Ear infections cause problems for many people around the world every day. They are a common disorder which results in pain, reduced hearing and discomfort. People lose sleep over them and miss time at work and school. It is common for people to look for solutions to the problem on the internet.
If the infection is painful it is definitely worth starting with paracetamol as a painkiller. This is available over the counter in the United Kingdom but you may need to visit your doctor in some parts of the world to have it prescribed. An anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin is also great for reducing the pain and inflammation. It can help to keep the tubes in your ears open. This can reduce the chance of your middle ear becoming full of fluid. If this happens it can become infected, resulting in otitis media. This is an infection of the middle ear which will require antibiotic treatment from the doctor.
Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and eucalyptus oil can help keep the tubes open. They might stop a mild cold progressing to a full blown infection. Speak to your pharmacist or local health food shop for remedies which can be bought over the counter.
Once you have a ear infection you may well need antibiotics from your doctor. An outer ear infection of the canal is usually treated with anti-biotic drops containing a drug such as gentamicin. This kills the bacteria which caused the problem. Sometimes these are combined with steroid such as dexamethasone. An antifungal such as vinegar may also be included. Sofradex is an example of a combined treatment such as this.
Middle ear infection will usually need antibiotics tablets to get it under control. Drops may be prescribed as well.
If you consider that you might have an ear disorder speak to your doctor. This article isn't a substitute for face-to-face medical advice.
Dr Toby Bateson
MD of ZenPlugs