Side view of crop anonymous ethnic person with pure skin touching smooth hair on light background
Side view of crop anonymous ethnic person with pure skin touching smooth hair on light background

Ear infections are one of the most common infections we see in the doctor’s office, it can affect kids and adults alike but it’s not something that you always need to go to the doctor for, we’re going to review some simple things that you can do at home to get through, we’re going to be going through what you can do at home to alleviate and help you or your child through that your infection, for a better discussion on what the different symptoms of an ear infection are and when you should go to the doctor, make sure you get some great concise information to help you decide what to do, now when we talk about treatment, it’s important to understand that there are two main types of infections that we see, one is bacterial and one is viral, i don’t want to get into too much doctor lingo but it’s important to understand the difference because there are very different ways in which you may treat it, when a ear has a bacterial infection, we call it a cute otitis media, these are a lot less common, the second type would call Titus media with effusion, these tend to be viral, the names don’t mean a whole lot to you, all you care about is your kids ear is killing them but it makes a big difference to your doctor because depending on what the eardrum looks like gives us a good idea of which is which, ultimately it matters because there are significantly different treatment approaches that we take for each of them, so why does this matter, well it’s important to know because antibiotics are worthless in treating a virus, if the eardrum is red and bulging out at you then it’s more likely to be a bacterial infection, it may benefit from an antibiotic, now if the ear is just red and angry looking but not bulging out then it’s more likely to be a virus and the antibiotic would be worthless so red and bulging likely means an antibiotic, just a red eardrum likely does it, I’m not going to go into depth today about the dangers of overusing antibiotics, but the short of it is the more we use antibiotics unnecessarily, the less they’re going to work when we need them.

Unfortunately ear infections are one of the leading reasons for unnecessary use of antibiotics, so hopefully this will help you be a little better educated as you speak to your doctor on your options for treating this, unfortunately for you the patient there really isn’t a way to know what you or your child have without an exam, so does that mean that you need to run to the doctor or emergency room every time your kid complains of an ear pain well thank goodness the answer is no, you only need to see a doctor when you notice fluid draining from your ear, running a fever or thr earache is becoming unbearable and has lasted for more than 2 days.

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