An ear infection is never something we want to deal with. However, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of this common condition and the available treatment options.

 

Symptoms & Causes

You might have an infection if you’re suffering an earache; difficulty hearing or muffled hearing; high temperature; or a liquid/pus draining from the ear. It’s important to consult your primary-care doctor and an ear, nose, and throat doctor immediately if you are suffering severely from these symptoms. This condition is usually caused by a buildup of liquid in the ear because of an inflamed drainage tube.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor might recommend one of several different options depending on the severity of your pain and the progression of the infection. Mild cases can heal on their own without the need for a treatment solution such as antibiotics. The use of a warm compress and gargling with saltwater are other low-cost remedies your doctor might consider. Conversely, your physician might prescribe an over-the-counter eardrop pain reliever or consider the use of antibiotics.

 

Prevention

The best treatment is prevention. The cause can be a bacterial or viral infection, so try to avoid germs as much as possible. Wash your hands frequently, keep your immune system healthy by getting sleep and drinking less alcohol, avoid secondhand smoke, stay current on immunizations, and be careful not to overuse antibiotics as they can increase bacterial resistance.
 
Further reading