Middle ear infection
Most middle ear infections (otitis media) clear up within three to fivedaysand don't need any specific treatment.
You can relieve any pain and a high temperature using over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and Painkillers, ibuprofen .
Make sure any painkillers you give to your child are appropriate for their age. Many cases arecaused by viruses, which antibiotics aren't effective against.
Using antibiotics to treat minor bacterial infections also increases the likelihood of bacteriabecomingresistant to them over time. Thismeans more serious infections could become untreatable in the future. Read about antibiotic resistance for more information.
If antibiotics are needed,a five-day course of an antibiotic called amoxicillin isusually prescribed. This is often given as a liquid. Common side effects of amoxicillin include:
An alternative antibiotic such as erythromycinor clarithromycin may be used for people allergic to amoxicillin.
In some cases, your GPmay give youa prescription that you can choose to pick up a few days later if the condition hasn't improved by then.
Adults and children who develop a long-term middle ear infection (chronic suppurative otitis media) may benefit from short courses of antibiotic ear drops.
Antibioticsare usually only consideredif your child:
Adults may be prescribed antibiotics if:
For children with recurrent severe middle ear infections, tiny tubes may be insertedinto the eardrum to help drain fluid. These tubes are called grommets.
Grommets are inserted under general anaesthetic , which means your childwill beasleep and won't feel any pain. The procedureusually only takes about 15 minutes and your child should be able to go home the same day.
A grommet helps keep the eardrum open for several months. As the eardrum starts to heal, the grommet will slowly be pushed out of the eardrum and eventually falls out. This process happens naturally and shouldn't be painful. Most grommets fall out withinsix to 12 months of being inserted.
Some children need another procedure to replace the grommets if they're still experiencing problems.
Treatment with grommets isn't routinely funded in all areas or for adults with recurrent otitis media.
Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that causes inflammation (redness and swelling) and a build-up of fluid behind the eardrum
A middle ear infection (otitis media) can usually be diagnosed using an instrument called an otoscope.
Most middle ear infections (otitis media) will clear up within three days and don't need any specific treatment.