Quick Answer: How Do I Know If My Ear Infection Is Bacterial Or Viral?

How long does a inner ear infection last?

Inner ear infections will usually clear up by themselves within a few weeks, although some can last for six weeks or more.

If the symptoms are severe or they don’t start to improve within a few days, then you should see a doctor..

Do viral ear infections need antibiotics?

Antibiotics are often not needed for middle ear infections because the body’s immune system can fight off the infection on its own. However, sometimes antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, are needed to treat severe cases right away or cases that last longer than 2–3 days.

What are the symptoms of an inner ear infection in adults?

Symptoms of an inner ear infection include:Dizziness.Earache.Ear pain.Issues with balance.Trouble hearing.Ringing in the ear.Spinning sensation.Dec 12, 2019

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 you dont treat an ear infection?

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.

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 is the best antibiotic for ear infection?

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.Cortisporin TC (colistin/neomycin/thonzonium/hydrocortisone) suspension.More items…•Nov 26, 2018

How do you remove fluid from your ear?

If water does get trapped in your ear, you can try several at-home remedies for relief:Jiggle your earlobe. … 2. Make gravity do the work. … Create a vacuum. … Use a blow dryer. … Try alcohol and vinegar eardrops. … Use hydrogen peroxide eardrops. … Try olive oil. … Try more water.More items…•Jun 28, 2016

How do you know if an ear infection is viral or bacterial?

Viral or bacterial infections can occur in the middle of the ear. These often cause pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup….Symptomstugging or pulling at the ear.ear pain, especially when lying down.difficulty sleeping.crying more than normal.loss of balance.difficulty hearing.fever.lack of appetite.More items…

Do ear infections clear on their own?

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.

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

Sometimes ear infections resolve on their own within a few days. If the pain isn’t getting better and you’re running a fever, you should see your doctor as soon as you can. If fluid is draining from your ear or you’re having trouble hearing, you should also seek medical attention.

Should I go to urgent care for ear infection?

If you’re suffering from a fever, severe pain, or if your symptoms have lasted for more than 24 hours, you should seek professional treatment before the infection gets worse. A local urgent care center or walk-in clinic is a great place to receive same-day treatment with no appointment.

Can Vicks help with ear infection?

You may have noticed online resources and bloggers touting Vicks as an effective treatment for earaches and other ear issues, including wax buildup. But does it work? In a word, no. While Vicks VapoRub may have some value in treating colds and muscle aches, there’s no evidence supporting its use for earaches.

Are most ear infections bacterial or viral?

The researchers used a variety of laboratory techniques to identify the pathogen that caused ear infections, known clinically as acute otitis media (AOM), in 79 young children. They found bacteria in 92 percent of the cases, viruses in 70 percent, and both bacteria and viruses in 66 percent.

What are the symptoms of a viral ear infection?

Symptoms of ear infections in adults vary depending on location and can include:inflammation and pain.tenderness to the touch.hearing changes.nausea.vomiting.dizziness.fever.headache.More items…

How long can you leave an ear infection untreated?

A chronic ear infection can last for 6 weeks or more, but most infections are viral and go away on their own after 3 days without needing to see a doctor. Children are more likely to get an ear infection when they’re exposed to illness from other kids, especially during the winter months.

Can pharmacists check for ear infections?

A pharmacist can help with an ear infection Speak to a pharmacist if you think you have an outer ear infection.

Do you need antibiotics for fluid in ear?

An ear infection (otitis media) occurs when fluid builds up behind your eardrum in the middle part of your ear and causes swelling (inflammation). This can lead to significant pain and discomfort. Since most ear infections are caused by bacteria, it’s typically best to treat individual cases with antibiotics.

What happens if an ear infection goes untreated in adults?

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.