Ear infections are commonly treated with antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria within the ears, explains Mayo Clinic. Treatment for pain includes over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, warm compresses applied to the affected ear and prescription ear drops.
Individuals with chronic or frequent ear infections are often monitored by physicians to determine more permanent solutions to prevent ear infections, according to Mayo Clinic. People with recurring ear infections may require ear tubes to prevent persistent fluid buildup in the ears. This outpatient surgical procedure includes creating a hole in the eardrum to suction out fluid and placing a small tube in the opening of the ear to help with ventilation. Some tubes are designed to fall out on their own, while others are designed to stay in place for approximately six months to a year or longer.
Persistent ear infections may require surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids that may be contributing to the infections, especially when fluid buildup is impairing hearing in patients, states WebMD. Mild ear infections can be treated with home remedies in consultation with a physician. Home remedies include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, rest to allow the body to fight the infection and application of heat compresses or warm washcloths to the affected ear to minimize pain.