Quick Answer: How Can You Tell The Difference Between An Earache And An Ear Infection?

When should you go to the hospital for an ear infection?

Intense Pain Even a very minor infection will cause slight discomfort and pressure in your ear.

If this turns into sharp, stabbing pain, you need to see a doctor.

If the blockage that’s causing the infection is bad enough, it puts a lot of strain on your eardrum..

Why does my ear hurt inside?

A cold, allergies, or a sinus infection can block the tubes in your middle ear. When fluid builds up and gets infected, your doctor will call it otitis media. This is the most common cause of ear pain. If your doctor thinks the cause is a bacteria, she may prescribe antibiotics.

Will ear infection resolve on its 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.

How many days does an ear infection last?

Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.

How should you sleep when you have an ear infection?

Resting or sleeping sitting up rather than lying down can help fluid in your ear drain. This could ease pressure and pain in your middle ear. Prop yourself up in bed with a stack of pillows, or sleep in an armchair that leans back a bit.

What does an inner ear infection feel like?

Symptoms of Inner Ear Infection Vertigo, a sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving around even when everything is still. Having trouble balancing or walking normally. Dizziness. Nausea or vomiting.

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 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.

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 check for an ear infection?

An instrument called a pneumatic otoscope is often the only specialized tool a doctor needs to diagnose an ear infection. This instrument enables the doctor to look in the ear and judge whether there is fluid behind the eardrum. With the pneumatic otoscope, the doctor gently puffs air against the eardrum.

What is Earache a sign of?

If the cause of earache is an ear infection, there may be a watery or pus-like fluid coming out of the ear. Outer ear infections (infections of the tube connecting the outer ear and eardrum) and middle ear infections (infections of the parts of the ear behind the eardrum) are very common causes of earache.

How do you get rid of an earache fast?

To alleviate any pain, doctors often recommend using a warm compress, which can help to loosen congestion and ease any discomfort. Creating a warm compress is simple. Just soak a washcloth in warm water, wring out excess water, fold it, and place it on the affected ear for 10 to 15 minutes.

How do I know if I have an earache or ear infection?

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.

What comes out of your ear when you have an ear infection?

Pus or cloudy fluid An infection of the middle ear, which doctors may refer to as otitis media, can cause fluid discharge from the ear. Ear infections can cause the eardrum to rupture in roughly 10 percent of cases. A ruptured eardrum can also cause drainage from the ear.

How do you get rid of an earache from an ear infection?

Here are 11 home remedies and over-the-counter treatments for earaches.Over-the-counter pain relievers. … Cold or warm compresses. … Olive oil. … Naturopathic drops. … Chiropractic treatment. … Sleep without putting pressure on the ear. … Neck exercises. … Ginger.More items…•

What helps an ear infection?

How are ear infections treated?Apply a warm cloth to the affected ear.Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Find ibuprofen or acetaminophen online.Use OTC or prescription ear drops to relieve pain. … Take OTC decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).

How do I know if I have an ear infection at home?

What are the signs and symptoms of an inner ear infection?Dizziness or spinning sensation (vertigo)Nausea and vomiting.Problems with balance or walking.Hearing loss (or decrease in sound volume) in one ear.Earache or ear pain.Fever (sometimes)Feeling of fullness in the ear.More items…

When should I see a doctor for an earache?

If your only symptom is an earache, you may want to wait a day or two before seeing a doctor. Sometimes ear infections resolve on their own within a few days. If the pain isn’t getting better and you’re running a fever, you should see your doctor as soon as you can.