Most ear infections resolve naturally without treatment; however, when symptoms or pain persist, adults may be treated with antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pain from ear infections is usually managed with over-the-counter acetaminophen, warm compresses placed on the ear and prescription ear drops.
When the ear drum is intact, a physician may prescribe ear drops containing antipyrine, benzocaine and glycerin to adults suffering from an ear infection, reports the Mayo Clinic. The bottle should be placed in warm water before the drops are inserted into the ear as directed by a physician.
The most common signs and symptoms of an ear infection in adults include ear pain, diminished hearing and draining of fluid from the ear, according to the Mayo Clinic. Adults should consult with a physician if symptoms last for more than one day, if the ear pain is severe and affects sleep, or if fluid discharging from the ear is bloody or includes pus.
Ear infections are more common in adult males who possess a family history of ear infections, live in a household with tobacco smokers, have abnormalities of the palate or are diagnosed with a poor immune system or chronic respiratory disease, states the Mayo Clinic.