What Types Of Treatments Are Available For Ear Infections
Many children recover from ear infections without medical intervention. However, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics depending on the cause and extent of your childs infection. Usually, treatment includes several days of amoxicillin, azithromycin, or augmentin. You may also need to treat a ruptured eardrum with antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eardrops.
If your child is experience severe ear pain, your doctor may suggest using an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage discomfort and aid in sleep. If pain continues, prescription eardrops may be available to anesthetize the eardrum so long as there is no drainage from the ear.
Some parents find that home remedies are effective for alleviating discomfort during an ear infection. Examples include applying a warm compress to your childs ear or putting a few drops of warm olive oil into the ear canal. However, you should never place anything inside your childs ear without first consulting his or her doctor.
How Long Do Symptoms Last
Typically, a sinus infection clears up within 2 to 3 weeks. COVID-19 lasts for about a week or two depending on its severity and your overall health.
A 2020 study surveyed 270 outpatients with COVID-19. Among them, 175 people reported returning to their usual level of health about 7 days after a positive COVID-19 test.
Some symptoms like cough and loss of smell or taste may linger temporarily after COVID-19. Some people may experience long-haul COVID-19, a group of symptoms that persist in the weeks and months following an infection.
Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
Conditions causing your chronic infections may include:
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Do I Have Chronic Sinusitis
If you have had nasal congestion and drainage for more than 3 months, you may have chronic sinusitis. The primary symptoms are nasal congestion, stuffiness, mouth breathing, and snoring. Nasal blockage often results in loss of taste and smell. Pain and fever are less commonly seen in chronic sinusitis than in acute infections. Chronic sinusitis causes swelling and drainage in the nose, which can best be seen during an endoscopic examination by an ENT specialist .
You should see a specialist if any of the following last 3 months or longer:
- Thick or discolored nasal discharge
- Nasal congestion or obstruction
- Facial pain, pressure or fullness
Can A Sinus Headache Be Prevented
- Good handwashing and hygienic practices can help prevent colds and upper respiratory infections.
- Smoking cessation can also decrease your risk of airway infections.
- For people with allergies, avoid allergic triggers to help prevent sinus infections.
- Keep the body well hydrated and humidify the air since these can help promote efficient drainage of fluids from the sinuses.
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What Causes Sinus Infections
Sinus infections are caused by allergies, air pollution, and nose structure. Its important to take note of what triggers your sinuses. Are you more likely to get a sinus infection from mold, for example? Is dust the culprit? Or are your sinus infections brought on by less common causes, such as diabetes, autoimmune disorder, or a fungal infection?
Once you know what causes your sinus infections, reduce your risk of getting sinusitis by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, drying your hair after showering, receiving immunization shots, making your environment more sinus friendly by cleaning your house and replacing your air filter regularly, and avoiding smoking, people who smoke, sudden temperature changes , and caffeine or alcohol.
If your sinus infections are caused by allergies, try taking antihistamines. Sinusitis caused by fungal infections can be avoided with antifungal medicine. Finally, if you have immune deficiencies, immunoglobulin can help fight the irritants that cause sinus infections. Frequent or serious sinus infections and ear infections may indicate that you have acute or chronic sinusitis. Fortunately, there are treatment options for receiving lasting relief, even from acute or chronic sinusitis.
Bacterial Or Staph Nose Infection
Why are bacterial cases common? Almost everyone carries the staph bacteria in the nose or on the skin surface. Under favorable conditions, the bacteria multiply leading to an infection.
The bacterial strain Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause. Most cases caused by S. aureus are secondary. Infections occur after colds, flu or when the nasal membranes become viable hence cannot filter out germs and foreign stuff.
Bacterial caused cases of nose or staph can produce localized signs or as inside-body symptoms in the case of invasive infections, i.e. when it attacks internal body organs.
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Accurate Sinus Diagnosis And Treatments Is Essential
The only way to stop recurring sinus infections once and for all is to have an evaluation by a specialist who has the specialized training and experience to accurately diagnose their cause. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, we can discuss the options. The goal is always to provide the patient with all the available options, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help you find the best treatment plan for you.
