Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home Treatment / Care:

Home Treatment / Care
The following steps may help an earache:
  • A cold pack or cold wet wash cloth applied to the outer ear for 20 minutes may reduce pain.
  • For children old enough to safely chew gum, chewing may help relieve the pain and pressure of an ear infection.
  • If a child is uncomfortable lying down, resting in an upright position can help reduce pressure in the middle ear.
  • Olive oil or over-the-counter ear drops are gentle and effective, as long as the eardrum has not ruptured. Prescription drops, such as Auralgan, are also effective for pain relief.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can provide relief for children and adults with an earache. (Do NOT give aspirin to children.)
You can relieve ear pain caused by rapidly descending from high altitudes by swallowing or chewing gum. Allowing infants to suck on a bottle while the plane is descending can help.
If you feel any problem then Call your Doctor.

What will happen at the doctor’s office?
During an examination, the doctor will use an instrument called an otoscope to assess the ear’s condition. With it, the doctor will perform an examination to check for redness in the ear and/or fluid behind the eardrum. With the gentle use of air pressure, the doctor can also see if the eardrum moves. If the eardrum doesn’t move and/or is red, an ear infection is probably present.
Two other tests may also be performed:
  • Audiogram – This tests if hearing loss has occurred by presenting tones at various pitches.
  • Tympanogram – This measures the air pressure in the middle ear to see how well the eustachian tube is working and how well the eardrum can move.
The importance of medication:
The doctor may prescribe one or more medications. It is important that all the medication(s) be taken as directed and that any follow-up visits be kept. Often, antibiotics to fight the infection will make the earache go away rapidly, but the infection may need more time to clear up. So, be sure that the medication is taken for the full time your doctor has indicated. Other medications that your doctor may prescribe include an antihistamine (for allergies), a decongestant (especially with a cold), or both.
Sometimes the doctor may recommend a medication to reduce fever and/or pain. Analgesic ear drops can ease the pain of an earache. Call your doctor if you have any questions about you or your child’s medication or if symptoms do not clear.

What Can I Do Immediately To Get Relief From Earache?
Raising your head a little in bed by using extra pillows or adjusting the mattress may help.
If your ear feels blocked, do not attempt to clean it with cotton buds or anything else. You may damage your ear permanently. If the problem is a build-up of dried wax in the ear, trying to get rid of it may just push the wax further in. You can buy ear drops from your pharmacist that will soften the wax.
If your ear canal is inflamed, try not to get your ear wet until the infection has cleared up.
Your pharmacist will stock a variety of products for easing the pain of earache or relieving inflammation. Unless your ear is running, you will not usually need antibiotics for a middle ear infection.

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