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Ear infection treatment boots, tinnitus ear wax - How to DIY

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Archie Battersbee, 4, (left) has been left with a burn around his eye after his mother Hollie Dance (right) was given ear drops to treat his eye infection. The only sign of an ear infection in young children may simply be a fever and some tugging of the ear by the child. Although earache is a common symptom of ear infection, not all earaches are caused by an ear infection. The skin can become so swollen that the ear canal closes, causing temporary deafness, and there can be a little bit of discharge from the ear. The treatment for outer ear infections is generally in the form of antibiotic ear drops which are instilled into the ear canal for at least a week. Longer term problems can occur when such infections are frequent, because there can be damage to the eardrum, or perhaps persistent deafness due to fluid remaining behind the eardrum (termed ‘glue ear’). A second but more serious form of middle ear infection is when it becomes chronic or long-lasting. Other significant symptoms such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), weakness of the face or dizziness can occasionally occur. Infections of the inner ear are much less common and are generally caused by viruses, although occasionally by secondary bacterial infection.

Infections of the ears that do not settle within a couple of days should be assessed by a doctor and if necessary, referral for specialist help may be considered. Fortunately, most infections settle without ill effects whether the problem is in the outer, middle or inner ear, although sometimes longer term problems can arise. It occurs commonly in people who suffer from skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis but also in people with narrow ear canals or who swim a great deal.
With these types of symptoms a doctor or pharmacist will need to be consulted in order to receive effective treatment. The most common is acute otitis media which is characterised by a severe earache and high temperature, generally in a child, with associated deafness. Generally, chronic middle ear disease is associated with a smelly ear discharge and deafness, but rarely with pain. In these cases referral to an ear nose and throat surgeon is very important as the treatment usually involves surgery to remove the infection from the middle ear and mastoid bone.
Ear infections may be treated with either antibiotic ear drops or antibiotics taken by mouth but in most cases these are not advised initially as most infections usually clear within 2 to 3 days by themselves. When the infection is severe, admission to hospital may be necessary for antibiotics via a drip.

Generally, outer ear infections are caused by a bacterial infection of the skin of the ear canal, although occasionally it may be due to a fungus or yeast.
In severe cases referral to an ear nose and throat specialist is both necessary and appropriate for cleaning of the ear canal and more intensive treatment. The common cold virus is perhaps the most common cause of inner ear infections but many other viruses have also been associated with sudden deafness such as mumps, measles and herpes. Fortunately, the eardrum almost always heals once the infection settles and the hearing also returns to normal.
Sometimes pain that you can feel in the ear is due to referred pain from other causes such as teeth problems.

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