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
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How Can A Sinus Infection Cause An Ear Infection
Does a sinus infection cause an ear infection? Or is it the other way around? Actually, sinus and ear infections stem from the same root causes: viral infections and bacterial infections. Once an infection takes root in the sinuses, its easy for it to spread to the middle ear and cause an ear infection. Having these two infections at the same time means youve signed up for all the symptoms of a sinus infection, plus the additional symptoms of ear pain and/or clogged ears.
While these common causes can make diagnosing your ailment more difficult, they also make treating one infection akin to treating the other. Awareness of the common causes of sinus infections and ear infections, then, can make you less susceptible to getting both infections at once. Lets examine these causes now.
Is It An Ear Infection Or Covid
It is not possible to tell whether a person has an ear infection or COVID-19 according to their symptoms alone. An individual may also develop ear pain as their only COVID-19 symptom. Their ear pain also may linger after recovering from the disease. To know whether a person has an ear infection, COVID-19, or both, they should take a COVID-19 test.
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Treatment For Persistent Sinus Infections And Ear Infections
Having a sinus infection is never pleasant, especially if it leads to an ear infection. Luckily, Kaplan Sinus Relief is here to help with all of your sinus issues. Dr. Kaplan uses an innovative treatment named Balloon Sinuplasty to clear your sinus passageways by inserting and inflating a small balloon.
A minimally invasive procedure, Balloon Sinuplastys success rate is incredibly high. This treatment is painless, requires minimal recovery time, and requires only local anesthesia. Patients can often resume their daily activities within two days of the procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty is an effective treatment for all who suffer from the difficulty of sinus infections.
Can A Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain
Regrettably, anything that leads to nasal swelling like sinusitis can lead to swelling of the space in the middle ear as the nose is congested. So a sinus infection can lead to ear pain. In the majority of serious sinusitis cases, the complete face is affected due to sinus pressure leading to pain and one such pain is ear pain with sinus pressure.
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Types Of Ear Infections
There are two main types of ear infection, depending on whether the infection is in the inner ear or outer ear.
An inner ear infection happens when fluid and inflammation build up in the middle ear, behind the ear drum.
An outer ear infection happens when the ear canal and outer ear become infected. Outer ear infections are sometimes called swimmers ear.
What You Need To Know About Pseudoephedrine:
Brands of common over-the counter decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine: Allegra-D, Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine Liqui-Gels, Aleve Cold and Sinus Caplets, Benadryl Allergy and Sinus Tablets, Claritin-D Non-Drowsy 24 Hour Tablets, Robitussin Cold Severe Congestion Capsules, Sudafed 24 Hour Tablets, SudoGest, Wal-phed 12 hour, Suphedrine.2
Indications: nasal congestion, sinus congestion, and Eustachian tube congestion
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Are There Any Complications From Chronic Sinusitis
Living with untreated chronic sinusitis can be unpleasant with the persistent symptoms but serious complications are uncommon. A sinus infection may spread to nearby areas, such as around an eye, into adjoining bones, into the blood, or into the brain. Children are more prone than adults are to complications. Swelling or redness of an eyelid or cheek in a child with sinusitis should be reported to a doctor urgently.
What Are The Harms Of Fluid Buildup In Your Ears Or Repeated Or Ongoing Ear Infections
Most ear infections dont cause long-term problems, but when they do happen, complications can include:
- Loss of hearing: Some mild, temporary hearing loss usually occurs during an ear infection. Ongoing infections, infections that repeatedly occur, damage to internal structures in the ear from a buildup of fluid can cause more significant hearing loss.
- Delayed speech and language development: Children need to hear to learn language and develop speech. Muffled hearing for any length of time or loss of hearing can significantly delay or hamper development.
- Tear in the eardrum: A tear can develop in the eardrum from pressure from the long-lasting presence of fluid in the middle ear. About 5% to 10% of children with an ear infection develop a small tear in their eardrum. If the tear doesnt heal on its own, surgery may be needed. If you have drainage/discharge from your ear, do not place anything into your ear canal. Doing so can be dangerous if there is an accident with the item touching the ear drum.
- Spread of the infection: Infection that doesnt go away on its own, is untreated or is not fully resolved with treatment may spread beyond the ear. Infection can damage the nearby mastoid bone . On rare occasions, infection can spread to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis.
