Some doctors may take a wait and see approach. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic (oral or ear drops) for your child and ask you to use the medication if the pain or fever lasts for a certain number of days. This approach has been effective in decreasing unnecessary antibiotic use. Since viruses cause most ear infections, antibiotics won't make the infection go away faster. Most middle ear infections, including those caused by bacteria, tend to improve on their own in 2-3 days.
Other medications may include:
- Pain relievers
- Fever reducers
- Anesthetic ear drops
Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving your child aspirin.
Decongestants and antihistamines are not recommended to treat ear infections.