The Eustachian tube is a narrow tube that connects the middle ear to the back part of the nose and opens during yawning or swallowing to balance the pressure in the middle ear. It is also responsible for draining the mucus produced by the lining of the middle ear.
An infection on the Eustachian tube results to the isolation of the middle ear from the exterior environment. The condition is quite common among children younger than 6 years old. Immediate treatment is vital since it can result to hearing loss in severe untreated cases.
Pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be given to reduce the pain linked with infection of the Eustachian tube. These medications can also control fever that can occur with the infection.
Most of these medications are available over-the-counter and can be used when needed. In severe circumstances, these can be administered intravenously for rapid response. Nevertheless, the use of aspirin is not recommended for children younger than 18 years old due to its connection with Reye’s syndrome that causes swelling of the brain and liver.
In most cases of ear infections especially in children, they are complications of nasal congestion from allergies or common cold. Decongestants work by relieving the nasal congestion. The dosage must be carefully followed in the packaging. Even though these are available over-the-counter, a doctor should be consulted for young children. The usual side effects include restlessness, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Infection of the Eustachian tube can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Antibiotics can effectively manage infections due to bacteria but not ideal for viral cases. The doctor will prescribe antibiotics only if the condition of the individual does not improve or it worsens.
Remember that it is often hard to pinpoint the microorganisms responsible for the Eustachian tube infection, thus broad-spectrum antibiotics that are effective against various strains of bacteria are used. The antibiotics are usually prescribed for 7-10 days and administered orally unless the condition is severe. In severe cases, the antibiotics are given intravenously.
Take note that amoxicillin is included in the penicillin group, thus individuals who are allergic to penicillin should not use this medication.
The adenoids are described as lymph tissues that are positioned close to the Eustachian tubes. Once they become enlarged, it can result to blockage of the tubes and recurrent infections. The removal of the adenoids might be recommended in order to treat the infection.