- Often ear infections resolve without medical intervention.
- Individuals that require antibiotics also resolve the infection quickly, and pain relief should occur within a couple days.
- Associated symptoms, such as hearing loss or the feeling of ear fullness, may take longer to improve.
- Referral to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) may be needed for people with continuing infection, or those who get frequent, recurring infections.
Choosingwisely.org. Antibiotics for a sore throat, cough, or runny nose.
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/23/2015
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