Ear infections are generally divided into:

  1. Inner ear infections (Otitis Media)
  2. Outer ear infections (Otitis Externa)

Otitis Media

This is a common condition and generally resolves itself. It can cause ear pain and a raised temperature. Evidence shows that, even when it is a bacterial infection, antibiotics do very little. Antibiotics do not speed up recovery from the infection, they make no difference to the risk of complications (such as eardrum perforation), and they have no impact on the likelihood of recurrence.

NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) say antibiotics may be considered if a child under 2yrs has infections of both ears, or if an eardrum has burst and is leaking fluid.

What can you do?

The evidence recommends use of regular paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with pain, whilst the body is fighting off the infection. If you have concerns that this may be more than a simple ear infection, please do contact us via PATCHS.


Otitis Externa

This describes inflammation +/- infection of the ear canal. This can sometimes be caused by:

  • Eczema type skin conditions
  • Frequent swimming
  • People putting things down their ears, such as cotton buds.

There are ear sprays available over the counter from your local pharmacist. However if things do not seem to be clearing up, please contact us via PATCHS.