Quick Answer: How To Tell If Ear Infection Is Viral Or Bacterial

How do you know if you have an infection in your ear?

The symptoms of an ear infection in adults are: Earache (either a sharp, sudden pain or a dull, continuous pain) A sharp stabbing pain with immediate warm drainage from the ear canal.

A feeling of fullness in the ear..

Can an ear infection be a sign of something more serious?

Unlike childhood ear infections, which are often minor and pass quickly, adult ear infections are frequently signs of a more serious health problem. If you’re an adult with an ear infection, you should pay close attention to your symptoms and see your doctor.

When an ear infection is serious?

This infection can result in damage to the bone and the formation of pus-filled cysts. Rarely, serious middle ear infections spread to other tissues in the skull, including the brain or the membranes surrounding the brain (meningitis). Tearing of the eardrum. Most eardrum tears heal within 72 hours.

How do I unclog my ear after an ear infection?

There are several techniques you can try to unclog or pop your ears:Swallowing. When you swallow, your muscles automatically work to open the Eustachian tube. … Yawning. … Valsalva maneuver. … Toynbee maneuver. … Applying a warm washcloth. … Nasal decongestants. … Nasal corticosteroids. … Ventilation tubes.

How long can you leave an ear infection untreated?

Eustachian tubes do not work properly when filled with drainage from the nose or mucous from allergies, colds, bacteria, or viruses because the drainage presses on the eardrum, which is what causes the pain. A chronic ear infection can last for 6 weeks or more, but most go away on their own after 3 days.

Do ear infections clear up 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 does ear infection look like?

Signs of Infection A red, bulging eardrum. Clear, yellow, or greenish fluid behind the eardrum. There may also be some blood. Earwax buildup.

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

You should contact your doctor immediately if: The symptoms do not improve within 3 days. Body temperature rises above 100.4 degrees as an accompanying fever could indicate a more serious infection. Ear infections are being experienced regularly, as they can eventually lead to hearing loss.

How long does it take for a viral ear infection to clear up?

Middle ear infections often go away on their own within 2 or 3 days, even without any specific treatment. In some cases, an infection can last longer (with fluid in the middle ear for 6 weeks or longer), even after antibiotic treatment.

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 remove fluid from your ear?

How to remove water from your ear canalJiggle your earlobe. This first method may shake the water out of your ear right away. … 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…•

How can I check my eardrum at home?

Angle the tip of the viewing piece slightly toward the person’s nose to follow the normal angle of the canal. While looking through the otoscope, move it gently at different angles so that you can see the canal walls and eardrum. Stop at any sign of increased pain.

What is the best antibiotic for an ear infection?

Penicillin is the most commonly prescribed medication for treating ear infections. Penicillin antibiotics are typically prescribed by doctors after waiting to see if the infection clears on its own. The most commonly prescribed penicillin antibiotic is amoxicillin.

How do you open a blocked ear?

If your ears are plugged, try swallowing, yawning or chewing sugar-free gum to open your eustachian tubes. If this doesn’t work, take a deep breath and try to blow out of your nose gently while pinching your nostrils closed and keeping your mouth shut. If you hear a popping noise, you know you have succeeded.