Can You Put Antibiotic Ointment In Your Ear? – First Aid Tips
The ear usually encounters several medical issues. It is an open organ that can be exposed to harmful elements. It is a good thing the ear wax acts as an essential filter for your body. But what if we experience sudden pain in the ears? Can you treat it yourself? Can you put antibiotic ointment in your ear?
There are a lot of medical treatments we can do at home. People who are often too busy prefer simple treatments before scheduling a doctor’s appointment. The availability of over the counter medicine has also made things easier for us. But there are times when we are not sure about what to do with our medical dilemma. In this article, we will go through some common ear problems and their known treatments.
Common Ear Problems
The ear can have several problems that may or may not require immediate medical attention. We will quickly go through some common ear problems and its level of significance.
- Hearing-loss – hearing loss is the most common ear complaint that ENT’s receive. Hearing loss is caused by the buildup of fluid or wax in the ear, which has to be cleared immediately. Hearing loss can also be caused by aging or exposure to loud trauma-inducing noise. This type of hearing loss can be treated through hearing aids.
Ear Infections – Ear infections can happen to infants, children, and even adults.
Middle Ear infection – the middle ear infection, as the name implies, is an infection behind the eardrum that is caused by a virus or bacteria. Children usually get this type of ear infection. It can be identified with the following symptoms:
- Fluid coming out of the ear
- Loss of hearing
Swimmer’s ear – swimmer’s ear refers to redness or irritation on the outer ear canal. As implied, a swimmer’s ear infection is caused when water is trapped in the ear canal. Water can cause fungi to grow in the ear and can also wash away ear wax, which acts as a natural filter in the ear. Swimmer’s ear has the following symptoms:
- Itchiness and redness
- Appearance of pus (this can be drained from the ear by a medical professional)
- Hearing loss or muffled hearing
- Experiencing fever
- Middle Ear infection – the middle ear infection, as the name implies, is an infection behind the eardrum that is caused by a virus or bacteria. Children usually get this type of ear infection. It can be identified with the following symptoms:
Ear infections can escalate into more severe complications. It can be as serious as meningitis, brain abscess, and even facial paralysis. Before self-treating an ear infection, you must carefully consider the circumstances surrounding the infection. Can you put antibiotic treatment in your ear for infections? It is good to know when it is appropriate to visit the doctor and when it is still alright to self-treat. You must know your body well.
Antibiotic Ointment Treatment
An antibiotic treatment is used for bacterial infection. And since the ears can also experience infections, the first treatment that comes to mind is an antibiotic. Antibiotics can be oral, in drops, or as ointments.
Finally, we will start answering the question: Can you put antibiotic ointment in your ear?
- For a wet or discharging outer ear infection, an ointment type of antibiotic or cream type is applied to the canal of the ear.
- A wick may be needed to apply the ointment or cream in the ear.
- Dry outer ear infections have redness and swelling to the external canal. As guided by a professional, an oral antibiotic or antibiotic ointment can be used.
- NOTE: Oral antibiotics are generally not considered to be as effective as a direct and topical application for infected ears. However, if the patient is experiencing fever, oral antibiotics can be used.
- Long term and chronic outer ear infection can also be used with some antibiotic ointments.
Other ear infections may require pain medication and thorough cleaning before starting any form of treatment. It is essential that you closely monitor the situation. Here are some infections that do not need an antibiotic ointment:
- Glue ear is an accumulation of sticky fluid that may not cause so much pain but can affect hearing loss. Although it eases in six months, a hearing aid is usually used to treat this.
- A chronic discharging middle ear infection needs to be cleaned and cleared by a medical professional. If swelling occurs, prescribe oral antibiotics.
- An acute middle ear infection is usually excruciating and caused by an inflammation followed by cough or colds and resolved in 24 hours with the use of pain relievers.
A doctor prescribes antibiotics because antibiotics treat specific bacteria. Choosing to have your ear checked by a professional will help you determine the antibiotic to use. Ultimately, a doctor is the best person that knows if you can put antibiotic ointment in your ear. Below are some generic samples of antibiotics for ear infection:
- Amoxicillin – price range: $5 to $8
- Amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate – price range: $10 to $13
- Neomycin/polymyxin b/hydrocortisone – price range: $30 to $36
- Ofloxacin – price range: $20 to $40
Antibiotic ointments have to be used with caution, especially in sensitive parts of the body.
Antibiotics treat a specific type of bacteria and are not readily available as over the counter medication. Some antibiotics can do more harm than good when taken without prescription. An antibiotic is not recommended if you have no need for it. When you take it without the proper medicine, bacteria can become increasingly resistant to the antibiotic, and you will need a higher dose. When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, they can become aggressive and almost impossible to treat. Special care and caution must be present when using any antibiotic. Now that we have reached this part, ask yourself, can you put antibiotic ointment in your ear?
The ear is too valuable to be ignored, and any sign of discomfort must be treated immediately. We want to avoid any more ear problems that could become fatal for our hearing. A simple ear infection can immensely affect productivity, which is why it is important to take good care of our ears. This article has discussed some of the common types of ear infections that will answer the question: can you put antibiotic ointment in your ear? It has also added some samples of antibiotics and an important reminder on the use of antibiotics. We hope this article has equipped you with enough information to care for your ears. Find out more about first aid.
April 4, 2021
by: Wilber Herron
Antibiotic ointments help treat most minor skin infections that are caused by small cuts, scratches, scrapes, or minor burns.