Ear infections can be really painful as the middle ear cavity is really small, about only 1.5 cm3 volume. So when fluid and infection builds up behind the ear drum, the pressure and inflammation can be excruciating. In some cases, the ear drum bursts, which relieves the pressure, but to allow the perforation to heal, the infection would still have to be treated.
If it is a viral infection, antibiotics do not help. If your ear infection was associated with an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) like a cough, cold or flu - medications to control the URTI would help resolve the middle ear infection faster too.
If it is a bacteria infection, then the antibiotic type and dose would need to be appropriate.
The blocked sensation would likely result in some reduction of hearing sensitivity. Usually, that improves over a week after the infection improves. However, it may take even 2 to 3 weeks if it is very viscous fluid in the middle ear.
Should there be a persistent blocked sensation, it is better that you see an ENT to get the ear drum and hearing checked. We need to get to the underlying cause of why things are not getting better. For example, there may be allergies, nose conditions or middle ear conditions that need to be evaluated and treated.
Dr Lynne Lim