Ear inflammation

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection can affect the ear canal – otitis externa, the eardrum or the middle ear – otitis media.

Most ear injuries are caused by changes in pressure from mechanical trauma such as a blow to the ear or diving. But a more persistently painful ear may be a sign of an infection that requires treatment.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Symptoms of an ear infection can be very unpleasant and cause discomfort and pain.

One of the most common symptoms of an ear infection is ear pain. This pain can be mild to severe and feel like throbbing or throbbing.

Depending on the cause of the inflammation, therapy can range from home care to taking antibiotics.

The sensation of having something in the ear is also one of the characteristic symptoms of ear inflammation.

This can be caused by the presence of excess wax or a foreign body in the ear canal, causing irritation and discomfort.

Hearing loss is also a common symptom of an ear infection. It can manifest itself in different degrees – from mild reduced hearing sensitivity to difficulties in understanding communication.

Ringing or ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, can also be associated with ear inflammation. It is often an annoying symptom that can impair the quality of life of affected individuals.

Draining ear discharge is another symptom that can be seen with some types of ear infections. This can be an infectious discharge that comes from the inside of the ear and can be seen on the external auditory canal.

Here are some of the most common causes of ear inflammation:

  1. Otitis externa (swimmer’s ear): This type of inflammation is common in people who swim or bathe frequently, as moisture in the ear can create the right environment for bacterial or fungal growth.

  2. Otitis media (otitis media): This is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually due to an infection transmitted by the upper respiratory tract. This type of otitis is common in children.

  3. Acute infection of the external auditory canal: This type of ear infection can also be caused by bacteria or fungi and usually causes severe pain and swelling of the ear.

  4. Sometimes ear inflammation can be caused by allergic reactions, trauma or the presence of a foreign body in the ear canal.

If an ear infection is suspected, it is always advisable to seek medical attention.

The doctor will be able to make a correct diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment to address the symptoms and causes of ear inflammation.

Treatment of otitis

Diving should be avoided, and efforts should be made to limit coughing, sneezing or sharper movements, as well as attempts to clean the ears with earpicks.

  • Pain can be relieved with 1 to 2 paracetamol every four hours or 1-2 ibuprofen every 6-8 hours.
  • Pseudoephedrine – the active ingredient of, for example, a drug such as Sudafed, is recommended to be taken at 30 mg. tablets every 6 hours for 2-3 days. This will reduce the increased pressure in the ear as a result of the inflammation. People with a history of high blood pressure should avoid this method of self-medication.
  • For inflammation of the ear canal – otitis externa, neomycin, polymyxin B and hydrocortisone can be used 2 drops in the ear canal four times a day for five days.
  • Special antibiotics fluoroquinolinize treatment of ear infections such as otitis externa and otitis media can also be used.
  • If pain occurs stop self-treatment and seek medical attention.
  • If infection develops, continue taking antibiotics for at least five days after all symptoms of inflammation have disappeared. Consult your doctor about any medication you have taken or are currently taking. If you have an allergy, also share this with your doctor before starting any antibiotic. Your doctor will direct you to the right antibiotic for you. Some of them can cause increased sensitivity to the sun, so use sunscreens with at least SPF 15.

How to protect children and babies from otitis?

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  • Ear infections are more common in children who are often surrounded by cigarette smoke. Even cigarette smoke fumes from hair and clothing can affect the baby.
  • You should breastfeed your baby. There is evidence that breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of ear infections. If you are feeding your baby from a bottle with a pacifier, do not let him drink while he is lying down.
  • Wash your hands often. Washing your hands stops the spread of infection because soap destroys microorganisms.
  • Make sure your child has all the required immunizations.
  • Do not give your baby a pacifier. Try to wean the child from this pacifier by around 6 months of age. Babies who use a pacifier after 12 months of age are much more likely to develop ear infections.

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