Ear Ache Treatments

Written by Amy Hall
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Depending on the cause of your ear pain, there are various treatments that can help ease the discomfort. Otitis media, also known as a middle ear infection, usually requires treatment with an antibiotic. If a virus such as a cold or flu causes the infection, antibiotics will not be helpful in clearing up the infection. However, ear infections often accompany colds and flus because fluid in the middle ear becomes trapped, which is an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish.

Your doctor will be able to look in your ear with an instrument called an otoscope. If he or she sees pus, excess fluid, and inflammation, you will definitely be given an antibiotic to take at home. Keep in mind that you must follow the dosage directions exactly in order to derive the most benefits from that medication. If you feel better within a day or two, continue taking the medication as prescribed, as your ear infection is still present even though the pain has subsided. Your doctor will also recommend that you keep the ear dry. Do not use Q-Tips to do this, though! They can exacerbate the problem. Instead, you may want to invest in an ear canal dryer. Once the problem is cleared up, you can use the dryer to keep ears dry and healthy.

Ear Ache Treatments for Children

If your child is the one with the ear infection, treatment may be different. Most of the time, middle ear infections are treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. However, in some cases, children grow immune to these antibiotics and their ear infections never completely clear up, causing them to suffer from chronic otitis media. In cases such as this, it may be recommended that your child undergo surgery for ear tubes.

This surgery is known as myringotomy, and it essentially involves the placement of small tubes inside the eardrum. The doctor will go in and make small incisions in the eardrums and then place the tubes inside the openings. This relieves the pressure because fluid cannot build up with fresh air flowing through. Usually within a few months, the tubes fall out on their own. In most cases, children do not need to have this procedure done more than once. In some cases, children between the ages of four and eight will have surgery to remove their adenoids; rarely is this performed on children under four years of age.

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