How to Treat an Ear Infection

How to Treat an Ear Infection

Is ear pain driving you or someone you know up the wall? You might not need medicine, but maybe not.

Ear infections can cause worry. You can’t see what’s going on, it’s way down inside, and if you damage your eardrum you’re permanently screwed.

They can also hurt like heck, something no one wants.

So, should you rush to the doctor though? Do you need to get you or your kid a solid dose of antibiotics, asap?


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Yes, and no, the experts say. In an effort to reduce the overuse of antibiotics and the growth of drug resistant diseases, it could be best to wait.

If you don’t have recurring ear infections with a buildup of fluid in your ears, the Mayo Clinic advises that you wait at least 48 hours. After this time, you might need seek out possible prescriptions, when you have ear pain.

Related: 5 Things That Could Be Damaging Your Hearing and What to Do About It

Of course, always see your doctor the minute you’re concerned, whether 48 hours has passed or not. As a general bench mark though, it’s recommended you wait about two days. The pain could clear up during this time, on its own.


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In fact, many ear infections are said to heal by themselves in a couple of days or one to two weeks, depending on the patient and the type of infection.

What can you do in the meantime? A warm, damp cloth over the infected ear can help to ease your symptoms, as well as some pain medication, if safe to use.

Related: Consult Your Doctor Before Removing That Earwax

As for home treatments- but not necessarily remedies- placing a pouch full of warm salt or rice over the infected ear, and using a garlic solution, dripped in the ear, can also help.

Always contact your doctor for advice first though, before trying alternative techniques for treatment.

For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website.


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