What to do if you have a middle ear infection?

What to do if you have a middle ear infection?

A middle ear infection itself is not contagious. However, the common cold, which usually precedes it, is contagious. Whether these germs only cause the infected child to cough and runny nose or then, in turn, cause a middle ear infection varies from person to person. What to do about a middle ear infection? Can antibiotics help? You should take your child to the doctor if you have an earache. A simple ear examination can determine whether there is a middle ear infection and tympanic effusion.

What helps with a middle ear infection?

Ask the doctor if your child needs to stay away from daycare or school. Swimming should be avoided for a few weeks. If middle ear infections occur again and again, chlorine water should be avoided. After a month, the doctor examines the ear again to rule out any permanent problems.

  • The doctor decides whether antibiotics are necessary to treat a middle ear infection – depending on the examination results, pain, age and general condition. It is now known that 4 out of 5 acute middle ear infections heal independently. Studies have shown that antibiotics shorten the duration of the pain (which can also be achieved with painkillers) but usually do not significantly affect the rest of the course.
  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen juice or paracetamol suppositories help against pain and fever in a middle ear infection.
  • Decongestant nose drops are prescribed occasionally; However, studies could not prove any effect on middle ear infections.
  • Antibiotic ear drops are ineffective if the eardrum is intact because they do not reach the middle ear. If the eardrum is inflamed, however, numbing ear drops help against the pain.

Flying during an acute middle ear infection is not recommended. The mucous membranes and the connecting passage between the nasopharynx are swollen, so pressure equalization is no longer possible. This leads to severe pain and, in the worst case, to sudden hearing loss and permanent impairment.


Home remedies and homoeopathy for middle ear infections

As with any feverish infection, your child should take it easy and drink enough if they have a middle ear infection. Water, diluted fruit and vegetable juices and herbal or cold teas are suitable. Onions, in particular, have proven effective as home remedies for middle ear infections, but other measures from homoeopathy and home remedies are also used.

  • Medicinal plants & wraps: Warm ear wraps have a fantastic effect against middle ear infections in many children. If the smell doesn’t bother you, onion sacs are particularly effective against pain and inflammation. Otherwise, chamomile is an alternative. Even just a hot water bottle relieves the pain.
  • Homoeopathy: Aconitum or belladonna may help in the case of a middle ear infection with an acute onset of high fever. If the onset is less violent, Pulsatilla may be the drug of choice.
  • Combination preparations (e.g. Otovowen®) that stimulate the immune system and help against inflammation, pain and mucus are also available in pharmacies.


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