When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider if:
- You have swelling behind the ear.
- Your symptoms get worse, even with treatment.
- You have high fever or severe pain.
- Severe pain suddenly stops, which may indicate a ruptured eardrum.
- New symptoms appear, especially severe headache, dizziness, swelling around the ear, or twitching of the face muscles.
Let the provider know right away if a child younger than 6 months has a fever, even if the child doesn’t have other symptoms.
Causes And Prevention Of Ear Infection In Dogs
Prevention depends on identifying the underlying cause of the ear infection. In some cases the ear canal becomes moist from bathing, grooming or swimming. This moisture fosters the growth of microorganisms in the ear canal. Prevention in these cases can be as simple as cleaning the ear as previously described to remove the moisture and prevent the infection. However, in many cases an underlying cause may not be so easily identified. Dogs that suffer from allergies, either environmental, such as pollens , dust mites, molds or food are predisposed to ear infections. This is due to the microscopic inflammation that allergies cause in the skin allowing overgrowth of bacterial and yeast organisms that normally inhabit the skin.
What microorganism is causing the ear infection and what is the underlying cause? Routine cleaning with a gentle dog-approved ear cleaner may be necessary to reduce the frequency of recurrent ear infections in dogs with allergies. Cleaning your dogs ears after a bath or grooming appointment may prevent any potential infections.
Floppy or cropped, what do your dogs ears look like?
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Middle
Common symptoms of a middle-ear infection in adults are:
Pain in 1 or both ears
Drainage from the ear
You may also have a fever. Rarely, your balance can be affected.
These symptoms may be the same as for other conditions. Its important totalk with your health care provider if you think you have a middle-earinfection. If you have a high fever, severe pain behind your ear, orparalysis in your face, see your provider as soon as you can.
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Common Ear Infection Symptoms To Watch Out For
The most common symptoms of an ear infection include pain, a feeling of pressure inside the ear, and minor hearing loss. Many patients also have a pus-like fluid draining from their ears.
Some additional ear infection symptoms are common among children. They include fever and loss of balance and appetite. In the case of babies and toddlers who cant articulate their symptoms, parents should suspect an ear infection if their children are:
- Rubbing or pulling at their ear
- Not reacting to sounds as they normally do
- Fussy, crying, and restless
- Unable to sleep
Additionally, if you have a baby thats 6 months old or younger and has a fever of 102 degrees or higher, you should consult with a medical practitioner right away.
When Does An Ear Infection Require Medical Treatment
An ear infection is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid within the eustachian tubes of the ear. There are many different factors that can lead to an ear infection. It can affect the outer, inner, or middle ear. Typically, ear infection symptoms can manifest very quickly. There is often a great deal of pain and discomfort associated with an ear infection. The pain is due to inflammation and fluid build-up within the tiny ear spaces located behind the eardrum.
Sometimes, the discomfort may go away on its own. If the pain does not go away, there are clues to whether medical attention is necessary. The medical experts at UrgentMED specialize in diagnosing ear infections in babies, children, and adults. We want to help you determine if you may need to visit one of our offices for ear infection treatment.
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When To Go To The Er With A Headache
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea Gastrointestinal problems such as food-borne illness may start at a summer picnic, but can end up in hospitalization due to severe dehydration or possible kidney/liver damage especially in elderly or young people with weaker immune systems. Seek emergency medical help if symptoms last more than 24-hours or are accompanied by fever.
- Coughing or vomiting blood For people with digestive health problems such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers or gastritis, summer gatherings and activities may have you overdoing it on the food and drink or over-the-counter pain relief. Anything that aggravates your condition can turn it into a medical emergency. Any sign of internal bleeding calls for an immediate trip to the ER.
- Suicidal or violent feelings Summer heat can affect human behavior and increase bouts of depression, lethargy, irritability, anger, and thoughts of violence or self-harm. For people with behavioral illness, emergency services can provide stabilization and access to behavioral health services. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential resources and support for people of all ages in distress or crisis.
For fast, emergency help in any situation, look to one of our many Medical City ER locations across North Texas. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.
Severe Kidney Infection Symptoms
Should I go to the ER for a kidney infection? Yes, if your symptoms are more advanced than those listed above. If you notice any of the following severe kidney infection symptoms, head to your nearest emergency room immediately:
- Pain in your back, side, or groin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shaking and chills
Certain individuals including pregnant women, young children, or those with weakened immune systems may need more specialized care if exhibiting severe kidney infection symptoms. Feel free to call your primary care physician or nearest Complete Care facility if you have any questions on where to take your loved one for treatment.
