Is it necessary to have antibiotics to treat ear infections?

No. The majority of ear infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotics won't help. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if your baby is less than 6 months of age, or if the infection is severe. Older toddlers who have mild illness or whose diagnosis is uncertain can be watched without antibiotics, with close follow up over the next 24-48 hours.
Not always. 60% of all ear infections will clear without antibiotics. For children under 3 current recommendations are to treat with antibiotics but for those older watchful waiting is appropriate. If fever and pain persist for more than 2-3 days while on tylenol (acetaminophen) or advil, the exam worsens, or ear drainage starts then antibiotics. It is rare to see complications such as mastoiditis.
NO not always! Rampant use of antibiotics has led to the development of resistant bacteria; an example of this is using antibiotics for every "ear infection". A skilled and experience physician will be able to discriminate what can't be treated with antibiotics (viral infections) and ones that can (bacterial infections like haemophilus sp.). See your experienced and skilled primary care physician.
No. Ear infections - otitis media (OM) is commonly not treated in Europe, though that is not well-tolerated in the US; we usually demand that the doctor do something. The best "treatment" is prevention. Great preventive OM measures include up to date vaccines (against H flu, Pneumovax). Also proven benefit in clinical trials: daily probiotics, and xylitol (in gum or nasal spray).
No. Many ear infections are viral in origin asn will resolve on their own. However depending on the age of the child and the overall symptoms, antibiotics may be needed.
No. 1/4 of middle ear infections in kids older than 2 years improve in 48 hrs without therapy.
No. The decision is not trivial: both medicines and ear infections must treated with respect. Otitis may resolve without antibiotics...Or it can cause mastoiditis & permanent hearing loss, as happened to one patient's grandfather in 1944. Make an informed decision based on the risks of treating--and of not treating--in a specific situation. Re-check ears later, especially if you choose not to treat.
No. Most ear infections will subside without antibiotics but your child will still need comforting to get adequate rest and boost the immune system. Ibuprofen, elevating the head of the bed (as in two bricks under the front feet of the crib rather than bending the mattress) and numbing drops in the ears at night help the most.
No. No, not always. In fact, lots of recent research has demonstrated that many ear infections improve over 48 hours as frequently in untreated infants as in treated infants. Many publications now recommend a more wait-and-see approach to treatment of ear infections, especially in children who are only mildly ill at presention.
No. Depending on the age of the child and the severity of the infection, physicians may choose to "watch and wait". In studies 50% to 70% of ear infections may resolve by themselves with no antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics has created "super germs" with resistance to multiple antibiotics thus we now try to use antibiotics more judiciously.
No!!! Certain ear infections need antibiotics, such as in babies or with high fever or if there's a ruptured eardrum. It is very possible to observe many ear infection without antibiotics. It is even recommended in most cases not to take them. Don't just take my word for it: http://www. Cdc. Gov/getsmart/campaign-materials/info-sheets/child-otitismedia. Pdf.
No. Most ear infections will go away on their own. In fact it is recommended not to treat with antibiotics under certain conditions (older than 2 years, first infection, early on in the course). By reducing the use of antibiotics we are helping to decrease a bacteria's ability to become resistant to our current set of antibiotics.
Yes. Although a number of ear infections will improve without antibiotics, the latest research demonstrates more consistant and faster improvement with antibiotic therapy. And all children under 2 years old are to be treated based upon expert's opinions.
Yes. Children under age 2, who are toxic appearing or who have fever should be treated.
Yes. It has been known that up to 75% of ear infections in children resolve by itself. The chance to develop a complication (extension of infection beyond middle ear) is higher in children less than 2 years old, and prescribing an antibiotic has been justified. In children over 2 years old, wait-and-see approach, especially for the mild ones, is acceptible and currently recommended.
Yes. If there is an ear infection, the usual treatment is antibiotics to kill the bacteria. If there is just some mucous or clear liquid in the middle ear space, but not an obvious infection, then the doctor may choose to observe the patient's progress, instead of using antibiotics.

