What Information You Will Need To Have Ready For The Doctor
To prepare for your video chat doctor appointment it is important to have pen and paper handy so you can make notes of the doctors instructions, although most telemedicine doctors will email them to you. You also should strongly consider making a list of all of your symptoms and exactly when they first occurred. This would include your current temperature, if you have experienced any vomiting, sore throat, which ear or ears, hearing loss, and so on. The doctor will cover these things during your exam, but it is good to write them down so nothing is missed. Dont forget to include any allergies you may have to medications and any questions you have that you want to ask.
How A Video Chat Doctor Will Treat An Ear Infection
Your face-to-face video consultation will begin at your pre-determined time with the doctor asking you some questions about the symptoms you or your child are experiencing. During the question and answer session the doctor will be evaluating all the information you are providing as well as your physical appearance, just as a doctor would do in the office setting. Obviously the doctor cannot physically look into the ear via video chat, but there are physical manipulations he or she may ask you to perform such as tugging gently on the ear, especially if it is a child. During the exam you and the doctor will discuss the diagnosis and your treatment plan in detail and answer any questions you may have.
Ear infections often may be treated with over the counter home remedies and pain relievers, but the doctor may order prescription ear drops or antibiotics if deemed medically necessary by the severity of your symptoms. The doctor is not required to order any prescription medications for you or your family member it is completely at the doctors discretion. It should also be noted that telemedicine doctors are not permitted to prescribe narcotic type drugs or controlled substances for pain and that state guidelines vary from state to state even for prescription antibiotics. If antibiotics or a prescription drug should be necessary for your treatment plan the doctor will call in or electronically send your prescription to the pharmacy of your choosing.
What You Need To Know About Online Medical Providers And Ear Infection
Ear infections are among the most common minor ailments to strike, but luckily these infections can be treated by an online medical provider. It can be inconvenient to go to a brick-and-mortar clinic over a relatively minor infection, but even a minor infection still needs medical intervention like antibiotics.
Online medical providers, such as doctors, APRNs, and Physician Assistants, are capable of diagnosing and treating ear infections. Online medical providers can diagnose and treat most non-emergency conditions such as ear infections, upper respiratory infections, seasonal allergies, and the flu.
Online medical providers may be able to diagnose and treat ear infections over a phone or video appointment, but they aren’t capable of everything a regular doctor can do. Keep reading to learn more about using a virtual medical provider to diagnose and treat an ear infection.
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So What Is This Camera Good For
The ENTO Otoscope is good for looking into the ear canal to look for the cause of various ear complaints. In theory, it could also be used to look into the first few inches of the nose too. From a telemedicine perspective, this camera could be a significant help to telemedicine clinicians in obtaining that elusive bit of information that can limit getting to the precise diagnosis when it comes to ear complaints. This could be particularly useful for adults and parents with children older than 5 that always seem to be having ear issues. If you have children that seem to have problems with their ears every year, the $39.99 price tag could save you hundreds, if not more, in visits to the pediatrician, urgent care or emergency room.
When Should You Go To The Doctor For An Ear Infection
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?
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Diagnosing And Treating Ear Pain Online
Ear pain is a common symptom for many illnesses, including:
- Middle ear infections
- Trauma and more.
Ear pain is different than an ear infection. Online, we can treat some causes of ear pain, but not all. Specifically, we cannot treat a middle ear infection online because as of now, we cannot look at the ear drum without an otoscope to confirm the diagnosis. Middle ear infections are the most common type of ear infection and typically are caused by bacteria and viruses. Bacteria ear infections require an antibioitic to clear them and viral ear infections should be treated with supportive care.
During a video consult on Amwell, your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms are bacterial or viral. Then your physician will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. This is based on duration, severity of symptoms and your medical history. Questions about your work and home environment may be discussed as well.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risk and benefits of the various treatment plans. The biggest obstacle will most likely be managing the pain. In many cases, pain control is all that is needed while your body fights off the infection. Depending on the cause and severity of the infection, your treatment plan may include:
- A warm compress
- Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin IB, etc.
- Tylenol/Acetaminophen if fever is a symptom
When To See Your Healthcare Provider
Children younger than three months of age need to see a healthcare provider at the first sign of ear infection.
