Should I Go To The Doctor For An Ear Infection
If youre dealing with ear pain and still asking yourself, Should I go to the doctor for an ear infection? the right answer depends on your symptoms and situation. There are times, especially if your baby has an ear infection, you should go to the doctor right away. But in most cases, you can probably wait out an ear infection on your own.
Think you might have an ear infection and arent sure who to see, contact us and well get you the help you need.
When To Visit A Doctor For An Ear Infection
You have learned as a parent that your kids sometimes come down with inconvenient and worrisome infections. However, while you can competently treat many of your kids colds, coughs, and other illnesses with home remedies, you may wonder if or when to take your child to the doctor for an ear infection. With as often as children can suffer from ear infections, it can be confusing for parents to know the proper way to treat this condition. You can help minimize your childrens pain and shorten the time of the infection by knowing when to get medical help for ear infections.
What Increases Your Risk For Hospital Infections
Any patient in any healthcare facility can develop an HAI. But, some patients are more at risk than others. Patients with a greater risk include:
- Young children.
Interestingly, some new infection-control programs show very promising results. Below are a few examples of hospital efforts that have reduced infection rates.
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Is Medical Treatment For Ear Pain Swimmers Ear Or Ear Infection Expensive At Stat Meds Urgent Care Clinic No Especially Compared To Bills From An Er
Your out-of-pocket costs for urgent care treatment will vary depending on a number of things, including your insurance coverage co-pays and deductibles or our cash pay discounts. We are in-network with most major insurance carriers, but please contact your insurance carrier for specifics of your coverage.
Whether you have insurance or not, managing your medical care costs down is all about choosing your best care option that doesnt compromise on the quality of your care.
For most non-life-threatening issues, the Emergency Room is unnecessarily costly and time-consuming. A better choice is STAT MED Urgent Care. While service capabilities in the urgent care industry vary by provider, STAT MED Urgent Care clinics have the staff and facilities to address 70% of the kinds of medical issues that many emergency rooms see.
Why Do Kids Get Ear Infections
Kids get ear infections more than adults do for several reasons:
- Their shorter, more horizontal eustachian tubes let bacteria and viruses find their way into the middle ear more easily. The tubes are also narrower, so more likely to get blocked.
- Their adenoids, gland-like structures at the back of the throat, are larger and can interfere with the opening of the eustachian tubes.
Other things that can put kids at risk include secondhand smoke, bottle-feeding, and being around other kids in childcare. Ear infections are more common in boys than girls.
Ear infections are not contagious, but the colds that sometimes cause them can be. Infections are common during winter weather, when many people get upper respiratory tract infections or colds .
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
Ear pain is the main sign of a middle ear infection. Kids also might have:
- trouble eating, drinking, or sleeping. Chewing, sucking, and lying down can cause painful pressure changes in the middle ear.
Older kids can complain about ear pain, but a younger child might just tug at the ear or be fussy and cry more than usual.
If the pressure from the fluid buildup gets high enough, it can rupture the eardrum, with fluid draining from the ear. This is a common cause of ruptured eardrums in children. A child with a ruptured eardrum might feel dizzy or nauseated, and have ringing or buzzing in the ear.
Does A Middle Ear Infection Hurt
A middle ear infection can cause a number of symptoms, including:
- drainage from the ear
- trouble hearing due to fluid buildup in your middle ear
- a headache that gets worse when you bend over or lay down
Other symptoms include facial pain, nausea and vomiting , loss of appetite, tenderness in your ears, swollen lymph nodes around your neck, difficulty sleeping, and more.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
Very rarely, ear infections that don’t go away or severe repeated middle ear infections can lead to complications. So kids with an earache or a sense of fullness in the ear, especially when combined with fever, should be seen by their doctors if they aren’t getting better after a couple of days.
Other things can cause earaches, such as teething, a foreign object in the ear, or hard earwax. Your doctor can find the cause of your child’s discomfort and treat it.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
If you have the following symptoms which are similar to basic urinary tract infection symptoms visit a nearby urgent care to treat the infection in a timely manner.