Related Questions

Are there any non antibiotic ways to treat an ear infection?

See below. A h percentage of ear infections will resolve on their own. If your child is over the age of 2 years, you can treat the pain with tylenol, (acetaminophen) motrin, or warm drops of olive oil in the ear that hurts. If the pain is not gone after 3 days, then your child should be seen.

My baby ws treated with antibiotic for an ear infection, she's still rubbin the ear but no crying, us this norm after treatment?

Common problem. Many babies will have fluid left behind the eardrum for weeks after the germ is killed. That can produce a fealing fullness like when you are flying and need to pop your ears. Babies can also fail at treatment or re-infect. I encourage a followup visit to check the ear about 3-4 wks from the start of treatment in infants to be sure it worked.

My 7 mth old hd an ear infection in may, she was treated with antibiotic, it's august n I'm seein similar symptoms, tugging on her ear and screaming?

Can be a repeat. I would give her something for the discomfort and consider taking her in to urgent care center.
May have another. Certainly could have another dr can look in ear and tell. Of this recurs a lot might need tubes in ears.

On zpack for ear infection and sinus infection but just started with uti symptoms...will zpack treat this or do I need another antibiotic?

Maybe. The germ killing profile of the Zpac is not the same as a med I would use for a UTI. You need some testing to confirm a UTI and not a copy cat process. A different antibiotic would likely be needed if it is confirmed.

My 3 yr old has had a runny nose on and off for about 3 months now she did have an ear infection but was treated with antibiotic. What do I do now?

Not sure what asking. 3 yr olds often have viral infections, or may be manifesting allergy symptoms. Are they having fevers or other symptoms of infection? It might be helpful to sit down and have a lengthy chat with your family doc or pediatrician about what you can expect in your child after they have examined them. There are also a slew of books in lay language on child-raising which may help. Hope better soon.
Sinusitis. With persistent nasal draiange. I would consider having her evaluated for possible sinusitis (chronic) or adenoiditis. Start wtih your pediatrician, but being seen by an ENT is not a bad idea.

My doctor changed the antibiotic to Cipro (ciprofloxacin) because Biaxin didn't help treat my middle ear infection. Will Cipro (ciprofloxacin) cure it?

Antibiotic. You don't say what you are being treated for, what the causative organism is, whether it is sensitive to the antibiotics that have been prescribed, etc. Cannot possibly answer your question without more data.

My 9 month old grandson has ear infection 7 days ago, treated with anitbiotics. He still crying at night, now has runny nose and doesn't feel good.?

See below. He may have another cold that stacked on top of the other illness or the ear infection not improving. He likely needs to be seen again. If he is having any present high fevers over 39 c or any breathing difficulty, get seen now.
He needs to have his. Ears re-checked by his pediatrician. Middle-ear fluid can persist for weeks after infection clears & cause discomfort when he lies down. Keep his head up 30 degrees when bottle-feeding; no bottles in bed. At 9 mos., night-waking/crying will continue long after the illness is gone, because he had to have attention for it. His parents will need to know when it's ok to ignore it so it will go away.

For ear infection which antibiotic should be used n in which dose?

Ask your doc. This site is not designed to be a substitute for proper evaluation and prescribing by a proper health care source. We try to provide accurate information on health care issues & help you seek poper local sources. R.
See your doctor. There is new data out there about not giving antibiotics for aom. Would discuss with your doctor.

Need antibiotic for toddler ear infection?

Antibiotics. Prescription antibiotics for children are best managed by a local pediatrician who can perform an in-person exam and determine the appropriate treatment course. This is not only in the best interest of your child, but for the general public as well.
So visit your doc. This site was developed to provide general medical information. If you read the disclosures, it does not offer to diagnose or treat anyone, but may help you decide when if a visit would be worthwhile. Physicians on this site donate their time to answer questions. Any cost for wordy questions goes to maintain the site.