How to Treat Fluid in the Ear

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Fluid can get into the ear external to the ear drum or internal to the ear drum, and the external fluid can easily be removed with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar. Discover why antibiotics are needed to treat fluid that exists in the middle ear with help from a physician's assistant in this free video on fluid in the ear.

Part of the Video Series: Medical Treatments & Answers
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Video Transcript

Well there's two types of fluid you can get in your ear. One is external to the ear drum and the other is internal to the ear drum in the middle ear. The external fluid can be easily removed by using a combination of rubbing alcohol and vinegar which will help mix with the fluid in the outer ear and help it to evaporate. Inner ear fluid, that's fluid inside the middle ear on the inside of the ear drum, occurs mostly when there's an infection or chronic problems with your Eustachian tube that prevent the middle ear from being able to drain and to neutralize the air pressure. And with infections fluid builds up behind the ear drum and can cause quite a bit of pressure which then causes pain. You need to take antibiotics to treat middle ear fluid. And this is one of the things the physician will see when they look in your ear if you have otitis media or middle ear infection, is they can actually see the fluid behind your ear drum. And this is only treated by drainage through the ear drum, by lancing a small hole in the ear drum or with antibiotics or a combination if it's bad enough. If it's external fluid in your ear such as water from swimming or showering, you just use the solution of alcohol and vinegar to allow the fluid to evaporate. The fact that you may have fluid behind the ear drum and have an infection you would need to see your physician for intervention for that to get antibiotics.


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