Older children should be seen if they have one or more of the following symptoms:
- A fever of 102.2 degrees or higher
- Discharge leaking from their ear
- The symptoms get worse or do not resolve within three days
Ear infection in adults may signify a more serious problem and should be checked by a healthcare provider. If the infection comes and goes, schedule an appointment with an otolaryngologist, a healthcare provider who specializes in ear, nose, and throat conditions.
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What Are The Its Best Features
One of the biggest draws of this camera currently is its price. At $39.99, it is much more affordable than most other digital otoscopes on the market which can be in the multiple of hundreds of dollars range. Going beyond the price tag, the camera is easy to hold and has a nice cord length that doesn’t make it awkward to get the camera to where you need it for the exam. The fact that this camera is plug-and-play for most situations, makes it easy to use with photo and video applications that allow you to select your camera source. I use it primarily with videoconferencing software for real-time exams and it works flawlessly. The image quality is also good for the price. Once the camera is correctly positioned, getting a decent quality image of what you are looking for is not hard to do.
Treating Outer Ear Infections
The outer ear should be carefully cleaned. That should be followed by the application of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory medications on your ear.
Antibiotics may be prescribed if your doctor determines that the infection is bacterial.
If the infection is fungal, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication.
If you have a viral infection, you may simply need to tend to the irritation on your ear and wait for the infection to resolve itself. Depending on the type of virus involved, more specialized treatment may be necessary.
To help prevent an ear infection of any kind, follow these tips:
- Make sure you dry your ears completely after swimming or taking a shower.
- Try quitting smoking, and limit or avoid secondhand smoke when possible.
- Manage your allergies by avoiding triggers and keeping up with allergy medications.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, and try to limit contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory problems.
- Make sure your vaccines are up to date.
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How To Clear Chlamydia Without Antibiotics
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. While we are unable to recommend any treatment not recommended by the CDC in the treatment of chlamydia there are some who have utilized alternative treatment to reduce infection but does not cure it. These remedies include garlic, turmeric, or dieting.
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Do You Need Insurance For Online Medical Care
Online medical providers can provide treatment for ear infections and other non-emergency conditions, whether or not the patient has health insurance, as long as they can pay for the examination and medication treatment. This and the fact that they are typically cheaper than a traditional doctor’s visit can make them a good option for those without health insurance coverage.
Most online medical providers accept major healthcare insurance providers, which means you can receive treatment for an ear infection through an online medical provider either way.
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Are Online Medical Providers Cheaper Than Doctors
The answer to whether online medical providers are cheaper than a visit to the traditional doctor’s office is complicated. While on the whole, a visit with an online medical provider is cheaper than a visit to the doctor, the convenience of online medical providers means that people are more likely to visit the doctor for minor illnesses that they would have just weathered without medical care otherwise.
For conditions such as ear infections that may require an antibiotic prescription or symptom management medications, visiting a virtual medical provider versus going to a general practitioner is almost assured of saving you some money.
When To Seek Urgent Care Over Online Medical Care
Most ear infections can be safely treated through online medical providers. In many cases, it is safer to treat minor illnesses at home with an online medical provider to avoid exposure to secondary illnesses. Safety of telehealth visits is especially true during cold and flu season when doctor’s offices become flush with people carrying contagious illnesses. It also goes without saying that during the Covid-19 pandemic, utilizing virtual care is the safer bet.
However, there are a few instances where online medical care should be avoided, and in person care should be sought over a suspected ear infection instead. Here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
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Treating Middle Ear Infections
You may be prescribed antibiotics. Some antibiotics may be taken orally. Others can be applied directly to the site of the infection with ear drops. Medications for pain, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications may also be used to manage your symptoms.
Another helpful technique is called autoinsufflation. Its meant to help clear your eustachian tubes. You do this by squeezing your nose, closing your mouth, and gently exhaling. This can send air through the eustachian tubes to help drain them.
