Q. Why is there pain in my ear even after using ear drops?

Answered by
Dr. Rahul Narayanrao Rathod
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I had a mild ear infection. I went to see a doctor as the ear started draining clear fluid. The doctor said the draining was only on the outside of the ear. She prescribed Ciprodex ear drops. I am on the second day of taking them and I just woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain probably worse than before starting treatment. Should I continue with the drops? I feel the pain is a side effect and I do not want the bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. I honestly feel now that the pain would have gotten better on its own.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

No, it is not so, as you have an infection in the outer part of the ear. It is called as otitis externa. In this condition, there will be a severe aching pain in the outer ear. The cause of otitis externa may be due to a humid environment, any micro-injuries, or any fungal infections. In this situation, you need to take care.

Continue the drops for at least two weeks so that the infection clears speedily. Now you are on Ciprofloxacin ear drops which is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It is useful in most of the situations, but if you are having a fungal infection, it will not help you.

I suggest you give a sample of the ear swab for culture and sensitivity testing so that a specific eardrop is given for the infection. I suggest you provide me with the details of the investigation once it is completed so that I can help you with the medication and treatment.


For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Thank you doctor,

The ear doctor looked in my ear and said it was inflamed and said the inflammation was not too deep. That is pretty much it. How would the doctor or I be able to tell the difference between a bacterial and a fungal infection? If it is a fungal infection, am I making it worse by taking the drops? Is there any alternative or natural remedies available to help cure a bacterial or a fungal infection?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • There are different types of otitis externa, which is nothing but an external ear inflammation. This may be secondary to a bacterial or a fungal infection.
  • Usually, during an external ear examination, we can differentiate it well from the appearance, But, in few conditions, it is difficult to differentiate.
  • So, in such conditions, we usually take a swab from the external ear and send it for culture and sensitivity testing to help prescribe specific antibiotics.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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