Ibuprofen earache: Earache & Ear Infections | Centre Pediatrics
Earache & Ear Infections | Centre Pediatrics
What is Acute Otitis Media? (from Stan L. Block, MD; https://www.pediatricweb.com/webpost/iframe/MedicalConditions_433.asp?tArticleId=128)
“Acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, generally caused by bacteria. In acute otitis media (i.e., an ear infection or an infection of the middle ear), pus and infected fluid accumulate in the middle ear space.
The tympanic membrane (eardrum) appears inflamed, reddened, and often protrudes outward. Usually, an ear infection begins after the eustachian tube (a small tube connecting the back of the nose to the middle ear space) has become swollen, congested, and closed, most commonly resulting from an ongoing viral respiratory infection.
Acute otitis media should not be confused with: 1) external otitis (“swimmer’s ear”)-a painful bacterial infection of the superficial skin of the ear canal, or 2) otitis media with effusion (secretory otitis or “fluid ears”)-an accumulation of non-inflamed fluid behind the eardrum. ”
Pain and Acute Otitis Media:
When the air-containing chamber behind the eardrum fills with fluid or pus during an earache, pressure builds up against the eardrum causing pain, sometimes severe. Not all ear pain is an ear infection. Pain can be a sign of congestion which normally builds up when a child has a cold. Parents wonder if they need to rush to the emergency room when this pain situation occurs at night. The important immediate treatment is pain relief. A weight-based dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil), sleeping upright, and a warm washcloth or heating pad over the ear usually helps within 30-45 minutes.
To Treat or Not To Treat?
Roughly 50%-60 % of ear infections are caused by viral agents and will not respond to antibiotic therapy. Most ear infections caused by bacteria will resolve without antibiotic therapy. Only a small percentage of ear infections will require antibiotic therapy for a cure and these are most typically seen in children under the age of 2y. The evidence further suggests that symptoms, primarily pain, are only shortened by one day in children who are treated with antibiotics, and this pain can be relieved by analgesics such as Tylenol and Motrin/Advil. As a result, there has been much discussion as to the necessity for the use of antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated acute otitis media in children.
A concern about the rising rates of antibiotic resistance and the growing cost of prescription antibiotics has caused the medical community and the general public to focus attention on the need for judicial use of antibiotic therapy. Acute otitis media is the most common infection for which antibacterial agents are prescribed for children in the United States. The greater increase in resistance among the bacteria that cause ear infections has led to an increase in the use of broader spectrum and generally more expensive antibiotics. The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians Subcommittee on Management of Acute Otitis Media has recommended an observation without the use of antibiotics for uncomplicated acute otitis media in otherwise healthy children over the age of 6 months. This observation option refers to deferring antibiotics for 48 to 72 hours and limiting management to symptom/pain relief using analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. If pain persists and/or fever is present after the observation period, antibiotic therapy may be initiated.
If your child is experiencing ear pain, you should treat the pain as suggested above. If your infant has had a cold and now has a fever, seems to have pain and sleep disruption, he/she may have an ear infection. Please call our office to schedule a sick visit or to speak to the provider on call after hours. You may also bring your child to our walk-in hour from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on non-holiday weekdays.
Best ways to treat an ear infection at home
Ear infections are no fun for anyone. If you or your child gets one, you just want the symptoms to be gone as soon as possible.
The best treatments vary depending on your type of ear infection – it can be in the inner, middle or outer ear. Ear infections can have different causes, too, and can be brought about by bacteria or by viruses.
So, what’s the best way to quickly clear up an ear infection? Do you need to see the doctor, or can you treat an ear infection at home? Read on for the answers.
What are home remedies for ear infections?
Most ear infections clear up without medical care or special medicines. So if you or your child gets an ear infection, the first step is usually to treat ear infection symptoms at home. Here are options to try:
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain and fever reliever
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) is often enough to reduce the pain and fever that can come with ear infections. Of course, all medicines aren’t safe for all ages, so make sure you give your child the correct amount for their age. Learn more about ear infection symptoms in babies.
Kids over 3 months old can take acetaminophen – but if your baby has a fever, it’s a good idea to call the nurseline (612-339-3663 or 800-551-0859) for guidance on the right dose. Contact your doctor right away or go to urgent care if your little one is less than 3 months old and has a temperature of 100. 4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Warm compress for an ear infection
A warm compress can help reduce ear pain. Just a soak a washcloth in warm water, wring out the excess water and then hold it against the infected ear for up to 20 minutes. If the compress seems to help with the pain, reapply the compress throughout the day.