What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
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Minor Cuts Burns Other Skin Conditions
Your primary care provider or a dermatologist can assess minor cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, and other skin conditions through a video visit. In fact, teledermatology is on the rise as an efficient way to evaluate skin conditions of all types. With telederm, you can receive a diagnosis of acne, eczema, diaper rash, and other conditions from the comfort of your own home. If telehealth services are covered by your insurance company, you may need to access telederm through a proprietary smartphone app. Check with your insurer for details.
How Can An Ear Infections Be Diagnosed Via Telehealth Visit
Evaluation of the patient’s clinical presentation is important in making the correct diagnosis for ear infections. Making an accurate diagnosis of acute otitis media is essential to avoid overtreatment with antibiotic therapy.
Adults often get seasonal allergies with nasal congestion or an upper respiratory infection before getting an ear infection. You may present with muffled hearing and or one-sided ear pain.
Mild changes in hearing as a feeling of being “off” in balance are usually temporary. These symptoms improve with treatment and time.
If you have severe pain, facial paralysis, total hearing loss, or severe pain behind the ear, you should see your in-person provider or go to the emergency room. It is also best to get in-person treatment if having visible discharge from the ear. These conditions require an otoscope to visualize the inner ear canal.
VirtualWalkinCenter.com usually recommends an in-person examination for possible ear infections. However, they will do an initial telehealth evaluation to buy you the time to get in to see your primary care provider.
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Reach A Doctor Any Day Anytime
If you’re enrolled in a Healthy Focus medical plan, you have an additional health resource available to help you – Teladoc.
Contact Teladoc to help resolve non-emergency medical issues, such as an ear infection, sinus problems, cold and flu symptoms, urinary tract infection, pink eye, allergies and more. Teladoc provides unlimited access by phone or video to a national network of U.S. board-certified doctors, including pediatricians. Doctors can diagnose, treat and prescribe medication for many medical issues by phone or online video consultation.
Cost of Teladoc Services :
- General Medical Consultation – $47
- Dermatology consultations – $75
- Caregiver Services consultations – $47
- Behavioral Health Services – $85
- Behavioral Health Services – $190
- Behavioral Health Services – $95
Once you meet your in-network deductible, the Teladoc fee will be covered by insurance at 100 percent.
Sign #: Frequent Ear Infections
While most ear infections shouldnt be too alarming, dealing with the condition every few months is definitely a troublesome sign that something wrong is happening behind the scenes. Home remedies like ibuprofen and hot compresses should also ease the discomfort an ear infection brings, but when it doesnt, its best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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How Do Ear Infections Happen
A middle ear infection usually happens because of swelling in one or both of the eustachian tubes . The tubes let mucus drain from the middle ear into the throat.
A cold, throat infection, acid reflux, or allergies can make the eustachian tubes swell. This blocks the mucus from draining. Then, or grow in the mucus and make pus, which builds up in the middle ear.
When doctors refer to an ear infection, they usually mean otitis media rather than swimmerâs ear . Otitis media with effusion is when noninfected fluid builds up in the ear. It might not cause symptoms, but in some kids, the fluid creates a sensation of ear fullness or âpopping.â
How Long Do Online Medical Appointments Take
Because online medical providers address relatively mild conditions, the examination and interview to diagnose one of these conditions are usually quick affairs. If you think about it, most of the time lost going to a doctor’s appointment is lost in commuting to the doctor’s office and sitting around waiting for a doctor to be available. Neither of these issues comes into play with an online medical provider.
The average consultation for an online medical appointment is fifteen to twenty minutes. Short visit times mean that it’s easy to make an appointment for an online medical assessment even if you are already trying to work around a busy schedule. Online medical appointments are also a good option for those who have a strict sick leave policy at work.
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How Ear Infections Start
Ear infections often begin after a child has a cold, sore throat, or upper respiratory infection caused by common bacteria or viruses.
Behind your eardrum is a small chamber called the middle ear. Connected to the middle ear is your eustachian tube, which drains fluid into the back of your throat and ventilates the middle ear space. An infection can cause the eustachian tube to swell and block fluid from draining or allow negative pressure to build up.
As the fluid builds up in the middle ear, viruses or bacteria can grow, causing an infection in the middle ear. Children have narrower and shorter eustachian tubes than adults, making them more prone to ear infections.