Latest research indicates that common ear infection drugs trigger bacteria to build defences, meaning that for some children and adults what does kill the bacteria, instead makes them stronger. Antibiotics used to treat ear infections can stimulate certain biofilms, which protect the bacteria, which may explain why infections return repeatedly.
A handful of bacteria cause ear infections in children. One of the most prominent is a type known as Haemophilus Influenzae (NTHi). This bacteria is found in the nose and throat does not cause any real issues yet can be very problematic in the ear. If the child is given sub-lethal levels of antibiotics the bacteria produce larger biofilms. “If you expose the bacteria to sub-lethal concentrations of the antibiotic while the biofilms are being formed, the bacteria make better Biofilms” said Paul Webster, researcher at the University of Southern California.
In a response to the rise of antibiotic resistance doctors have opted for an approach named “watchful waiting”; holding off from prescribing medication. If the infection does not get better in a few weeks then the doctor will treat it. Research indicates that doctors should be careful about what antibiotics are used. If you have suspicion that you are suffering from an ear infection you should visit your G.P. or pop in to see us at the Chalfont Hearing Centre, Little Chalfont, Amersham.