Ear infection: Management measures

An ear infection is a common ailment that can affect both children and adults. There are different types of ear infections that you should be familiar with. Each type is generally managed in the same manner but it depends on the type of infection.

Close look on different forms of ear infections

Otitis externa

This type of infection or inflammation involves the ear canal between the eardrum and outer ear. It can be caused by contact with dirty water or from mechanical impairment from extensive cleaning. The agent responsible can be bacterial or fungal.

Treatment

  • Professional cleaning of the ear canal
  • Pain medications
    Ear infection

    There are different types of ear infections that you should be familiar with. Each type is generally managed in the same manner but it depends on the type of infection.

  • Steroid or antibiotic eardrops if bacterial in nature
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Make sure that the ears are dry

Otitis media

This is infection of the middle ear that can be acute or chronic. Children are at risk for the acute type due to common cold and blocked Eustachian tubes. The culprit might be a virus or bacteria.

In some cases, the eardrum might rupture which allow drainage in the ear canal, but it eventually heals on its own. The usual treatment options include:

  • Pain medications
  • Eardrops if there is pus in the ear canal
  • Antibiotics if due to bacteria

Serous otitis media

This type of ear infection is also called glue ear that affects children between 6 months up to 2 years old. It usually develops after a middle ear infection and involves the accumulation of fluid and pus inside the middle ear.

In most cases, the treatment involves antibiotics. In case antibiotics are not effective or the child suffers from repeated episodes of glue ear, surgery that involves insertion of small drainage tubes are required.

Infectious myringitis

Infectious myringitis involves inflammation of the eardrum triggered by infection from either virus or bacteria. The eardrop reacts by forming small-sized blisters that can cause intense pain. In case fever is present, bacteria are usually the cause.

The treatment options usually include the following:

  • Pain medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Professional care that involves breaking the blisters

Acute mastoiditis

The mastoid is the bone that is felt immediately at the back of the ear. Acute mastoiditis involves infection of this bone, usually from a previous case of acute otitis media. The indications include swollen and reddened skin over the mastoid along with fever, intense pain and drainage from the ear.

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