Dr Ashfaq Ahmad, dispensing medical advice in the Leinster Express.
Middle ear infections are caused by viruses or bacteria (germs) growing behind the eardrum.
Take any prescribed medicines as directed, and take acetaminophen, or the medicine your doctor has recommended for fever or pain.
For children, call your doctor about when to have the ears rechecked.
Return to your own doctor right away if any of the following occur:
- You are not getting better within two days.
- The ear pain is getting worse.
- Drainage (pus or blood) from the ear.
- Fever over 39°C or a fever lasting more than 24 hours.
- Loss of hearing.
- Trouble breathing, talking or swallowing.
- Bad headache.
- Neck pain or stiff neck.
- Throwing up.
- Confusion, drowsiness or any change in alertness.
- Shaking chills.
For children (in addition to above):
- Your child is very cranky, is hard to wake up or looks very sick.
- Will not drink.
- Does not make urine for eight hours.
- Neck stiffness.
- Change in voice or change in sound of crying.
If anything else worries you, contact your doctor within 24 hours.