How Do You Treat an Adult Ear Infection?


Quick Answer

In the event of an ear infection, the treatment goal is to clear the problem from the middle ear, so more severe complications don't result, notes WebMD. This means that treatment involves getting rid of the causes of infection and killing bacteria that have spread in the Eustachian tube.

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How Do You Treat an Adult Ear Infection?
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Full Answer

If the cause of the ear infection is a virus, the only remedy available from a doctor is to treat the symptoms. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen reduce pain and also manage fever that can result from an infection. Aspirin is acceptable for adults with an ear infection. Heating pads also reduce pain from an ear infection, reports WebMD.

If bacteria have caused the ear infection, then treatment with antibiotics is common, although not universal because of the resistance that bacteria have developed to antibiotics. For this reason, even when they suspect bacterial infection, some doctors only treat the pain and accompanying fever. Doctors who are concerned about the bacteria growing beyond control and causing mastoiditis or hearing loss in the patient are more likely to prescribe antibiotics if they believe bacteria are the cause, particularly in the United States. Amoxicillin is the most frequently chosen antibiotic, as it is effective in driving out ear infections within a week to 10 days, according to WebMD.

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