Wilderness: Ear Infection (cont.)
Ear Infection Treatment
- Rest: avoid further scuba dives, coughing, sneezing,
bending, and attempts to equalize the ears.
- Pain may be relieved with 1 to 2 acetaminophen
(Tylenol) every four hours and/or 1 to 2 ibuprofen (Advil,
Motrin) every 6 to 8 hours.
- Pseudoephedrine (the active ingredient in
over-the-counter medications such as Sudafed) 30 mg tablets,
one every six hours for 2 to 3 days, may ease ear pressure. (People with a history of high blood pressure
should avoid this product.)
- For infections of the ear canal (otitis externa):
neomycin (Ak-Spore HC, Cortisporin, Neotricin HC, Ocutricin-HC),
polymyxin B, and hydrocortisone (Cortisporin, Otocort, Poly Otic),
two drops in the ear canal four times per day for five
days, may also be used.
- If pain occurs, discontinue treatment and seek
- Oral antibiotics are
usually recommended for discharge from the ear, nose, or mouth. If infection
develops, continue antibiotics for at least five days after all signs of
infection have cleared. Tell your doctor of any drug allergy prior to starting
any antibiotic. The doctor will recommend the right antibiotic. Some can cause
sensitivity to the sun, so use a sunscreen (at least SPF 15).
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