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Doctor insights on: How Long Does An Adult Ear Infection Last Without Antibiotics

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Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
Board Certified, Pediatrics
25 years in practice
3M people helped
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How long does an adult ear infection last without antibiotics?

How long does an adult ear infection last without antibiotics?

If not bacterial: The average duration is 7-10 days-much like a common viral cold illness. Supportive or comfort care is recommended. If no improvement-seek medical attention for a good history and physical examination. ...Read more

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Dr. Vikram Patel
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31 years in practice
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Dr. James Ferguson
911 doctors shared insights

Ear Infection (Definition)

Collection of purulent fluid behind tympanic membrane- many times secondary to nasal congestion/ viral uri- that can cause bulging of tympanic membrane, pain, redness or distortion of typical anatomic landmarks of membrane, poor mobility of membrane ultimately, tm can perforate or rupture with subsequent drainage of fluid into the ear canal. May take months for fluid from ...Read more


Dr. Thomas Benda
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
28 years in practice
883K people helped
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Have an ear infection taking antibiotic drops but the ear has had drainage nonstop for four days how long will drainage last is this normal?

Have an ear infection taking antibiotic drops but the ear has had drainage nonstop for four days how long will drainage last is this normal?

That depends: You don't say if you have a swimmer's ear (external otitis) or otitis media with a ruptured ear drum. An external otitis is treated with ear drops alone, and the drainage should have noticeably lessened by now. In otitis media with a ruptured ear drum the drops won't be enough unless the hole in the ear drum is large, or you have a tube in your ear. ...Read more

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Dr. Vikram Patel
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31 years in practice
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Dr. Bernstein Joel
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
54 years in practice
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How long does earache last with an ear infection. I've had the pain for 5 days and had antibiotics for fours days.

How long does earache last with an ear infection. I've had the pain for 5 days and had antibiotics for fours days.

Viral infection: Almost all ear infections start with a virus in the back of the nose. If that is the case, and assuming you received the antibiotic immediately, that drug will not be helpful, possibly harmful. On the other hand, if the pain has been present for 5 days, the most important question to ask, is there a hearing loss? If there is no hearing loss, you could have tmd, pain in the jaw muscles. ...Read more

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Dr. Helena Bentley
Board Certified, Pediatrics
33 years in practice
104K people helped
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My 8month baby has an ear infection. Fever@102f for last two days and she is fussy.how long can i wait before i must give her antibiotics?

My 8month baby has an ear infection. Fever@102f for last two days and she is fussy.how long can i wait before i must give her antibiotics?

Ear infection: I suggest you have her evaluated by a pediatric provider. With the persistent fever, the infection may be bacterial and will respond to antibiotic therapy. Most ear infections are viral or caused by organisms that will resolve without treatment. However, because of the persistent fever and fussiness, you should have her checked. ...Read more

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Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified
31 years in practice
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Dr. Linda Green
Board Certified, Pediatric Allergy and Asthma
39 years in practice
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Dr. James Ferguson
Board Certified, Pediatrics
40 years in practice
144M people helped
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6
How long does it take for an ear infection to clear without antibiotics?

How long does it take for an ear infection to clear without antibiotics?

Depends: Those that are viral would improve within a few days and be back to normal in a week. Those that are bacterial might self heal in 4-6 weeks or go on to create a chronic problem. ...Read more

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Dr. Ali Saberi
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
14 years in practice
931K people helped
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On ear infection, how long it will take for antibiotic to start working and see an improvement on the infection?

On ear infection, how long it will take for antibiotic to start working and see an improvement on the infection?

48-72hrs: if longer with no improvement at all, may require dose and/or frequency adjustment along with change in medication potentially ...Read more

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Dr. Neil Giddings
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
33 years in practice
423K people helped
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How long does it take an ear infection to get better after taking a five day antibiotic?

How long does it take an ear infection to get better after taking a five day antibiotic?

Several days: Pain should resolve quickly, but blocked feeling may persist for many weeks. If blocked feeling does not resolve in 3-4 weeks, should see ENT doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Holly Maes
Board Certified, Pediatrics
30 years in practice
8M people helped
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Can Ear infection be cure with antibiotics? How long does it take to get back to normal?

Can Ear infection be cure with antibiotics? How long does it take to get back to normal?

If from bacteria: While bacteria commonly are the culprits causing an ear infection, the most common cause is actually a viral infection. If it is bacterial, which is more common in infants and small children, antibiotics will indeed cure it. But it can take up to 8-12 weeks to get entirely back to normal. Even after the infection clears, thee can be fluid that persists that will very gradually resolve in that time ...Read more

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Dr. Axel Martinez-Irizarry
Board Certified, Family Medicine
11 years in practice
798K people helped
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How much time for antibiotics to work with adult ear infection?

How much time for antibiotics to work with adult ear infection?

About 3-5 days.: You are expected to see some improvement in the first 3-5 days. Finish the therapy as prescribed even if you are feeling better. ...Read more

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Dr. Barbara Lavi
9 doctors shared insights

Infection (Definition)

Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more


Dr. John Leander Po
1,119 doctors shared insights

Antibiotic (Definition)

An antibiotic is a medicine that slows, stops, or kills germs. The germs are usually bacteria causing an infection in a person, so the person uses antibiotics to help his body get ...Read more


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Dr. Vikram Patel
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