If you have an ear infection you will need to visit a medical practitioner. They are likely to prescribe you some ear-drops as this is the treatment for ear infections. These may contain a steroid such as hydrocortisone as well as an antibiotic such as gentamicin. They may also contain an anti-fungal such as acetic acid (vinegar). If left without treatment otitis externa can spread to become otitis media. Inflammation in the middle ear prevents fluid draining via the Eustachian tube into the nasal cavity. The liquid accumulates behind the eardrum and becomes colonised by bacteria. The pressure rises in the ear causing pain and can result in a perforated eardrum. This relieves the pain by releasing the pressure and gives a discharge of pus.
Otitis media may progress if left untreated. This can result in permanent damage to hearing. It can also cause infection of the bone, osteomyelitis. Meningitis can occur if it spreads through the thin bone of the skull into the membranes surrounding the brain. Ear plugs are a great preventative. Our molded ear plugs are highly effective at keeping water from the ears and can help prevent otitis externa. They are available from here. If you think you may have otitis media it is important that you visit a medical practitioner. They may give you antibiotic eardrops and/or oral antibiotics to treat it. More information on ear disorders is available on our homepage.