Quick Answer: How Do You Know If An Ear Infection Is Viral Or Bacterial?

How do you treat a viral ear infection?

How are ear infections treated?Apply a warm cloth to the affected ear.Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Find ibuprofen or acetaminophen online.Use OTC or prescription ear drops to relieve pain.

Take OTC decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)..

What does a viral ear infection feel like?

It’s caused by fluid trapped behind the eardrum, which causes the eardrum to bulge. Along with an earache, you may sense fullness in your ear and have some fluid drainage from the affected ear. Otitis media can come with a fever. You may also have trouble hearing until the infection starts to clear.

Do inner ear infections go away on their own?

Many infections will go away on their own and the only treatment necessary is medication for pain. Up to 80% of ear infections may go away without antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed for any child younger than 6 months and for any person with severe symptoms.

What antibiotics treat ear infections in adults?

Here are some of the antibiotics doctors prescribe to treat an ear infection: Amoxil (amoxicillin) Augmentin (amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate) Cortisporin (neomycin/polymxcin b/hydrocortisone) solution or suspension.

When should I go to the doctor for an ear infection?

When to see a doctor Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a minor earache may not be a worry. A doctor should typically be seen if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms occur, such as a fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be seen immediately.

How can you tell the difference between a viral infection and a bacterial infection?

As you might think, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, and viral infections are caused by viruses. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses.

How long do viral infections last?

A viral infection usually lasts only a week or two. But when you’re feeling rotten, this can seem like a long time! Here are some tips to help ease symptoms and get better faster: Rest.

What are the five signs of an infection?

Know the Signs and Symptoms of InfectionFever (this is sometimes the only sign of an infection).Chills and sweats.Change in cough or a new cough.Sore throat or new mouth sore.Shortness of breath.Nasal congestion.Stiff neck.Burning or pain with urination.More items…

How do you check for an ear infection?

An instrument called a pneumatic otoscope is often the only specialized tool a doctor needs to diagnose an ear infection. This instrument enables the doctor to look in the ear and judge whether there is fluid behind the eardrum. With the pneumatic otoscope, the doctor gently puffs air against the eardrum.

What happens if an ear infection is left untreated?

Ear infections can lead to more serious complications, including mastoiditis (a rare inflammation of a bone adjacent to the ear), hearing loss, perforation of the eardrum, meningitis, facial nerve paralysis, and possibly — in adults — Meniere’s disease.

Is it safe to put hydrogen peroxide in your ear?

Hydrogen peroxide can cause skin irritation and blistering. It can even cause burns at concentrations over 10%. Using too much hydrogen peroxide can irritate the skin inside the ear, leading to inflammation and earaches. People should not use ear drops if they have an ear infection or a damaged eardrum.

Do ear infections go away without antibiotics?

Most ear infections cure themselves without the help of antibiotics. “An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that affects the ear. It becomes painful when buildups of fluid and inflammation occur in the air-filled space behind the eardrum,” says Leanna Munoz, Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner.