Treatment For Ear Infections

An infection in the ear can last for several months if not treated correctly.

If you think you have an ear infection:

Why not book an appointment with us for a swab. By having the swab completed privately with us you will:

What is an ear infection?

An infection in the ear (also known as otitis externa or otitis media) can be painful and irritable. It can affect your outer ear and external auditory canal (the tube between your outer ear and your eardrum), or your middle ear (behind the eardrum, the tube that connects your ear to your throat).

These infections are more likely to develop in certain environments. Ask yourself the following:

  • Have you been on holiday to a warm climate?
  • Have you been swimming in a pool?
  • Have you used a sauna?
  • Have you completed a good workout and got quite sweaty?
  • Do you wear earplugs or in-ear headphones for long periods?
  • Do you use cotton buds or do you excessively clean your ears?

All of the above provide an ideal environment for bacteria (and, to a lesser degree, fungi) to grow!

What are the causes of an ear infection?

There are several different causes of an ear infection, these can include:

Bacteria
Several different bacteria can infect your ear canal. Usually, they are called Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus. These can affect your outer ear, but also your middle ear via a common cold.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis
This is a common skin condition where the naturally greasy areas of your skin become irritated and inflamed

Fungus
Several different fungi will find your ear canal a lovely place to live. Most commonly found is thrush, this is usually the case if you have used an antibacterial drop for a long time

It’s possible to reduce your chance of risk if you avoid certain chemical-based products, such as:

  • Hair sprays
  • Hair dyes
  • Earwax softeners (bicarbonate of soda)

You are naturally more at risk if you suffer from the following skin conditions:

  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Allergic conditions, such as:
  • Rhinitis
  • Asthma

Or if you have a compromised immune system, such as either of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Are undergoing chemotherapy

Symptoms of an ear infection

If you have any of the following symptoms, there is a high possibility you have:

  • Itching and irritation in and around your ear canal
  • Redness and swelling of your outer ear and ear canal
  • Feeling of pressure and fullness inside your ear
    scaly skin in and around your ear canal, which may peel off
  • Discharge from your ear, which can be either thin and watery or thick and pus-like (usually found on your pillow in the morning)
    tenderness when you move your ear or jaw
  • Swollen and sore glands in your throat
  • Some hearing loss (usually temporary)

If you think you have an ear infection, book an appointment with us for a swab!

We are the only private aural swabbing service in the UK

An ear swab is where a sample of an ear infection is taken via a sterile medical cotton bud and sent to a laboratory for testing. The laboratory will then send these results back to your GP which will result in you being prescribed the right antibiotics straight away.

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