Ear infections are extremely common and can occur in the ear canal or behind the eardrum in the middle ear (otitis media).
If you do get an ear infection you’re likely to experience pain or an itch in your ear, accompanied by a discharge.
You may also have a feeling of pressure or fullness inside your ear. There may even be scaly skin in and around the ear.
If your young child or baby has an ear infection, they will be likely to rub or pull their ear and be irritable or restless. They may also be off their food.
Outer ear infections are usually caused by a bacterial infection of the skin of the ear canal, although they can occasionally be caused by a fungus or yeast.
They tend to be more common in people, who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Outer ear infections can affect both ears and will often recur if the patient is run down or stressed over a period of time.
You can try to treat an ear infection by yourself, primarily by using painkillers such as paracetamol or ibruprofen to relieve the pain and discomfort. Remember, however, that children under 16 years of age should not take aspirin.)
You can also remove any discharge by wiping the ear with cotton wool and can attempt to relieve the pain by placing a warm or cold flannel on your ear.
Most ear infections will clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.
Our pharmacists at Toome Pharmacy are fully-trained to both recognise and prescribe medication to help you deal with your infection
Treatment for outer ear infections is usually in the form of antibiotic ear drops, which are applied to the ear canal for about a week and are designed to help stop bacteria or fungus spreading. At Toome pharmacy we are able to prescribe an ear spray called Otomize.
Otomize ear spray contains three active ingredient: dexamethasone, neomycin and acetic acid:
Dexamethasone is used for reducing inflammation in the ear which may be a result of damage, irritation or infection of the skin inside the ear.
Neomycin is a type of antibiotic called an aminoglycoside, which is used to treat infections caused by a wide variety of bacteria.
Glacial acetic acid is included in this spray to produce an acid environment in the ear which is unfavourable for bacteria to survive in. This helps control any infection.
Otomize is sprayed directly into the ear opening three times a day and you should continue to use it for two days after your symptoms have cleared up to make sure that sure that the infection is fully treated.
It will also minimise the chance of the ear infection returning.
If you feel that you have an ear infection and are seeking advice or appropriate treatment, call into the pharmacy today, or call and make an appointment for a consultation.