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What Safe Hospitals Do
Good hospitals focus on the basics:
USE ANTIBIOTICS WISELY. Almost half of hospital patients are prescribed at least one antibiotic, Srinivasan says, but up to half the time the drug is inappropriate. To combat antibiotic misuse, many good hospitals have antibiotic stewardship programs, often headed by a pharmacist trained in infectious disease, to make sure that patients get the right drug, at the right time, in the right dose.
Such programs often monitor the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Doctors at some hospitals use three times more of those all-purpose bug killers than others. Reducing broad-spectrum prescriptions by 30 percent would cut hospital rates of C. diff by more than 25 percent, plus reduce antibiotic resistance, says Clifford McDonald, M.D., a CDC epidemiologist
How to wash your hands
I used to suffer from ear infections perhaps every two months as a kid, and if theres one thing I dont want to experience again, its an ear infection.
Whilst they are numerous remedies to help ease sore throats, colds, and coughs, ear infections are a different matter.
Five out of six children will have had at least one by their third birthday, but when should you do to the doctor for an ear infection?
Ear Infection Diagnosis And Treatment
When an ear infection is suspected, your medical practitioner will use a special lighted instrument called an otoscope to check your or your childs eardrum for signs of infection. In some cases, a pneumatic otoscope may be used to check for fluid behind the eardrum. If the ear infection diagnosis is confirmed, you may receive a prescription for an antibiotic. Your medical provider will also likely recommend the appropriate pain relievers, cold medicine, and/or ear drops based on your or your childs age and other factors.
Generally, you should expect relief from ear infection symptoms within a few days. If symptoms dont ease or they become worse, you should check in with your medical practitioner because a different antibiotic may be needed.
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When To Go To Urgent Care For Ear Pain
When to go to Urgent Care for Ear Pain
If youre having ear pain that comes on suddenly, its a good idea to visit an urgent care clinic. Tinnitus and vertigo are also likely reasons for which you should head over immediately. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might recommend antibiotics or even an MRI scan. When in doubt, always check with a medical professional before deciding when to visit urgent care for ear pain.
If your ear pain has lasted more than three days and you are having a hard time hearing, or if you have a fever of 102 degrees or more, its time to call an ambulance. The same applies if there is drainage from your ear . If youre feeling lightheaded or experiencing nausea, especially when coupled with tinnitus , take a break from work and make an appointment with your doctorthey can decide whether you need urgent care.
Acute ear pain is usually due to an infection in your middle or outer ear. There are several ways you can treat it yourself at home. However, if you have had acute ear pain that hasnt gone away within a few days, or if it gets worse with time, then you should visit urgent care. Also visit an urgent care center when your symptoms include facial paralysis, pus coming out of your ear, dizziness and ringing in your ears. If left untreated, these symptoms could be dangerous. Call a local urgent care clinic today!
How To Know Where To Go For Sudden Health Care Needs
All too often, illness or injury appears out of the blue: You wake up in the middle of the night with intense abdominal pain. You stumble while carrying groceries up a flight of stairs, and can no longer put weight on your swollen ankle. Or your baby spikes a high fever on the weekend.
When these situations occur, were often faced with uncertainty about where to go for care, especially if the symptoms seem severe and our regular doctors office is closed.
While the answer is not always simple, knowing the difference between walk-in clinics, urgent care and emergency care and where to seek treatment could save your life in a medical emergency.
The differences between walk-in clinics, urgent care and the emergency room
Recognizing the differences between emergency and urgent care can be confusing, because both terms imply there is a medical need that needs to be addressed quickly, says Shawn Evans, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. However, there are distinct differences between hospital emergency rooms, traditional urgent care centers or walk-in clinics, including the level of care that can be provided at each.
Urgent care or walk-in clinics help fill a vital gap when you become sick or injured, but your regular doctor is not available and you cant wait for an appointment.
When to go to the ER
Symptoms that are best evaluated in an emergency room include:
When to call 911
When to go to urgent care
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When To Speak To A Doctor About Ear Pain
See a doctor or visit an urgent care center for the less severe earache symptoms:
- Minor hearing loss, ringing in ears, and/or dizziness
- Signs of infection, including a low fever
- A sticky or bloody discharge coming from the ear
- Increased pain when wiggling the ear lobe
- Nose blowing that results in ear pain
- Pain that worsens or does not improve over 24 to 48 hours
Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to loud, prolonged noise, such as a concert or industrial machinery. Also tell your doctor if an object has been inserted in your ear.
