MRSA Ear Infections

MRSA Ear Infections

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus) is the name of a feared, antibiotic resistant, species of bacteria that can cause serious infections, especially in hospitals or in those whose immune systems have been compromised. But MRSA is now turning up in the ears of otherwise healthy children in otherwise healthy communities, according to a study in the October 2005 Archives of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Ear drainage is common after ear tubes are placed in children. The authors of this study obtained cultures of this discharge, and found that MRSA is now commonly present. The good news is that, when it is isolated to the ear, the MRSA is usually easy to treat with topical antibiotic ear drops. But far more important than treating the MRSA is preventing this infection, which can be quite serious if it spreads.

The authors suggest that minimizing oral antibiotic use for ear infections to situations where the antibiotics are important can help prevent MRSA. The kids whose ear drainage had MRSA in the study averaged having had twice as many courses of oral antibiotics, lasting twice as long, as did their counterparts whose ear drainage featured much more benign bacteria. The AAP 2004 guidelines for treating ear infections offer clear instructions on which children need oral antibiotics for their ear infections, and which children (most children) will do better without them.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Jolie Prophet

    I have had MRSA in both ear for over 3 years it went away and then keeps coming back. This time its in the inner ear and i am really concerned. I was advised to go back on Bactrim and not drive until the vertigo has gone completely. If it gets any worse i am going straight to hospital.

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    • MRSA can be very hard to control. It’s wise to get the help you need, before it becomes advanced.

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  2. Pattie Hanner

    I was diagnosed with MRSA in my ear and I am starting to freak out. My fear is that the infection continue growing and spreading throughout my body especially effecting my brain. Please let me know if there are any possible ideas to help my very increasing stress level. My ENT appt isnt until 9 days after i finish my second round of antibiotics.

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  3. Ck

    Anyone knows how to cure mrsa intge war.DD 7 months old.second busted ear drum. Both times tested positive gir mrsa. Got clyndomysin.plus lil of bactroban in ear canal

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  4. Tonya Beard

    I have battled MRSA since 2000 and I just was diagnosed with MRSA is in both of my ears. It is very painful and irritating. I do not have tubes in my ears and was told by my ear Dr. to use white vinager and alcohol in my ears and prescibed bactrum which my body is ammune too because i have taken it so long and everytime I have an outbreak they always put me on the same medicine everytime. I would like to know if there is anything else I could do to get some relief or possibly make this go away for good.

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    • Hi Tonya,

      I don’t know about how to get ride of MRSA, but consider trying EarDoc to relieve the pain. It’s a simple handheld device, shaped like the back of the ear that gently vibrates and helps fluid in the ear drain.

      Hope that helps,
      @MsGreene
      Mom, Co-founder DrGreene.com, not a doctor :)

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  5. krystn

    I have had ear infections since I was a child. Just this last May I had a really bad one and took Percocet to relieve the pain. Well the ear infection and drainage is ongoing. My doctor recently said I have a mrsa infection in my ear. How can they treat this? They talked about a picc line. I just want this to end.

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    • Ck

      Did you find s solution to the mrsa in the ear canal?

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  6. Shamieka

    My son had his adenoids tonsils and tubes placed in his ears took him to doctor due to drainage and was told he has MRSA in one of his ears. What should I do. He has drops for the ear and also taking antibiotics. Should I go back to his ENT doctor

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  7. Vic

    I’ve had ear problems for years I went to the dr about a week ago and they flushed my ears out with water and peroxide finding two ends of qtips and built up wax in there I thought I was cured they sent me on my way I went home for two days then my pain escalated tremendously I went back in and they gave me a zpak and ear drops I’ve been using that for 3 days now I woke up with my ear swollen my face swollen I can hardly swallow and I can only open my mouth a little then my jaw just locks my ear feels full I have little bumps behind my ear under the skin that are painful to the touch I have no fever I’ve tried laying my head on one side to see if it’ll drain I feel like there’s something in my ear but there’s not and it won’t give me any relief in tired of gng to the dr because I feel like they are just pushing me out and not really caring about the pain I’m in they gave me pain killers Percocet 3/525 but it doesn’t help my pain at all all that’s helped me is NyQuil bc it makes me go to sleep but I have to drink more then what the dosage calls for and when I wake up I’m still in pain what do i do I can’t take this pain anymore

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    • Have you seen at ENT specialist? It sounds like it’s time!

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      • Connie

        I have ear Mrsa I was wondering if it could go to blood stream and if so how can u tell

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