>Health and Nutrition>hello doctors. A question re: ear infections and antibiotics
I know some of you are MD's, and if you can't trust the credentials of random strangers on the internet, who can you trust, right? Could someone talk to me about antibiotics? So apparently I have acute otitis media in both ears. My left eardrum burst the other day and the right ear is just really painful, and I can't hear anything. Gross, right? I went to the doctor twice - once last Friday when it started, and he said it's just a fluid buildup from the evil cold you're dealing with and will go away on its own. Went back today because of burst eardrum, continued pain in other ear, and general feeling of crapness, and he prescribed an antibiotic, Cefurox.
Here's the thing. I had my 2-year-old at the appointment, so I was super distracted and didn't get to ask any questions. And of course the moment I left the building (after inevitable NO JACKET NO HAT NO SHOES NO NO NO AAAAAHHHHHH toddler meltdown) a bunch of questions occurred to me. e.g: Is it possible I don't really need an antibiotic, can this kind of ear infection be caused by a virus? I'm wondering if I could hold off on taking it, and how I would know if a "wait and see" approach was working? If these sound like dumb questions, maybe I should add that after my last antibiotic experience, which was with doxycycline and involved some REALLY BAD side effects (not just a little nausea!) I'm kind of paranoid and don't really want to take it. But I also really don't want to end up with an eye infection and a sinus infection and whatever else can happen if the infection spreads.
Ok, last question. If/when I take this stuff, what can I do to minimize potential side effects? Does it make sense to take a probiotic? Even though I would think the antibiotic would just kill off all the good stuff in the probiotic...?
I lied, this is my last question. Is it a bad idea to run while taking antibiotics? I haven't run in 10 days just because I felt so bad and I'm not really training for anything at the moment, but I'd like to get back to it...
I would call your doctor's office and speak with him/her or his/her nurse. Too many variables.
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Please contact your doctor and ask your questions directly.
"C" is for cookie. That's good enough for me.
I would "third" the advice to speak with your doctor directly and express your concerns about the antibiotics. He/she is the one who examined you and if he/she is competent they should be able to answer your questions.
There is an absolute answer to one question you asked: "...can this kind of ear infection be caused by a virus?". The answer is Yes (which is why really savvy docs don't go around starting most kids on antibiotics right away just for an uncomplicated ear infection. Many studies show that a good chunk of kids will get better without them).
However, there haven't been any studies done regarding withholding antibiotics in adults with otitis media, so many experts recommend treating adults with Otitis Media with antibiotics from the get go (usually along with something to help open the Eustachian tubes).
Again, please discuss your specific case with your doctor, as my comments are general and nature and may not necessarily pertain to your particular situation. If anything I wrote conflicts with what your Dr. says/advises then I defer to him/her.
Thanks guys. Totally get that nobody can advise or diagnose, was just hoping some questions might be easy to answer. I think I've a) reached my limit on how much ear pain and grossness I can handle, and b) gotten over my angst (about doxycycline, which is really not relevant here, and about all those statistics you read on antibiotic overprescription, resistance, etc...) so I will just trust the doctor and take the stupid pills.