How Long Does Ear Infection Last? Ear infections are common in children and adults alike. Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses, and they cause a lot of pain in the ear. But ear infections can be either short-term or long-term. Acute ear infections don’t last long, but chronic ear infections can be very bad. If you or your children have mild ear infections, it’s best to find out what kind of infection it is, how dangerous it is to your health, and how long it will last. In this article, you’ll learn about the different kinds of ear infections, how they show up, and how long they last.
How Long Does Ear Infection Last?
The length of an ear infection depends mostly on what kind of infection it is, how bad it is, and what part of the ear is infected. Mild Ea infections go away in 3 to 5 days. If you have an ear infection, the first thing you should do is figure out what kind of infection you have.
There are three parts to the ear: the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. And each section has different infections that last for different amounts of time.
Inner ear infections
There are two kinds of infections in the inner ear: labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis.
It comes from swelling in the labyrinth (fluid-filled channel in the inner ear). This also makes it hard for the brain to get information from the senses. When a person has this inner ear infection, he may feel dizzy, sick, throw up, hear ringing in his ears, or have trouble hearing.
Most adults between 30 and 60 years old get this kind of ear infection. Women are twice as likely to be hurt as men.
How long does this ear infection from labyrinthitis last:
The symptoms go away on their own after one to two weeks. But if the problem keeps happening, it’s better to see a doctor.
Vestibular neuritis is an infection of the nerve that controls balance. The nerve is what tells a person when they are out of balance. If this nerve gets inflamed, it can make you feel dizzy and cause other health problems.
People with vestibular neuritis may feel dizzy, sick, throw up, have trouble keeping their balance, and feel a little pain in the head when they move.
How long does this ear infection from Vestibular Neuritis last:
Vestibular neuritis symptoms are at their worst in the first three days, and it takes about a week to fully get rid of the infection after that.
Infections in the middle ear ( Otitis Media)
Otitis media is another name for an infection in the middle ear. This kind of ear infection happens when a virus or bacteria makes the area behind the eardrum red and swollen. A report from the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford says that almost 80% of kids under the age of 3 have this kind of ear infection.
The virus and bacteria in the environment are most active in the winter and early spring, which is when this ear infection is most likely to happen. If this ear infection happens to an adult, there’s no need to worry because it doesn’t last long and isn’t very contagious. If a child has this infection, it’s best to get him or her to a doctor.
There are two kinds of infections in the middle ear: Acute middle ear infection, middle ear infection with effusion
Acute otitis media
With this ear infection, the area behind the eardrum is swollen and red. When someone has acute otitis media, dark yellow fluid gets stuck in the middle ear, making it hard for them to hear well. This infection can also lead to fever and pain in the middle of the ear.
Otitis media with effusion
This infection happens after an acute middle ear infection. In this case, more fluid builds up inside the ear, but the fluid often still leaks out of the ear.
Signs of an infection in the middle ear
Some of the most common systems used to treat middle ear infections are:
- Ear pain
- Trouble falling asleep
- Pulling or tugging at his ears
- Earwax that is yellow, clear, or even bloody
- Loss of equilibrium
- Hearing trouble
- Illness and throwing up
How long does Middle Ear Infection last?
Most of the time, this ear infection lasts less than 48 hours. If the symptoms last for more than 48 hours, you should see a doctor.
Infected outer ear
An outer ear infection is an infection in the outer ear canal, which is the part of the ear that goes from the outside opening to the eardrum. “Otitis externa” is the medical term for inflammation of the outside of the ear. “Swimmer’s ear” is another name for it.
Most of the time, bacteria, viruses, fungi, or allergic reactions cause infections in the outer ear. This is a common ear infection that can happen to anyone, no matter what age or gender they are. Most of the time, it happens when there is a lot of water and damage to the sensitive skin of the ear canal.
Signs of an infection in the outer ear:
In contrast to other ear infections, this one can get worse over time. Doctors say that there are three types of this outer infection: mild, moderate, and advanced. Each level has its own set of symptoms and how long they last.
Mild symptoms and signs:
- Your ear canal is itchy
- A little bit of red inside your ear
- Mild pain that gets worse when you pull on your pinna or auricle or push on the “bump” in front of your ear (tragus)
- Some clear, odorless fluid dripping out.
- Moderate progression
- Itching that is worse
- Getting worse
- Redness in your ear that is more widespread
- Excessive fluid drainage
- Feeling of fullness inside your ear and partial blockage of your ear canal by swelling, fluid, and debris.
- Hearing that is less clear or muffled
- Advanced progression
- Pain that is very bad and could spread to your face, neck, or side of your head.
- Your ear canal is completely blocked.
- Your outer ear is red or swollen
- Neck lymph nodes that are swollen
How long does infection of the outer ear last:
If the right treatment steps are taken, the outer infection will be gone in 7 to 10 days. If the symptoms are moderate, they are treated with ear drops, which take longer than 10 to 14 days. A person has advanced outer ear infection symptoms, it takes about a month to get fully treated. But if the outer ear infection isn’t treated, it can cause serious health problems, like permanent hearing loss or an infection that spreads to the brain.
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How long do antibiotics treat an ear infection?
How long an ear infection lasts after taking antibiotics varies from child to child and from adult to adult. Even after 24 hours of taking the first dose of antibiotics, the ear pain is still there. The medicine doesn’t help much with the pain. Most ear infections only last about two to three days. If the symptoms don’t get better after taking antibiotics, you should see a doctor. A child’s ear infection will take longer to heal than an adult’s.
Without antibiotics, how long does an ear infection last?
Antibiotics are powerful drugs that kill the bacteria that cause ear infections. But antibiotics are usually not needed to treat ear infections. If a person has a mild case of an ear infection, it will last for two to three days without antibiotics. Most symptoms go away after about 4–5 days. Even though you can treat an ear infection on your own, you should go to the doctor if the pain is very bad. Also, find out what kind of ear infection you have and how long it will last.
How long can someone have an ear infection?
The ear infection can last more than 3–4 months and slowly spread to nerves and sometimes the brain. In mild cases, most people don’t know for sure if they have an ear infection or not. An ear infection can be treated on its own, but an inner ear infection is a primary infection that can last for more than 3 months. If you don’t treat it, it can cause serious health problems.
How long do antibiotics for ear infections need to work?
How long it takes for antibiotics to work depends on how much of them you take. If the medicine is strong, it will stop the pain in your ear in less than 18 hours. Weak antibiotics, on the other hand, can take up to 24 to 36 hours to show signs.
Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by anup