Sleeping and resting strengthens the immune system and helps your body fight off infections and other sickness. But it’s best not to sleep on your infected ear – and not just because it’s uncomfortable.
If you’re an adult with a middle ear infection, elevating the affected ear makes it easier for the infection to drain out. So, sleep on your other side or tuck a few extra pillows under your head if sleeping on your back.
If you have an outer ear infection, keep blankets and hair away from your ear. The airflow on your ear can help it stay dry, allowing it to heal faster.
Saltwater is known as an effective way to reduce inflammation. And saltwater could help an ear infection as well – just don’t put the salt water directly in your ear. Instead, add one teaspoon salt to one cup of warm water and gargle it for a couple minutes. If your ear infection is related to a swollen throat, this can help reduce your symptoms.
Drying eardrops for an ear infection
If you or your child has an outer ear infection, commonly known as swimmer’s ear, using fluid-drying eardrops might help. You can buy OTC eardrops for swimmer’s ear at retail stores and online.
Using fluid-drying eardrops is not appropriate for people who have ear tubes. They also shouldn’t be used if there’s discharge coming from your ear or if your eardrum is ruptured. So before using eardrops for you or your child’s ear infection, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure they’re safe to use.
There’s a chance that putting hydrogen peroxide in your ears could help with an ear infection. To try it, place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your affected ear, let it sit for a few minutes, then tilt your head over a sink to let the fluid drain out before rinsing off your ear.
Is it safe to put hydrogen peroxide in your ear?
Yes, but it’s important not to use too much hydrogen peroxide or repeat the procedure too frequently, as it can cause irritation, pain and inflammation.
Home remedies used to treat related illnesses
Decongestants, antihistamines and cold medicines won’t cure an ear infection, but it’s possible that they could help with your symptoms. For example, if you treat allergy symptoms and get rid of the sniffles from a cold or flu, you may be able to reduce the swelling that’s blocking things up.
Avoid using Q-tips for ear infection cleaning
If your ears are feeling plugged up, you may think about using a Q-tip to clean them out. Is this a good idea? In most cases, no.
You should never put a Q-tip in your ear canal – and this is especially true if there’s an infection inside the ear. While it seems like it might be good way to clean things out, using a Q-tip in your ear can actually push infected fluid farther into your ear, making your infection worse.
It’s okay to use a Q-tip to carefully clean the outer ear, the part that you can see. But chances are it won’t help much with your ear infection symptoms.
When should I talk to a doctor about an ear infection?
If the ear infection symptoms don’t improve within a few days, make a primary care appointment. Other signs that it’s time to see a doctor include:
- Ear pain that lasts more than two days
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Changes or loss of hearing
- Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Frequent or recurrent ear infections
Should I use antibiotics for an ear infection?
Antibiotics are a medicine prescribed by your doctor. If you’re dealing with an ear infection caused by bacteria, you’ll likely need antibiotics. They are the best way of quickly getting rid of a bacterial infection and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.
The catch is that antibiotics don’t work against viruses – if you use antibiotics on a viral ear infection, it can actually make the infection worse. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to a condition called antibiotic resistance, which means that the medicine becomes less effective at fighting off bacteria.
That’s why doctors are careful about using antibiotics wisely and may not immediately prescribe them for ear infections.
When your doctor may prescribe antibiotics
While every situation is unique, there are several factors that doctors consider when recommending antibiotics:
- What they see– If the infection is in the outer ear, it may be clear it’s caused by bacteria. In this case your doctor may recommend antibiotic eardrops to help clean out the ear infection. If your doctor can’t see the ear infection because it’s on the inside of the ear, they may not prescribe antibiotics right away.
- How long it’s been– Viral infections typically go away on their own in 1-2 weeks. If the ear infection has been around for less than a week, your doctor may recommend waiting to see if the ear infection goes away on its own, a sign that it’s viral. If it’s been more than a week, your doctor may recommend starting antibiotics.
- Your child’s age– The doctor may be more likely to prescribe antibiotics for children under 2 years old, especially if they have infections in both ears, have pain that’s moderate to severe, or have a fever.
- Symptoms– If you or your child have certain symptoms, such as an extremely high fever or severe dehydration, your doctor may recommend starting antibiotics sooner.
- Medical conditions– Your doctor may recommend starting antibiotics right away if there are certain medical conditions, such as cleft palate or repeat infections, that could lead to problems with an ear infection. In most cases, antibiotics will also be recommended when someone with a cochlear implant gets an ear infection.
What if my ear infection doesn’t go away after antibiotics?
