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How long ear drops for infection?


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I had a terrible experience with an ENT recently and I don't want to call them to ask this question. I believe I have a swimmer's ear/outer ear infection. I have been using the drops I got a few months ago from the ENT and they seem to be working great. I started using them Thursday, I believe, 3x a day. My question is how long I should use them for: I know if you don't use them long enough, the infection will just come back. That being said, I don't want to overuse them because I'd like to have reserve ear drops for the next infection so I don't have to go back. So, is it 5 days? 7 days? 10 days?!? How long do you generally use ear drops for an infection? The ENT originally gave me instructions for using them in my eyes, so the directions aren't much help. 

 

Thanks!

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Usually for me if I catch those early I only need to use the antibiotic drops for two days, and if I use them for the full recommended course they start to irritate my ear.  I normally am an absolute bear about using up antibiotics, but these are the only thing short of Cipro that work for me, and I can't afford to become allergic to them.

 

I have learned to prevent these, largely.  I pour 91% alcohol in each ear after washing my hair or swimming, and then let it run out.  And I keep my wet hair back behind my ears until it's dry.  When I feel 'marginal' I keep even my dry hair back behind my ears, and when I start to feel pressure/mild pain in them I try Sudafed to clear it up if it's mostly congestion, before it turns into an actual infection.  I don't ever wear earplugs or head sets.  In sum, I avoid letting a warm, moist environment develop inside my outer ear.

 

Cipro gives me serious arm pain, which I think is due to its tendon-damaging side effect, so I really can't take that at all.

 

None of this is what my doctor would suggest, but it is truly working for me.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I have antibiotic ear drops for my tubes. They Rx 7-10 days, but it's only a one time a day antibiotic. You might look the drug name up on the Pbysicians Desk Reference (PDR) online or drugs.com and see what the typical course and dosage is.

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