Adult ear infections are considered uncommon and can be managed in a similar manner to childhood ear infections. Always bear in mind that millions of cases of ear infections occur yearly. An adult ear infection occurs once the middle ear becomes swollen which cuts off the normal ability to drain out fluid. The fluid accumulates in the ear, thus promoting the growth of virus or bacteria. It is recommended to consult a doctor so that the suitable treatment for an adult ear infection is started.
Home remedies for adult ear infections
Most cases of adult ear infections naturally go away as the body fights off the infection. It is recommended that an individual suffering from an infection to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids to maintain proper hydration.
It is vital to sleep at a minimum of 8 hours every night and take short naps wherever he/she feels tired. Clear liquids should be given such as water, hot herbal tea and fruit juices. Just avoid coffee, soda products and alcohol.
The best way to ease the pain experienced is to place a warm cloth over his/her ear. You can also hold a wash cloth under warm tap water for 30 seconds and wring out the excess and place over the infected ear. You have to soak the cloth again once it has no warmth anymore.
There are several over-the-counter medications that can be used in managing an adult ear infection such as antihistamines and pain medications. The antihistamines are used to minimize the amount of fluid in the ear. Just remember that some antihistamines are capable of causing significant drowsiness, thus not suitable while driving or operating heavy machinery. It is vital to carefully read the labels and consult a doctor so that the right medication can be given.
As for pain medications, they work by reducing the ear pain and reduce fever at the same time. Ibuprofen and aspirin are not suitable for pregnant or nursing mothers as well as children or teenagers. Acetaminophen can also be used to manage pain from an ear infection.
The commonly used medical treatment for adult ear infection involves antibiotics. Antibiotics are only effective if the ear infection is the result of a bacterial infection. In case the symptoms do not seem to improve within 3 days of starting the medication, a doctor should be consulted.
In case the adult ear infection results to a ruptured eardrum or ear tubes that are malfunctioning, surgery might be required. Surgery is rarely required for adult ear infections though. If pus or blood drains from the affected ear, it can indicate a complex issue and must be properly assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.