If you or your child finish your course of antibiotics, but it seems like the ear infection hasn’t gone away, make an appointment with your doctor. They’ll help figure out what’s going on and what to do next. There’s a chance that your doctor may prescribe a different type of antibiotic to see if it works better.
It’s also possible that the infection is gone but the symptoms aren’t. This can happen if there’s still fluid trapped in the ear, causing a plugged-up feeling, pain or hearing loss. Most of the time the fluid in ears drains within a couple of weeks, but sometimes it sticks around longer.
What happens if an ear infection is left untreated?
Fluid buildup in the ear can be damaging – even if there’s no infection – and may lead to a ruptured eardrum and hearing loss. So, it’s important to see the doctor if symptoms remain after finishing the antibiotics. They’ll likely want to take a look in your ear and learn more about your symptoms.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend you see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. The ENT doctor may recommend surgery to place small metal or plastic tubes in the ear canal to make it easier for the fluid to drain out. Your doctor may also recommend ear tube surgery for your child if they have recurrent ear infections.
How to prevent ear infections
Ear infections generally come after another illness caused by viruses or bacteria. Anything you can do to keep from getting sick or boost your immune system, should also help reduce your chance of ear infections. Here are ways to keep yourself and your family healthy:
- Wash hands frequently. This helps to stop the spread of germs that make you sick.
- Get vaccinated. Make sure both you and your child get a flu shot and other recommended vaccinations by age. Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways of preventing viral and bacterial infections, which can turn into ear infections.
- Stay away from cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke makes it more likely that you, or your child, will get an ear infection. So, don’t smoke around your child. Better yet, talk to your doctor about quitting – giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your own health and the health of your family.
- When possible, limit the number of kids your child is around. If your child is around fewer kids, they’ll be around less germs that can get them sick.
- Breastfeed your baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that boost baby’s immune system, reducing the risk of ear infections. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for at least 12 months and that, for the first six months, baby eats nothing else.
- Hold your baby when they’re eating. If baby is bottle feeding, hold them in one arm and the bottle in the other hand. If baby eats lying down or falls asleep sucking on a bottle, fluids can collect in their ear, increasing the chance of ear infections.
- Limit pacifier use. Pacifiers are recommended to help your baby sleep safely and can reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome. However, the AAP recommends stopping use of the pacifier at around 6 months – babies who continue using pacifiers after 12 months are more likely to have ear infections.
- Talk to your doctor. If you or your child have frequent ear infections – three in 6 months or four within a year – ask your doctor if ear tubes might be a good option.
OTC drugs for ear pain in pharmacies
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OTC medicines for ear pain in pharmacies
Ear pain, otitis and earache
- Ear pain causes many diseases: an ear infection, a cold, a sinus or throat infection, an ear canal injury, or even a tooth abscess.
- Ear pain is a clinical manifestation of a painful manifestation localized in the ear. Ear diseases affect three parts, namely the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. The disease that usually affects this organ of hearing is ear infection .
- Otitis is inflammation of the ear. Often occurs as a result of colds or pharyngitis . Otitis media is caused by a virus or bacteria. Symptoms of ear infections often present as ear congestion , fever and varying degrees of pain . Your doctor may also prescribe Ear Drops with a local anesthetic to relieve the pain of otitis externa.
- As in children, ear infections and pain localized in the ear always warrants a medical consultation to determine the cause and appropriate treatment by otoscopy.
How to relieve ear pain?
First, it is important to determine the cause of the pain in the ear, otherwise known as otalgia.
- Determine the cause of the ear pain (cold, throat, teeth, etc.) and the type of otitis media.
- Take appropriate medicine for ear pain (as prescribed by your doctor).
- Keep your ears clean
Otitis media and ear pain: what is the cure for ear pain
Most ear pain is caused by otitis media, which is an inflammation or infection of the ear. Less commonly, the pain may be caused by a sinus infection or a sore throat.
What are the types of ear infections?
Order over-the-counter ear pain medicines from ARS approved online bio pharmacy. To relieve the symptoms of otitis , internal, external or secondary, it is recommended to take painkillers. Usually, the attending physician or ENT prescribes paracetamol or ibuprofen up to 4 grams per day. It is also indicated to take an anti-inflammatory drug for ear pain ( Advil or Nurofen) up to 1200 mg per day. .
Acute otitis media. Acute otitis media is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear that usually accompanies an upper respiratory tract infection. Acute otitis media (AOM) is characterized by a purulent effusion located in the eardrum. Paracetamol is the gold standard for pain management in acute otitis media.
