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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: ear infection - advice needed please


 whereveriam - Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:44 pm

1. 27
2. male
3. many, at the age of 6-12
4. none
5. none
6. none

I posted in the headaches section of the forum, but as i've discovered, I'm now fairly certain I have an ear infection. I haven't been able to think clearly, my eyes burn, my ears hurt and it feels like that familiar ear infection feeling.

I've been wearing ear plugs to sleep every night for the past 3 or so months. so It seems like too much of a coincidence to ignore.

I can't see a doctor...but a friend has Doxycycline that I want to take. I read that Doxycycline is pretty similar to Minocycline, which I am allergic to. Is Doxycycline ok to try? If so, what is a good length of time to take this medication for an ear infection?

Thank you for your time.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:04 am

User avatar Hi Whereeveriam,

I would absolutely not recommend you take the doxycycline if you are allergic to minocycline. They are very similar and the likelihood of a reaction is high. Also, doxycycline would be a poor choice for coverage of the bugs that cause ear infections.

There are a few questions that need answered for you. 1st, do you have an ear infection? It sounds probable that you do. 2nd, is it an outer or middle ear infection. An external ear infection is treated with topical drops. It typically causes tremendous pain to move the outer ear. A middle ear infection is treated with oral antibiotics and typically the ear is not as painful to move the outside.

Seeing a doctor will clear all this up for you and get you an appropriate treatment.

Best wishes.
 whereveriam - Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:11 am

Thank you for the advice. I really appreciate the response. I suppose I'll forget the doxycycline. an allergic reaction would put me in a sorrier state. All I want is a clear mind again, and these headaches are killer. Do you suppose that a middle ear infection (I really think this is what's wrong with me) would subside without medication? or would things just continue to get worse? Beside the fact that I can't afford to see a doctor, I have a serious fear of needles.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:16 am

User avatar Hi again,

Recent studies have shown that about 80% of middle ear infections will get better on their own without an antibiotics. Because of this, there has been recommendations to only use antibiotics if the pain persists for more than 2-3 days.

If it is not getting better in the next day or so it is less likely to get better on its own. In this case, having it evaluated is probably the best thing to do to make sure you have an ear infection and not something else. Also, this way you can get a proper treatment. Just to ease your mind a little, needles will likely not be involved.

While you are waiting to see if it is going to get better, using tylenol and ibuprofen as needed for pain can be a tremendous help.

Best wishes.
 whereveriam - Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:55 am

Ok, that's really good to know. Both about the likelihood of getting better without medication, and definitely about the probability of treatment without needles. It's only been about 2 days since i've stopped using earplugs at night. so I'll give it a week and then see what I can do about seeing someone if there is no change. Thank you again for your help. I sincerely appreciate it. Hope you have a great weekend.

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