

Regional lymph nodes are enlarged

Noise, pain and tooth in ears

There is discharge from the external auditory canal

If we neglect the treatment of ENT diseases, they will quickly flow into a chronic form and can give serious complications to the entire body.

Diseases of the ears in dogs: symptoms, treatment

Tender and vulnerable canine ears often suffer from infectious and other types of diseases. A pet can catch an infection on the street or catch a cold from the cold water that gets inside all year round. The owner’s task is to sensitively monitor the animal and take the necessary therapeutic and preventive measures in a timely manner.

When a dog has a sore ear, it affects its well-being and manifests itself in behavioral symptoms:

  • the dog has itchy ears;

  • the animal intensively rubs its head against furniture or on the floor;

  • pet makes pitiful sounds when the owner strokes his head;

  • the dog shakes its head, tilts it to one side.

The presence of inflammation or irritation in the area of ​​the auricles can be recognized by the physiological symptoms:

  • unpleasant odor;

  • unhealthy swelling;

  • redness;

  • unhealthy discharge in the form of pus or sulfur.

Common ear diseases in pets

The most common causes of infectious and chronic diseases of the outer and inner ear in dogs:

  • Features of anatomy (long and drooping ears), which lead to the formation of sulfur plugs;

  • hypothermia;

  • water penetration deep into the auricle;

  • ear mites and other parasites;

  • entry of a foreign body into the ear;

  • allergy;

  • hereditary diseases;

  • bacterial and infectious agents.

If your dog shakes its ears and scratches its head in all available ways, it is better to contact your veterinarian right away. The owner is not always able to immediately and accurately determine the cause of such behavior, and this is fraught with aggravation of the health problems of the family pet.

The most common ear diseases in four-legged pets:

  • otitis media. Pathogens – bacteria, fungus, allergens. The disease proceeds in an acute and chronic form and at the site of localization is divided into external (between the entrance to the ear and the eardrum), middle (behind the eardrum), internal (inflammation of the ear labyrinth).In the early stages, drops against otitis media will help relieve symptoms, but they will only bring temporary relief – they can be used as first aid before going to the veterinarian. The doctor will conduct an examination and prescribe a course of treatment in accordance with the diagnosis;

  • provoked by hematoma. It appears as a result of physical injury. The presence of damage is noticeable by the thickening, change in the shape of the auricle. Surgical treatment of trauma. After removing dead tissue, it is necessary to treat the sore ear with wound-healing ointments as prescribed by a veterinarian;

  • caused by a foreign body in the ear.Since the ear canal has a complex structure, it will not be possible to detect and remove the object of concern on your own. If you experience symptoms such as shaking your ears and tilting your head to the side, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. If this is not done on time, an infection may develop in the ear canal;

  • otodectosis. The causative agent is an ear mite. A dog can become infected from contact with other animals on the street. The main signs are itching in the ears, an unpleasant odor and dirt on the mucous membranes (waste products of parasites).Otodectosis is treated with drug therapy, using special drops. In its advanced form, the disease leads to the development of chronic diseases of the outer and middle ear and even deafness;

  • eczema. It occurs as a result of allergens and certain chemicals entering the ear. Treat eczema with medication, drops and ointments;

  • congenital and acquired deafness. If hearing problems begin during life, the animal can be cured. The main condition is to detect problems in time and visit a doctor

Prevention of ear diseases in dogs

With proper care of your pet, many ear problems can be avoided.We recommend that you follow simple rules of hygiene:

  • Clean the dog’s ears with hygienic cotton wool, special napkins or a soft swab at least 2 times a week. Ear lotion can be used. It is not recommended to use hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine for cleaning;

  • Blot sinks after bathing to remove excess moisture from the inner passage;

  • Remove excess hair from the inside of the shell with a depilatory cream.

If you notice itchy or red ears in a dog, contact one of the branches of the Kaliningrad Regional Center for Veterinary Medicine. The doctor will examine the pet in the clinic or at home, determine the cause of the concern and prescribe a course of treatment. Our veterinary pharmacy has a large selection of effective drugs. There is no need to look elsewhere for the prescription drugs you need.

P. S Also in veterinary clinics are carried out cosmetic surgery to cropping the ears of pedigree dogs.Our doctors will be able to create comfortable conditions for the pet during the operation and in the postoperative period.

Influenza and ARVI: modes of transmission, signs, prevention

Millions of people every year fall ill with influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI or, as the people say, ARI). Up to 80% of the population suffers from these infections every year. The most severe forms of influenza and acute respiratory infections are observed, first of all, in the elderly and children under one year old. These infections cause enormous damage to public health and sometimes lead to serious complications.Hundreds of people die every year from the flu and its complications.

Due to the high level of variability of the antigenic structure in circulating viruses, immunity to viruses that circulate in the current year may be ineffective against viruses that begin to circulate in the next. The annual epidemic outbreaks of influenza are explained precisely by the high level of variability of the virus.