Serous otitis media: Serous otitis media is an effusion into the middle ear resulting from incomplete healing of acute otitis media or obstruction of the Eustachian tube without infection. A decongestant such as phenylephrine (in older children and adults) may be taken to relieve nasal congestion on the advice of a physician. People from otitis media scuba diving and air travel should be avoided. Changes in ambient pressure in this case cause pain and injury to the ear.
Chronic otitis media: inflammation of the mucous membrane persists for more than 3 months. Chronic otitis media results from several infectious episodes and is often characterized by perforation of the tympanic membrane or otorrhea. In case of perforation of the eardrum, it is recommended to protect the ears from water ingress. In chronic suppurative otitis media, doctors prescribe ear drops containing an antibiotic. People with severe exacerbations are also given oral antibiotics. When piercing the eardrum, it is dangerous to put anything in the ears. You will need to wait for your doctor’s consultation before injecting an ear solution such as Otipax Ear Instillation Solution.
Otitis media or labyrinthitis
Otitis media is the result of an unfavorable development of acute otitis media. The treatment should then be adapted to the type of otitis media diagnosed. So we will treat it differently:
- bacterial otitis media due to high doses of antibiotics, sometimes combined with surgery to remove accumulations of pus in the vestibule or calculus
- viral otitis media cause-specific antivirals (different for influenza, varicella or zoster virus)
- inflammatory otitis media caused by anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone derivatives
9 0064 Otitis externa
Otitis externa is an infection of the skin of the external auditory canal, which is sometimes purulent. Otitis externa is a pathology that occurs mainly in summer, as heat and humidity contribute to it. This ear pain most often affects young children, whose external canal is narrower.
Pharmacist’s advice on how to properly clean and protect your ears
In addition to taking pain relievers for ear pain, it is also important to practice good ear hygiene.
- For example, you can use ear sprays to immediately disinfect and soothe pain.
- Reduce the pressure in your ears, for example by staying indoors or sitting
- Use in-ear headphones to protect your ears from outside aggression.
- Use the ear cleaner to clean your ears without damaging your ear canal.
Good to know: more severe manifestations of ear pain require the intervention of an ENT doctor who can make a complete diagnosis. Also check out our blog for tips on natural herbal remedies for ear infections.
Also discover our liquid essential oil preparation for the treatment of otitis.
No medicines will be shipped outside French territory. Available only in the pharmacy of Perpignan (France).
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Help for ear pain
- Causes of ear pain
- Otitis as a common cause of ear pain
- First aid for ear pain
- First aid for pain caused by otitis media
Acute pain in the ear always causes severe discomfort. Until you get to the otolaryngologist for an appointment, and the drugs prescribed by him begin to work, you will need reliable and safe ways to eliminate the painful symptom. What is the first aid for ear pain?
Causes of ear pain
Both the course of treatment prescribed by the otolaryngologist and the methods of first aid for ear pain will depend on what disease caused the painful symptom. The following pathological conditions can cause pain in the organ of hearing:
- Pressure drops. If the auditory tube does not perform its function well, then during pressure drops (when diving and ascent, takeoff and landing, traveling by car or train), unpleasant sensations arise in the organ of hearing. The eardrum retracts inward, causing ear pain, pressure, and congestion.
- Inflammatory processes of different locations. Otitis and inflammatory processes in all parts of the organ of hearing can lead to the occurrence of painful symptoms. So, boils, erysipelas and eczema may appear in the outer ear; on average – different forms of otitis, in the internal – labyrinthitis.
- Acute pain in the ear may occur after injury to various parts of the hearing organ. Painful symptoms can manifest themselves due to improper hygiene of the auditory canal, the ingress of foreign bodies into it and the shocks suffered.
- Inflammation of the parotid gland. The close location of this gland to the organ of hearing in the event of an abscess leads to the fact that patients begin to complain of severe pain in the ear.
- Mastoiditis. One of the sections of the middle ear – the mastoid process of the temporal bone – can also undergo an inflammatory process that has become a complication of otitis media. During the course of the disease, patients complain of very intense ear pain.
Ear pain is not always associated with diseases and inflammatory processes in the organ of hearing.
Pathological conditions in other parts of the human body can provoke the manifestation of unpleasant symptoms:
See also: By what signs can you understand that the baby has an earache?
Since a painful symptom can indicate various diseases related to different areas, only a specialist can establish the correct diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment for the underlying pathology. If the otolaryngologist does not find the “ear” cause of the appeared pain in your hearing organ, he will redirect you to other narrow specialists – a dentist, neurologist, surgeon or therapist.
