Ear infections’ healing time varies between individuals. The healing time of an ear infection depends on the age, anatomy and surroundings of the patient.

Ear infections are a common condition with known treatments – antibiotics and painkillers. Although these treatments have a time frame for treating the ear infections, ear infection healing time may be different from one person to the other.

Antibiotics and painkillers treat the symptoms of middle ear infections – the pain and the bacteria. In most cases, treating the pain and resting is enough as the body heals itself. Antibiotics should have effect within 48 to 72 hours, but the infection healing time may be longer than that. For this reason, it is important to finish the full course of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.

Children may experience pain for several days, while adults may heal faster (since their Eustachian tube is wide enough. Read more about ear infections in children). In general, the recovery time for middle ear infection may vary from 2 days to 2 weeks, and even up to 2 months until full recovery.

What is Ear Infection ?

The most common ear infection is called “Otitis Media”. This refers to an inflammation and infection of the middle ear (located behind the eardrum). An inside look of the ear

The Eustachian tube drains fluid and air from the middle ear. Blockage in the Eustachian tube may cause fluid to build up. This causes pain since it applies pressure on the ear drum. The fluid is also a fertile ground for bacteria growth and this leads to an ear infection.

Anything that causes the Eustachian tubes to become swollen or blocked causes more fluids to build up in the middle ear behind the eardrum (more common in infants and children, due to a narrow and under evolved tube). Some of the causes for ear infections include:

  • Allergies
  • Colds and sinus infections
  • Excess fluids produced during teething
  • Infected or overgrown adenoids
  • Tobacco smoke or other irritants

For tips on how to identify and treat ear infections, you can read this article about ear infections symptoms and treatment.

Prevention of ear infections

The best treatment for ear infection is to prevent ear infections. You can reduce the risk of ear infections with the following practices:

  • Washing hands frequently.
  • If you are infected, try to reduce interacting with healthy people, or else you might infect them.
  • Breastfeed — this makes a child less prone to ear infections. If you must bottle feed, put your child in an upright sitting position.
  • Avoiding exposure to tobacco (and) smoke.
  • Ensure immunizations are still active. For instance, the pneumococcal vaccine prevents infections from the bacteria that most commonly causes acute ear and other infections.
  • Avoid overusing antibiotics; it may lead to antibiotic resistance.

You may find relief from natural remedies if you don’t have the time to see a doctor. So if you have a ear infection, here are a few solutions you can try at home

Remember, if the ear infection lasts more than 3-4 days, consult with your doctor again even if you are on antibiotics. Long term ear infections may have severe outcomes. 


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