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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for ear infection

Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3129 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 23 May 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I woke up and and both of my ears are infected. I can barely hear out of both and they are tender to the touch in front and behind my ear, I can hardly chew it is so painful my jaw is sore. They feel full. When I walk around it's like my ears are adjusting to elevation...
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Some information:

Detailed Answer:
Hello Ms. XXXXX,

I am sorry you are having so much pain. I think you should go in to have your ears looked at in person, but I can give you some idea of what could be going on:

1. You could have serous otitis: This is when there is drainage down the back of your throat and it creates a sort of vacuum effect on the tubes that connect the ear to the throat (eustachian tube). It pulls on the ear drum creating pain, and the ear drum can't move well then which creates muffled hearing and sometimes popping and sometimes crackling or dripping sounds. Ear drums look red but are not thick and opaque like with otitis media ("ear infection"). There can be clear fluid behind the ear drum and ears can feel full. Treatment is pseudo ephedrine for a few days to try to decongest the drainage. This can be bought without prescription.

2. You could have otitis externa: This is an infection of the ear canal and can be very painful, especially when moving the ear. Treatment includes ear drops that have a combination of an anti-inflammatory medicine and antiinfective medicine, such as Cortisporin Otic. This is by prescription.

3. You could have otitis media: This is the classic middle ear infection. Usually people have had a viral upper respiratory infection first. People often have a fever with this. It causes pain deep inside the ear and often people feel overall unwell when they have this. In severe cases, an oral antibiotic is prescribed for this.

So...it's probably best to go in to be seen to check what is going on.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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