Routes of transmission

During sneezing, as well as when coughing, the smallest particles of saliva and phlegm are emitted from the mouth of a sick person, in which viruses are contained in huge quantities.Therefore, the main mechanism of transmission of influenza and ARVI is called that – airborne. Another mechanism of transmission of respiratory infection is contact. It has long remained unproven and less obvious than airborne droplets. Nevertheless, it plays no less, and possibly more, a role in the spread of colds. It happens like this. Typically, a person who sneezes or coughs covers their mouth with their hand, hoping to prevent the spread of the infection by airborne droplets.At the same time, he does not even suspect how much he simplifies the transmission of his infection by contact. The fact is that the entire colossal mass of microbes that should have come out into the open space settles on the hand of a sneezing or coughing person. Who safely carries it to household items, including those that other people touch. Or he carries it through the hands of friends, colleagues and acquaintances when shaking hands. Those, in turn, can only touch their mouth, nose, or wipe their eyes, which are also lined with a mucous membrane susceptible to ARVI, and the complex airborne transmission pathway for the virus is reduced by tens of times in time and complexity.This is why it is important to wash your hands and avoid touching your own face during outbreaks of respiratory infections.

It should be added that the causative agents of ARVI are quite stable in the external environment. So, the influenza virus can remain viable outside the body for up to 3 weeks. Therefore, infection can occur even after a considerable time after the contact of a sick person with household items, children’s toys, dishes, door handles of public institutions, etc. On the other hand, for the successful introduction of the virus into the body, another factor is important – the number of viral particles entering organism.The smaller it is, the less likely it is that the body’s protective barriers will be overcome and the disease will occur. A high concentration of viruses can persist in closed rooms, especially with large crowds: offices, schools, kindergartens, public transport, shops. On the contrary, in the open air, it is almost impossible to meet a sufficient amount of microbial particles for infection. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, even during a seasonal outbreak of ARVI, it is absolutely not dangerous to walk in the open air . Much more important is what transport you take to get to the place of walking or work.

Signs of the disease, principles of treatment

After the pathogen has entered the body, it takes time for it to overcome the protective barriers of the body and begin to multiply in sufficient quantities, exerting its effect on the body. This time is called the incubation period. For ARVI, the duration of the incubation period ranges from several hours to 3 days, on average 2 days and depends on the aggressiveness of the virus, the number of viral particles and the state of the protective forces of the respiratory system.

Further, the clinical picture of ARVI begins to develop gradually. It can be divided into 2 syndromes – catarrhal and intoxication. Catarrhal syndrome is the result of damage to the mucous membranes and manifests itself as follows: dryness, sore throat and sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing, voice changes, conjunctival redness, lacrimation, and sometimes photophobia.

Intoxication syndrome, usually appears later than catarrhal and disappears before it, but nevertheless is more severe.The multiplication of viruses inside cells is accompanied by the formation of toxins dangerous for humans. The destruction of infected cells leads to the ingress of these substances into the bloodstream, which causes a picture of intoxication syndrome. It manifests itself: fever, chills, pain in joints and muscles, in more severe cases, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Viral infections of the respiratory tract are characterized by light, transparent discharge with a low viscosity (experts call them serous).By the end of the disease, they may become yellowish. If the discharge from the nose or bronchi becomes thick, their amount increases sharply, and the color becomes dark yellow, this may indicate the addition of a bacterial infection.

Despite a wide variety of symptoms, for most people ARVI, including influenza, is a mild illness. They pose a danger to people with severe concomitant diseases: diabetes mellitus, heart failure, chronic renal failure, tuberculosis and others.

Any infection is a conflict between the human body and a pathogenic agent. At the same time, each such conflict requires the utmost attention to itself. Seeing a doctor is mandatory, it will help to make a diagnosis in a timely manner and determine an adequate treatment. Antibiotics that successfully cure bacterial infections are ineffective for treating SARS. They have completely different mechanisms of action that cannot affect viruses in any way. The only case when the use of antibiotics is justified is the addition of a bacterial infection.The doctor prescribes antiviral drugs, of which many have been developed and they are selected individually. Perhaps the appointment of vitamins, detoxification and symptomatic therapy.


To prevent the spread of infection , you should, if possible, protect the patient from contact with others. In order to reduce the release of viruses when sneezing, you can use the mask, putting it on the patient. In order for the mask to perform its protective function, it is necessary that it covers both the mouth and nose. Only in this case will it retain liquid droplets flying out when sneezing, talking and coughing.

Contrary to popular belief, a mask worn on a healthy person does not act as a filter that traps viruses (for this it is not tight enough), and prevents accidental contact of a person’s hands with the mouth and nose, reducing the risk of contact transmission of infection.

Ventilation of the premises will reduce the concentration of the virus in confined spaces. Shaking hands should be avoided individually and should be kept to a minimum on public transport and in crowded places. Wash hands as often as possible. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.

Remember! Any viral disease carried on “legs” can badly affect your health in the future.