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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 32071
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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This is the first time I ever experienced an ear infection.

Customer Question

This is the first time I ever experienced an ear infection. Whats the best way of taking care of it? Should I try an over the counter product first or actually go see a doctor?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 7 months ago.

Hello,
I am Dr. Arun and will be helping you today.

I am sorry that your question was unanswered for long.

The two commonest infective disorder of ear are;

1) Otitis externa; outer ear infection

2) Otitis media; middle ear infection

Otitis media is defined by the presence of infected fluid in the middle ear cavity; it must be distinguished from otitis media with effusion, which is defined by the presence of uninfected fluid in the middle ear cavity. The key to distinguishing between both is the performance of pneumatic otoscopy using appropriate tools and an adequate light source by the ENT specialist. Usually the treatment is oral antibiotic with anti-histaminics (anti allergy medications).

External otitis refers to inflammation of the external auditory canal or auricle (pinna).

Excessive cleaning or aggressive scratching of the ear canal not only removes cerumen (which is our defense of the ear canal), but can also create abrasions in the thin ear canal skin, allowing organisms to gain access to deeper tissue. In addition, part of a cotton swab may become detached or a small piece of tissue paper may be left behind in the ear canal; these remnants can partially disintegrate and fester, causing a severe skin reaction and infection. Following is the treatment;

1) Thoroughly clean the ear canal (done by doctor); with direct vision through an otoscope using a cerumen wire loop or cotton swab to gently remove debris. The ear canal may be irrigated with a 1:1 dilution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. THE HOME CLEANING IS NOT EFFECTIVE AND MUST NOT BE TRIED.

2) Treat inflammation and infection; ANTIBIOTIC DROPS: ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin can be prescribed by your physician.

3) Control pain; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, like Ibuprofen.

4) Culture in severe or recalcitrant cases; reserved for patients with severe external otitis or in recurrence.

Ideally you should see your primary care physician or an ENT specialist. Over the counter products are not of much help.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

Thanks for using Just Answer.

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 7 months ago.

If you have ear pain; this can have two origin;

1) pain due to ear conditions.

2) referred pain due to other conditions which have diverse cause.

The ear conditions can be;

1) external otitis,

2) otitis media,

3) mastoiditis, and

4) auricular infections.

The conditions which can cause referred pain can be;

1) Ramsay Hunt syndrome
2) Temporomandibular Disorders
3) Trigeminal Neuralgia
4) Dental infection or abscess
5) Labyrinthitis; internal ear infection

6) Sinusitis; sinus infection

7) Pharyngitis; throat infection.

It is privilege assisting you.

Please let me know if you have further queries or unanswered questions.

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Thank you.

Wishing you all the very best in life.

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 7 months ago.

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Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 7 months ago.

Best wishes,
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