Otitis media treatment

Home remedies for middle ear infection

There are some home remedies whose effects are not necessarily scientifically proven, but which can still help:

  • Onion pouches, red light or hot water bottle on the ear
  • Calf compresses to reduce fever
  • Bed rest
  • warm drinks

Over-the-counter medication for otitis media

Pharmacies offer a whole range of over-the-counter remedies that you can use if you have a middle ear infection. It is best to seek advice on site. Pain-relieving medication is administered (ensure correct dosage, acetylsalicylic acid/ASS must not be administered to children! There is a risk of brain and liver damage). Decongestant nose drops help to ventilate the middle ear and drain fluids. Ear drops are not very effective because they only reach the eardrum and do not reach the eustachian tube. We prescribe antibiotics in cases of poor general health and high fever.

Tympanostomy tubes for middle ear infections

If middle ear infections occur repeatedly in children or if it becomes apparent that the fluid from the eustachian tube is not draining over a longer period of time (tympanic effusion), we sometimes insert a small tube (tympanostomy tube). The tube helps to ventilate the middle ear, improve hearing and prevent speech development disorders. There are many studies on the use of tympanostomy tubes, with varying results, so that in summary it can only be said that the improvement is short-lived. It has also been shown that tympanic effusions in children as a result of an acute middle ear infection are healed after three months in 75 percent of cases. A wait-and-see treatment strategy therefore appears to make more medical sense.

Responsible professionals

Michael Soyka, Prof. Dr. med.

Senior Attending Physician, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Tel. +41 44 255 58 33
Specialties: Rhinoplasties, Defect reconstruction in the facial area, Septal perforation closures

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation. Please get a referral from your primary care physician, specialist, or outpatient clinic.

For referrer

University Hospital Zurich
ORL clinic
Frauenklinikstrasse 24
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 58 33
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