- Frequent or urgent, painful urination
- Cloudy, bad smelling, or bloody urine
- Pressure in the pelvis
- This could also be a sign of a bladder infection.
Our Lakway, TX and Colorado Springs, CO urgent care facilities are fully equipped to help you treat your kidney infection symptoms. For late-night kidney infection symptoms, our 24-hour emergency room locations throughout Texas are also available to serve you.
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Differences Between Middle Ear Infection And Outer Ear Infection
|Middle ear infection|
|Middle ear infection Usually affects children||Outer ear infection Usually affects adults aged 45 to 75|
|Middle ear infection Caused by viruses like colds and flu||Outer ear infection Caused by something irritating the ear canal, such as eczema, water or wearing ear plugs|
|Middle ear infection Affects the middle ear||Outer ear infection Affects the ear canal|
What Does An Ear Infection Feel Like
Symptoms depend on which part of your ear is infected and can include:
- ear pain or itch
- discharge from your ear
- redness or swelling of your ear
Babies and small children might:
- pull or rub their ear
- have a high temperature
- have redness around the ear
- be restless or irritable
- not respond to noises that would normally attract their attention
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What Leads To An Infection In The Middle Ear
Middle ear infections can be caused by a variety of things, including:
- Bacterial or viral infections. These can spread from the throat to the middle ear through saliva, mucus, blood, or other body fluids.
- Swimming. Swimming in a dirty pool with excessive water pressure causes water to enter the eardrum.
- Insect bites. Insect bites near the ear canal .
- Earwax buildup. Earwax buildup and blockage that allows bacteria to grow in moist areas of your ear canal and build up behind your Eustachian tube .
How To Help Prevent Ear Infections
While most children get ear infections, there are a few things parents can do to try to prevent them:
- Breast feeding infants until at least age 6 months may help to lessen the number of ear infections.
- Keep your child away from cigarette smoke. Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home or car.
- Always hold your baby with his head up during feeding time . Babies should not be fed by propping the bottle or while lying flat.The formula can get into the middle ear and cause an infection.
- Do notleave a bottle in the crib for the baby to drink at bedtime.
- Make sure your childs immunizations are up to date.
- If your child is diagnosed with acute otitis media, avoid giving him a pacifier.Dress your child properly in cold and rainy weather.
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Fluid Buildup And Surgery
Doctors may consider surgery for children who have repeat ear infections or who keep getting fluid behind the eardrum. Procedures include inserting ear tubes or removing adenoids and, in rare cases, the tonsils.
Fluid behind the eardrum after an ear infection is normal. And, in most children, the fluid clears up within 3 months without treatment. If your child has fluid buildup without infection, you may try watchful waiting.
Have your child’s hearing tested if the fluid lasts longer than 3 months. If hearing is normal, you may choose to keep watching your child without treatment.
If a child has fluid behind the eardrum for more than 3 months and has significant hearing problems, then treatment is needed. Sometimes short-term hearing loss occurs. This is especially a concern in children ages 2 and younger. Normal hearing is very important when young children are learning to talk.
If your child is younger than 2, your doctor may not wait 3 months to start treatment. Hearing problems at this age could affect how well your child can speak. This is also why children in this age group are closely watched when they have ear infections.
What Causes Ear Infections
Ear infections are the most common infections of the middle ear. They come with pain, a sensation that the ear is clogged up and can even affect our hearing.
They are usually caused by bacteria in the middle ear, but they can also be viral. More often this happens because of another illness that causes one of your Eustachian tubes to swell or become blocked.
This results in a build-up of fluid in the spaces of the middle ear. The pain is the result of this build-up of fluid and the accompanying inflammation increasing pressure on your eardrum.
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What Is A Middle Ear Infection
The middle ear is a cavity behind the eardrum that connects to the throat.
The Eustachian tube, which connects the back of your mouth with your middle ear, helps you equalize pressure between the outside environment and your inner ear by allowing air to flow in and out.