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How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you a lot of questions in order to develop a detailed medical history and find out about your symptoms. They will also do a physical examination. During the exam, your care provider will check your ears, nose and throat for any swelling, draining or blockage. An endoscope may be used to look inside the nose. In some cases, you might be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. If you needed an imaging exam, your provider would order a computed tomography scan.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:
- Tenderness or pressure in the face .
- Post nasal drip .
- Nasal discharge or a stuffy nose.
- Toothache, ear pain and/or headache.
- Loss of the senses of taste and smell.
The combination of symptoms and the fact that they last for such a long period of time can make you miserable. Youâll probably have trouble sleeping through the night and may have dark circles under your eyes.
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Seasonal Allergies And Hay Fever
Seasonal allergies can even become the primary cause of sinus inflammation. Allergies can cause blockage of drainage containing the regular sinus aspect and also predispose any person to the development of sinus infections.
Any person can experience sinus irritation or congestion during the hay fever season. The pollen count can jump even high during the season, and the exposure to allergens is even high, like the mould or animal dander.
It is necessary to see the doctor for treatments to alleviate symptoms.
How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Nasal Congestion
Providers treat nasal congestion based on the specific cause. For example, if you have nasal congestion because youre allergic to cats, you have a form of allergic rhinitis. Avoiding cats and taking medication to control your symptoms may ease your condition.
If your congestion is a form of nonallergic rhinitis, you may be able to manage your condition by identifying what triggers congestion and by taking medication to control symptoms. Here are some medications or other treatments providers may recommend:
Treatments for nonallergic rhinitis
- Saline spray or rinse: Saline solution in a spray or rinse moisturizes the inside of your nose and washes out mucus.
- Antihistamines: This medication helps calm your immune systems reaction to intruders like allergens.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays: This medication helps with inflammation.
- Ipratropium bromide spray: This spray may help with runny noses.
Treatments for allergic rhinitis
People with allergic rhinitis may take antihistamines or corticosteroids to soothe inflamed nasal tissues. Here are other treatments for congestion caused by allergic rhinitis:
- This treatment may relieve your stuffy nose. Dont use decongestant nasal sprays for more than three days. Using them longer than three days can potentially worsen your nasal congestion.
- Anticholinergic nasal sprays: This treatment may reduce mucus in your nose.
How Do You Get Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis means that a sinusitis becomes persistent and lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis is uncommon. Most cases of chronic sinusitis develop following an acute sinusitis infection. Most cases of acute sinusitis go away within 2-3 weeks, often much sooner. In some cases the symptoms do not go and become persistent . The following are causes of acute sinusitis that may progress into a chronic sinusitis:
- Cold or flu-like illnessesâ in most cases, acute sinusitis develops from a cold or flu-like illness. Colds and flu are caused by germs called viruses which may spread to the sinuses. The infection may remain viral before clearing, causing a viral sinus infection. In a small number of cases, germs called bacteria add on to an infection that started with a virus. This can cause a bacterial sinus infection which can make the infection worse, can last longer and may cause more damage or changes to the lining of the sinus.
- Dental infectionsâ in some cases, infection spreads to a cheekbone sinus from an infected tooth.
- Other risk factors for sinus infectionâ in a few people, one or more factors are present that may cause their sinuses to be more prone to infection. Acute sinusitis may be more likely to progress into chronic sinusitis as there is an underlying problem. Risk factors for sinus infection are dealt with in detail in our separate leaflet called Acute Sinusitis.
Is There Any Way I Can Prevent Future Ear Infections From Occurring
Prevention is the best medicine, and there are ways of avoiding future infections. One of the easiest and most effective ways is by breastfeeding your child. Breastfeeding has powerful antibodies that help fight infection-causing bacteria. The longer you breastfeed, the less likely your child is to develop ear infections. If you are unable to breastfeed or if you feed your child breastmilk from a bottle, place your child in an upright position during feeding times. This prevents milk from backing up into the Eustachian tube, causing irritation and infection.
If your child is no longer consuming formula or breastmilk but is suffering with frequent ear infections, your doctor may suggest medical prevention methods. For example, your child may begin a course of antibiotics at the first sign of a cold or continuously throughout cold season. Your childs doctor may also refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for ear tubes. These tubes are surgically placed inside the ear to aid in fluid drainage. Ear tubes dont necessarily prevent all ear infections, but they do reduce their severity and duration.
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