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You Have Other Medical Conditions That Put You At Increased Risk Of Complications
Certain medical conditions can make it harder to treat cellulitis. This can be because of decreased blood flow to the area, a weakened immune system, or another reason. Some of these conditions include:
Edema: Swelling of the lower legs can decrease blood flow to these areas. So if the infection is located in this area, it may make it harder for immune cells or antibiotics to reach it.
Peripheral artery disease: Similar to edema, this condition can affect blood flow to the area that has cellulitis.
Diabetes: High blood sugars can make it easier for bacteria to grow. In addition, people with diabetes can have poor blood flow to their arms and legs, similar to the above conditions. Over time, this can also cause damage to nerves that decreases their ability to sense small injuries or pressure ulcers. These can become an entry point for bacteria.
Conditions that cause you to be immunocompromised: Any condition or medication that weakens your immune system makes it harder for your body to fight off infections.
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Exactly What Is An Ear Infection
As the term implies, an ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection of the earusually the middle part located between the eardrum and the inner ear. Ear infections often occur during a cold, a sore throat, or another upper respiratory infection. Adults can develop ear infections, but children are more susceptible because their immune systems are not as well developed. Youngsters also have narrower Eustachian tubes, which are small passageways that connect the middle ear to the upper throat. When these tubes become swollen or clogged with mucus during a respiratory infection, the fluid in the ear is less likely to drain properly. This makes it easier for the fluid to become infected and cause painful symptoms in the ear.
What Is An Earache
Earaches may affect one or both ears, although most often they impact only one. The pain can take many forms, from dull to throbbing, and from sharp to burning. Pain may also vary in intensity, ranging from mild to severe.
Fortunately, most earaches are short-lived. Chronic ear infections, however, can cause irreparable damage to the middle and/or inner ear. For this reason, it is important to have an earache or possible infection evaluated by a medical professional.
Consider contacting your local FastMed clinic or seek immediate medical attention if you or your child experiences vomiting, headaches, high fever, or pain inside or behind the ear.
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Can Ear Infections Be Prevented
Some lifestyle choices can help protect kids from ear infections:
- Breastfeed infants for at least 6 months to help to prevent the development of early episodes of ear infections. If a baby is bottle-fed, hold the baby at an angle instead of lying the child down with the bottle.
- Prevent exposure to secondhand smoke, which can increase the number and severity of ear infections.
- Parents and kids should wash their hands well and often. This is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of germs that can cause colds and, therefore, ear infections.
- Keep childrens immunizations up to date because certain vaccines can help prevent ear infections.
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Can Ear Infections Affect Hearing
Fluid buildup in the middle ear also blocks sound, which can lead to temporary hearing problems. Kids having a problem might:
- not respond to soft sounds
- need to turn up the TV or radio
- seem inattentive at school
In kids who have otitis media with effusion, the fluid behind the eardrum can block sound, so mild temporary hearing loss can happen, but might not be obvious.
A child whose eardrum has ruptured might have ringing or buzzing in the ear and not hear as well as usual.
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Let Amory Urgent Care Treat Your Ear Infection Quickly
Once you have a physician treat your ear infection, itll start clearing up immediately. Theres no reason to wait it out and risk the infection worsening.
If you have any of the warning signs discussed above, get to your physician right away.
Amory Urgent Care provides fast, high-quality medical care seven days a week. Contact us today schedule an appointment.
When To Go To Urgent Care
If snoring and/or noisy breathing occur consistently, even when your child is not congested.
Reach out to your pediatrician for further evaluation if the urgent care provider suspects your childs snoring or noisy breathing could be caused by enlarged tonsils, adenoids, sleep apnea, chronic sinusitis or a deviated septum.
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You Experience Added Symptoms
If you experience any of these symptoms with your ear infection, youll want to visit a doctor as soon as you can.
- Its hard to move parts of your face like normal
- Swelling under or behind the ear
- Knots forming around the ear
- Changes in personality
- Discharge draining from the ear
These symptoms may mean your ear infection is much worse than normal cases. If your child has any of these symptoms, its even more important to get them to a doctor quickly.
Controlling Pain And Symptoms At Home
Mild ear infection symptoms can be controlled with:
- A hot or cold compress
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Other home remedies, such as numbing drops, or homeopathic remedies, such as essential oils, are not recommended for ear infections.
Over-the-counter numbing drops dont provide long-lasting relief, Dr. Ray said. And essential oils are an unproven treatment.
For the most part, these are not super well-studied. If the ear infection gets so bad that the pressure on the eardrum is enough, it can actually poke a hole in the eardrum. In those cases, those substances can actually get into the middle ear, where they could cause additional harm, Dr. Ray said.
In general, I am not a fan of putting anything in the ear canal to treat these ear infections.
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