Vanilla Ear Infections/Red Hot Infections

With garden-variety ear infections (what doctors call otitis media with effusion, or OME), germ-filled fluid is present in the middle ear. Most ear infections in children are OME. We’ve known for about a decade that antibiotics are not necessaryfor these vanilla ear infections (as I like to call them).

In fact, it is perhaps even more important for these children to avoid antibiotics than it is for their peers, to avoid selectively breeding their most virulent bacteria. An acute ear infection (what doctors call acute otitis media, or AOM) can hurt like hell! These acute infections start abruptly, with the normally delicate eardrum becoming suddenly tender, red, hot, swollen, and painful – like an inflamed appendix. The ear may be filled with pus. The revolutionary 2004 AAP/AAFP ear infection guidelines teach us that even these red hot ear infections (as I like to call them) are often better treated without antibiotics! The body is usually able to kill and drain the infection on its own. But no wonder that soothing relief for the inflamed eardrum is such a priority in these guidelines. Something that is too often neglected.

Follow the links below to read the entire story.
Revolution in Ear Infection Treatment
Focus on Pain
The Antibiotic Hoax
The Diagnosis Secret
One Thing is Certain
Vanilla Ear Infections/Red Hot Infections
Who Should Get Antibiotics?
What Does Observe Mean?
The Bottom Line: How well Does Observation Work?

Published on: March 11, 2004
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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