Otitis as a common cause of pain in the ear
Otitis is the most common cause of pain in the ear. These inflammatory processes can be localized in different parts of the organ of hearing, and then the nature of the pain and its accompanying symptoms will also differ.
Inflammation of the external part of the hearing organ develops mainly under the skin of the auricle or auditory canal. This otitis media usually leads to water entering the passage or when the integument is injured.
Ear pain in otitis externa is usually located closer to the exit of the auditory canal. As purulent masses accumulate under the skin, patients also note the appearance of itching, a feeling of pressure inside the hearing organ. If the tissues of the ear canal swell strongly and the lumen of the canal overlaps, there is also a feeling of stuffiness in the ear.
An acute inflammatory process affecting the tympanic cavity is always accompanied by excruciating sharp and shooting pain in the ear. Due to the fact that the mucous membrane of the middle ear is densely lined with nerve endings, the painful symptom becomes the very first signal that speaks of the development of the pathological process.
The disease, in addition to pain in the ear, is accompanied by increasing hearing loss, a feeling of congestion and pressure deep inside the organ.
Pain increases at rest, usually at night – this is due to an increase in exudate pressure on the mucous membrane of the tympanic cavity.
Pain in the ear with otitis in acute form, as a rule, instantly disappears after the rupture of the eardrum under the pressure of purulent masses. But relief of symptoms does not mean the end of the disease – if at this stage the need for antibiotic therapy is ignored, the pathology can develop into a chronic form.
See also: Hearing aid for the elderly: selection rules
First aid for ear pain
First aid for ear pain will be different depending on what pathological condition caused the appearance of this unpleasant symptom.
Pressure Drop First Aid
Earache caused by pressure drop can be relieved by simple techniques to reposition the eardrum:
- Chew gum;
- swallow saliva several times;
- close the nostrils, close the lips tightly and exhale smoothly through the nose;
- Press the tragus against the entrance to the ear canal.
Toothache First Aid
If you are sure that your earache was caused by a toothache, then you should take painkillers to relieve symptoms and make an appointment with your dentist.
Sinusitis First Aid
For earache caused by sinusitis, a series of relief measures can help you:
- First of all, the nasal passages should be washed from accumulated mucous masses with saline solution.
- To thin the mucus, ensure optimal humidity in the room, drink more fluids and take special preparations, such as sinupret.
- To eliminate swelling, vasoconstrictor drugs should be instilled into the nasal passages.
First Aid for Otitis Pain
How you deal with ear pain from otitis media will depend on your symptoms. If you have a fever and discomfort increases in a horizontal position, it is better not to take risks and, after taking a painkiller, wait for the consultation of an otolaryngologist.
The fact is that if the nature of the disease is unclear, one cannot self-medicate and use traditional methods based on heating. Heat will temporarily eliminate the pain in the ear, but it can also accelerate the development of pathogenic flora in purulent otitis media and lead to serious complications.
Taking an analgesic will help you fall asleep and calmly wait for an appointment with an otolaryngologist. Paracetamol, Novigan or ibuprofen can help you with ear pain. The last drug, in addition to eliminating the painful symptom, is able to slightly restrain the development of the inflammatory process. To enhance the action of analgesics during the day, you can drink a little coffee or strong tea.
Ear drops should only be used if you are sure of the nature of your condition. So, patients suffering from chronic forms of otitis media, without waiting for the consultation of an otolaryngologist, usually begin topical use of analgesic drugs. Otipax and Otinum effectively relieve ear pain, while they do not have an antibacterial effect, which means that when you visit an otolaryngologist, he will be able to freely choose the optimal treatment program for the disease for you.
See also: Prevention of otitis in adults and children
Applying warm salt bags to the sore ear or using a blue lamp due to the action of heat will quickly relieve pain. But the use of such a method in some cases is fraught with negative consequences. So, if the pain in the ear is caused by purulent processes in the tissues of the organ of hearing, dry heat will only provoke the development of pathogenic flora and increased exudate release.
Therefore, before consulting an otolaryngologist, it is better not to apply dry heat in order to eliminate in the ear.
This is another way to relieve ear pain based on the effect of heating. You can use it only in situations where you are sure that there is no purulent process in your organ of hearing.
- To make a warming compress to relieve ear pain, prepare gauze, fold it into 4 layers and cut a hole in the middle for the ear.
- According to the size of the bandage, you need to cut the same pattern from polyethylene.
- Soak the created dressing in slightly warmed camphor oil and put it on the affected ear through the hole.
- Polyethylene is applied on top of the bandage, the entire compress is fixed with a bandage and covered with a towel to keep warm.