An ear infection is an infection in the middle of your ear, it’s located in the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Adults are very unlikely to suffer from an infection like this.
The infection is caused by a virus that has been brought on from an illness such as a cold, flu or allergy that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal, the throat and the eustachian tubes, which are what connect the middle ear with the nasal-sinus cavity. When your eustachian tubes become blocked, fluid then begins to build up in the middle of the ear. This fluid can become infected and cause the symptoms of an ear infection.
Ear infections are very common especially in young children. You do not always need to see your GP regarding the infection. They often get better on their own and usually only last a few days.
Some common symptoms of an ear infection usually come on quite quickly and include:
- Pain inside the infected ear
- High temperature
- Lack of energy
- Being sick
- Itchiness or irritation
- Feeling of pressure inside the ear
If you or your children currently have an ear infection you are able to relieve the pain by using painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Children under the age of 16 should not consume these painkillers. You are also able to place a warm or cold flannel on the ear or remove some of the liquid by wiping the inside of the ear with some cotton wool.
Antibiotics are not usually offered because infections inside the ear clear up on their own accord. Antibiotics only relieve the symptoms you experience including the pain you feel as a result of the infection. Antibiotics are prescribed if the infection doesn’t clear up after 3 days and becomes worse. For instance, if you or your child experience fluid coming out of the ear. However, they are prescribed if your child has the infection in both ears and is less than 2 years old. Your GP may also prescribe eardrops rather than antibiotics.
If you or your child are currently suffering from an ear infection, we at Swinton pharmacy are able to ease your pain and discomfort. Book an appointment with us today so we can effectively treat your infection.