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Upper respiratory infection with sinus otitis media - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: General Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
Doctor :   Hi
User :   Hello, I have had a cold almost two weeks now.
Doctor :   How can I help you?
User :   I went to the dr. on Monday and she said I have an ear infection. I have been on antibiotics since then
User :   I still have ears that feel plugged up and today I am feeling pain in my other ear
User :   the one that did not have the infection
User :   does this mean the anitbiotics are not working?
Doctor :   Do you have fever?
User :   no fever
User :   just the runny nose, cough and ear problems
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   Are you any other medications apart from the antibiotics?
User :   I have been taking nyquil cough some nights and advil
Doctor :   Ok\
Doctor :   Do you have diabetes/hypertension?
User :   no
Doctor :   May I know your age and gender?
User :   32f
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   Let me explain it to you.
User :   I had blood work done on friday and they said my sed rate is high
Doctor :   Ok.
User :   I don't know if that has anything to do with it
Doctor :   May I know the total WBC count and the platelet values?
User :   I do not know what it is because I go in tomorrow to get the results from the dr
Doctor :   Ok.
User :   can an ear infection cause a high sed rate?
Doctor :   Any infection can cause rise in ESR, and not just ear infection.
User :   well that makes me feel better. I have been worried
Doctor :   You probably have a condition termed as sinus otitis media.
Doctor :   This occurs due to the persistence in the nasal congestion.
Doctor :   The nose, throat and the ears are connected to each other by means of a tube termed as eustachian tube and the fluid secreted in the nose can get into the ear causing these symptoms.
Doctor :   And if the condition is caused by a viral infection, then antibiotics are not going to cure the condition.
User :   do I need to just wait longer for the meds to work then? or do I need to go back to the dr?
Doctor :   Antibiotics are given to prevent secondary infection.
Doctor :   I shall suggest you a few tips that can help your condition.
User :   Are the antibiotics suppose to cure the ear infection? or is that part of the viral infection
Doctor :   The most common cause for the upper respiratory infections are the viral infection, however few bacteria can cause the same.
Doctor :   Since I do not know the values of the blood counts and since you do not have fever, the most probable cause can be viral.
Doctor :   In such an instance the role of antibiotics is just to prevent the secondary bacterial infection which is very common.
Doctor :   You can follow the tips which I will be suggesting, however, if you develop symptoms such as these,
User :   when I went to my internist on Monday she had "peeked" at my lab test for the rheumatologist. I am just going to repeat the lab work. I had it done 4 months ago and all was good but they wanted me to go back to have it all done again 4 months later just to make sure. so when my internist peeked at the labwork she said that the sed rate was a little high but there was still more work to be done
Doctor :   fever, severe pain, increase in the nasal congestion, or if these symptoms are persisting for more than the next 2 to 3 days, you can visit your doctor.
User :   tomorrow I see the rheumatologist to go over the labwork
User :   On saturday it will have been 2 weeks that I have had this persistent cold. so if the cold persists on monday I should go back to the dr?
Doctor :   Yes, viral infections can last for a period of 5 days to a week.
User :   well its been well over a week now.
Doctor :   So if your conditions is persisting for more than this, it is better that you follow up with your doctor.
User :   how long does it take for anitbiotics to fix the problem?
User :   What else feels like a cold but is worse than just the regular cold? I am just asking what else this could be.
Doctor :   Since you have been started off the present medications since monday, i would suggest you to give then another day or two before you see the doctor, unless you develop those symptoms that I had already mentioned.
Doctor :   The other cause for a cold is an allergic cause, secondary to the dust and the pollens. Your ear symptoms are a complication of the persistent nasal congestion.
Doctor :   Are you following what I am saying?
User :   yes thank you
Doctor :   I shall give you a few tips that can make you feel better before we close this session.
User :   ok
Doctor :   1. Try steam inhalation twice or thrice daily along with the medication that you are on.
User :   how long do I do the steam inhalation for?
Doctor :   2. There are a few manoeuvre which are known to open the eustachian tubes there by removing these secretions from the ear.
Doctor :   Steam inhalation can be tried for another day or two before you go to see your doctor.
Doctor :   The most simplest of those manoeuvre are chewing and swallowing.
Doctor :   So you can use chew gums to activate this process.
User :   ok
Doctor :   You may use try this again twice a day or thrice a day based on your convineance.
Doctor :   3. Apart from these, you can try nasal saline 2 drops into each nostril for not more than 2 or 3 days twice a day.
Doctor :   These are few tips that can be followed, along with eating healthy and multivitamins.
Doctor :   Have you followed what i have suggested?
User :   I have a bottle here that says sodium chloride nasal sol .65% would that work?
User :   Yes I am following.
Doctor :   Yes, you may try that.
User :   I also have afrin
Doctor :   Afrin is more effective, but they can give you a rebound increase in the congestion once you stop them.
User :   thank you for your help.
Doctor :   So you may try the sodium chloride solution instead of the afrin.
User :   is there anything I can buy to help my ears from being plugged?
Doctor :   These symptoms are due to collection of the fluid from your nose and throat.
Doctor :   So try those manoeuvre instead of ear drops.
User :   so the swallowing and chewing as well as the steam are the only solutions?
Doctor :   Yes.
User :   ok
Doctor :   And lastly see a doctor if these symptoms are persisting for more than the next 2 days, or if you develop those symptoms that I had mentioned.
Doctor :   Do you have any other queries that I can assist you with?
User :   no that is it. thank you
Doctor :   Please fill the feed back form too.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me. Bye for now. Please refer your friends to our service.
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