Archive for the ‘Ear Pain’ Category

How are Ear Infections Treated?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

How Are Ear Infections Treated?

Most mild ear infections clear up without intervention. Some of the following methods are effective in relieving the symptoms of a mild ear infection:

  • applying a warm cloth to the affected ear
  • taking over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • using over-the-counter or prescription ear drops to relieve pain
  • taking over-the-counter decongestants such as pseudoephedrine.

If your symptoms get worse or do not improve, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she may prescribe antibiotics if your ear infection is chronic or does not appear to be improving. If a child under the age of 2 presents with ear infection symptoms, a doctor will likely give him or her antibiotics as well. It is important to finish your entire course of antibiotics if they are prescribed.

Surgery may be an option if your ear infection is not eliminated with the usual medical treatments or if you have many ear infections over a short period of time. Most often, tubes are placed in the ears to allow fluid to drain out. In cases that involve enlarged adenoids, surgical removal of the adenoids may be necessary.

What Can Be Expected in the Long Term?

Ear infections usually clear up without intervention, but they may recur. The following rare but serious complications may follow an ear infection:

  • hearing loss
  • speech or language delay in children
  • mastoiditis (an infection of the mastoid bone in the skull)
  • meningitis (a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • a ruptured ear drum

How Can Ear Infections Be Prevented?

The following practices have been proven to reduce the risk of ear infection:

  • washing your hands often
  • avoiding overly crowded areas
  • forgoing pacifiers with infants and small children
  • breast-feeding infants
  • avoiding secondhand smoke
  • keeping immunizations up-to-date

Ear Infections

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

 

An ear infection occurs when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear—the sections of your ear just behind the eardrum. Ear infections can be painful because of inflammation and fluid build up in the middle ear.

Ear infections can be chronic or acute. Acute ear infections are painful but short in duration.Chronic ear infections do not clear up, or they recur many times. Chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage to the middle and inner ear.

What Causes an Ear Infection?

Ear infections occur when one of your Eustachian tubes becomes swollen or blocked and fluid builds up in your middle ear. Eustachian tubes are small tubes that run from each ear directly to the back of the throat. The causes of Eustachian tube blockage include:

  • allergies
  • colds
  • sinus infections
  • excess mucus
  • tobacco smoking
  • infected or swollen adenoids (tissue near your tonsils that trap harmful bacteria and viruses)

Risk Factors for Ear Infections

Ear infections occur most commonly in young children because they have short and narrow Eustachian tubes. Infants who are bottle-fed also have a higher incidence of ear infections than their breastfed counterparts. Other factors that increase the risk of developing an ear infection are:

  • altitude changes
  • climate changes
  • exposure to cigarette smoke
  • pacifier use
  • recent illness or ear infection

What Are the Symptoms of Ear Infections?

A few of the common symptoms of ear infections include:

  • mild pain or discomfort inside the ear
  • a feeling of pressure inside the ear that persists
  • fussiness in young infants
  • pus-like ear drainage
  • hearing loss

These symptoms might persist or come and go. Symptoms may occur in one or both ears. Chronic ear infection symptoms may be less noticeable than those of acute ear infections.

Children younger than six months who have a fever or ear infection symptoms should see a doctor. Always seek medical attention if your child has a fever higher than 102 degrees or severe ear pain.

How Are Ear Infections Diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your ears with an instrument called an otoscope that has a light and magnifying lens. Examination may reveal:

  • redness, air bubbles, or pus-like fluid inside the middle ear
  • fluid draining from the middle ear
  • a perforation in the eardrum
  • a bulging or collapsed eardrum

If your infection is advanced, your doctor may take a sample of the fluid inside your ear and test it to determine whether certain types of antibiotic resistant bacteria are present. He or she may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan of your head to determine if the infection has spread beyond the middle ear. Finally, you may need a hearing test, especially if you are suffering from chronic ear infections.

Earache: Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Causes of Earache

Just as the pain from earache affects people in different ways, there are a variety of causes of earache. Some of them affect the ear itself, others are from conditions affecting areas close to the ears.
Common reasons for earache include:

  • Fluid building up deep inside the eardrum. Known as  glue ear, this affects children more than adults
  • Infection of the ear canal outside the eardrum (otitis externa)
  • A boil or infected  hair follicle in the ear canal
  • Eczema in the ear canal ( seborrhoeic dermatitis)
  • Injury in the ear canal from objects poked inside, such as cotton buds or sharp objects
  • Blockages in the ear from plugs of  earwax or objects pushed in which have become stuck
  • Throat infections (including  tonsillitis) and colds
  • Jaw pain, known as temperomandibular  joint pain
  • Dental abscess in the  mouth or other  tooth pain, such as  wisdom teeth problems
  • Trigeminal neuralgia or facial  nerve pain

Symptoms of earache

As well as ear pain, earache from an ear infection can be especially troublesome for children and babies. Symptoms include:

  • Babies may appear hot and irritable
  • Children may pull, tug or rub an ear
  • A high temperature - over 38C
  • Poor feeding in babies; loss of appetite in children
  • Sleep problems and restlessness at night
  • Coughing and runny nose
  • Not hearing as well as normal
  • Balance problems

Seek urgent medical advice if your child develops a stiff neck, appears very tired, responds poorly or cannot be consoled.

How is an ear infection diagnosed?

When your doctor suspects an ear infection he or she will look in the ear using an instrument called an otoscope. A healthy eardrum is pinkish grey in colour and transparent. If an ear infection is present the eardrum may be inflamed,swollen or red. Further tests may be needed depending on what the doctor sees.

Earache treatment

Earache is usually treatable and unlikely to lead to long-term problems.

Treatment may include over-the-counter age appropriate painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain and fever.

Holding a cold flannel to the painful ear for around 20 minutes is one self-help tip the NHS offers for earache. However, if an ear infection is suspected, avoid getting the inside of the ear wet.

A pharmacist may be able to recommend over-the-counter eardrops for earache. Olive oil may also help loosen earwax.

Don’t use eardrops or olive oil if the eardrum has burst.

If a child has long-term earache or repeated ear infections small tubes called grommets may be recommended by a doctor to help keep the ear free of fluid and infection.

A doctor may prescribe antibiotics for ear infections, although some research suggests antibiotics may not always be an effective treatment.

Prevent your ear ache, by doing some home remedies

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Earache is a common ailment found in children rather than adults. In this particular condition, the Eustachian tubes get plugged. It is a troublesome condition and occurs more in the nighttime. This is because a person stops using the throat muscle.
This is caused by infection or blockage of the Eustachian tube. Sometimes drastic changes in the pressure of the atmosphere can cause ear ache. They occur during flight, or scuba diving or while mounting steep climb on a hill. Now just as very problem has a solution very disease has a remedy and if it is natural it is most welcome.
Home Remedies:
Warm some licorice in ghee and prepare a paste out of it. Apply this mixture externally over the ear. This would help you relieve of the pain.
Zinc again is an effective remedy for ear ache. It must be taken internally from natural sources like the cashew nets, wheat germ, pine nuts, pecan nuts etc. They can be had raw or sprinkled over salad in a semi crushed form.
Warm some sesame oil and immerse a few leaves of the castor plant. Dab this oil around the ear.
Grind some basil leaves. Warm the paste mildly and squeeze four drops or so in the infected aching ear. Hopefully it will cure ear ache effectively.
Take a piece of guggulu herb (Commiphora wightii) and burn it. Switch off the gas when the herb is half burned. Smoke would emit out of the herb. Let the smoke enter the affected area. It would help lessen the apin.