Best Ear Infection Treatments for Adults

The main causes of ear infections are the accumulation of fluids in the ear which often leads to inflammation and obstruction. Any of the areas of the ear which includes the inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear can get infected. It could be bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. However, inner ear infection due to bacteria is quite rare. Other very common conditions that can trigger ear infections are cold and allergies. However, ear infection treatments for adults are not generally required as it tends to go away on their own within two weeks at the most.  

Symptoms of outer ear infection in adults

  • Earache
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Itchiness in the ear canal
  • Brittle skin

In severe cases, it can cause swelling of the ear canal that may result in loss of hearing, fever, and draining of mucus from the ear. A well-experienced ear specialist will help diagnose the outer ear infection. 

How to prevent outer ear infections?

The following are some of the tips that may help reduce the risk of outer ear infections:

  • Maintain dry and clean ears.
  • Avoid inserting anything in the ear canal.
  • Always remember to dry your ears after taking a shower or swimming

Ear infection treatment for adults

Depending on the type of ear infection you have, the ear specialist will determine the type of treatment that you require. Outer ear infection also goes by the term otitis externa but the common term used is swimmer’s ear. Taking a shower, swimming, or having an open wound in the ear can lead to outer ear infections. The following are some of the over-the-counter medications to get relief from earache due to infections:

  • Pain killer such as advil or ibuprofen
  • Ear drops such as Debrox swimmer’s ear
  • Relievers for allergy symptoms

You can also use prescription medication for the treatment of ear infections. Steroid and antibiotic ear drops such as Ciprodex can help in relieving the symptoms. However, you are advised to use the medication as directed by your doctor.

Middle ear infection

Middle ear infections are often the result of a cold or an upper respiratory infection. Those individuals who suffer from allergies or those with an enlarged nasal cavity or tissue in the throat are more prone to middle ear infections. The severity of the condition can affect the proper functioning of the auditory tube. Affecting the auditory tube can lead to a favorable breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Hence it can cause the tube to swell and lead to blockage, thus preventing ventilation and drainage of the middle ear. 

The following are the symptoms:

  • Unbearable pain in the ear
  • Loss of hearing
  • High temperature

Treatment for middle ear infections

Middle ear infections generally do not require any treatment as it recovers on its own. The treatment is to help you deal with symptoms, to lessen the discomfort it causes. It can help you in overcoming the fever due to the infection. The following medications can be used to ease the symptoms:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen

You can also use prescription medication for ear infections due to bacteria. Only antibiotics may help treat such infections. However, there is no absolute diagnosis for a middle ear infection that can pinpoint its cause. The ENT specialist may either wait for the infection to go away on their own or prescribe antibiotics.

Inner Ear Infection

When it comes to inner ear infection, first of all, it is quite rare. Secondly, viral infections are more likely to cause the infection rather than bacterial infections. Comparatively, outer and middle ear infections are more common. The most unusual inner ear infections are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis

Labyrinthitis neuritis

The labyrinth helps with balance and hearing. It is a grid of sacs that are filled with fluids. When these sacs are disrupted it can lead to labyrinthitis. Vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are the symptoms of this infection.

Vestibular neuritis

Vestibular neuritis can cause dizziness and balance issues. However, it does cause hearing issues. This condition may occur due to the disruption of the vestibular nerves.

Inner Ear infection treatment

The following over-the-counter medications can be used for the treatment of inner ear infections symptoms:

  • Antivert
  • Benadryl

These medications might help relieve the symptoms, however, they will not be able to cure the inner ear infection. You can also use prescription medication for the treatment of the same. The ENT specialist may prescribe you medications such as

  • Antivirals or antibiotics to treat the infection
  • Antinausea to deal with nausea symptoms
  • Steroid medications to lessen the inflammation

Why antibiotics for ear infections?

Not all cases of middle ear infections require treatment. In most cases, the infection goes away on its own. However, if the condition is severe then antibiotic treatment is a must. In case, the infection persists for more than 3-4 days then you must seek antibiotic treatment right away. If the infection is mild then the doctor will avoid prescribing antibiotics. 

Mild cases of ear infections should not worry you as they will go away on their own in a couple of days. However, if the symptoms persist even after three-four days, or if you see any new symptoms, then it is best to consult an ENT specialist near you right away. 

hazel grace
Author: hazel grace

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