Its also responsible for helping you produce mucous when you have a cold or allergies.
Infections involving this area are quite common in children and are usually caused by either viral or bacterial infections.
How Middle Ear Infections Are Treated
Most ear infections clear up within three to five days and dont need any specific treatment. If necessary, paracetamol or ibuprofen should be used to relieve pain and a high temperature.
Make sure any painkillers you give to your child are appropriate for their age. Read more about giving your child painkillers.
Antibiotics arent routinely used to treat middle ear infections, although they may occasionally be prescribed if symptoms persist or are particularly severe.
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Surfaces Like Bed Rails And Hospital Elevator Buttons Need To Be Kept Clean Too
Your doctor probably wont tell you to wipe down surfaces in the hospital room with bleach or alcohol wipes. Yet high-touch areas like bed rails and elevator buttons can harbor the pathogens that cause infections.
Karen Curtiss, whose father contracted several HAIs in the hospital following a lung transplant, including MRSA and C. difficile, spent weeks in the hospital with her dad. She was never told to wipe down any surfaces with bleach or alcohol, or even to wash her own hands. We had no idea how easy it is to bring germs into the patients room, says Curtiss. Her father died at the age of 71 from these untreatable infections without ever leaving the hospital.
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Your Infection Is Not Getting Better With Antibiotics
If you have seen your healthcare provider and started oral antibiotics, you should see improvement in your symptoms within 24 to 48 hours. Check the infection regularly, and make sure there is:
Less redness: This may take a day or two after you start antibiotics. But at the least, the redness should not get worse. A good way to tell is to draw a line around the red area before you start antibiotics.
Less pain: The infected area will feel less tender.
Less fever: If you have a fever, it should start to go away.
If your cellulitis doesnt improve after 48 hours on antibiotics, you should consider going back to your provider or the emergency room to have your infection reassessed. You may have one of the complicating factors that we discuss below. And this may require a change in the type of antibiotic you are taking or an IV form of the same antibiotic.
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When Else Are Antibiotics Needed
Antibiotics can be the right treatment for kids who get a lot of ear infections. Their doctors might prescribe daily antibiotics to help prevent future infections. And younger children or those with more severe illness may need antibiotics right from the start.
The “wait-and-see” approach also might not apply to children with other concerns, such as cleft palate, genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, or other illnesses such as immune system disorders.
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?
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What Is An Ear Ache And When To See A Doctor
An ear ache is commonly associated with childhood illness but it can actually affect adults too. Both children and adults can experience an ear ache in one or both ears although its more common for the pain to appear in just one. There could be a number of different reasons why an ear ache happens and not all of them mean that you need to go and see a doctor.
What To Do When Others Around You Have Already Tested Positive For Covid
With the contagious nature of this current variant, many people are contracting infections.
According to a not yet peer-reviewed Danish study, Omicron is 2.7 to 3.7 times more infectious than the Delta variant.
While there may be a delay in getting official results, using at-home testing kits and home monitoring, opting for work from home accommodations while distancing, and using over-the-counter medications can help save you a trip to the emergency department.
If one person in your household or someone you have spent time with has tested positive for COVID-19 and you also have mild symptoms, theres a good chance you also have COVID-19.
You can stay at home and isolate with the assumption you likely have COVID-19, even if you havent been able to take a test to verify you have an infection.
And with mild symptoms, you dont need to come to the ER just for a test.
Emergency departments across the country are hectic these days, said Dr. Bobby Lewis, vice chair for clinical operations for the department of emergency medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
We are seeing all of the same people like we normally would since people are not staying away like they did with the first surge, and were seeing a lot of younger people with mild symptoms and many who just want a COVID test, Lewis continued.
But relatively mild symptoms are still often very unpleasant.
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Types Of Ear Infections
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth – a maze of fluid-filled channels in the inner ear
Vestibular neuritis/ neuronitis
Vestibular neuritis/neuronitis is inflammation of the vestibular nerve that sends information on balance and head position to the brain.
The main symptom is sudden and dramatic vertigo . It may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Herpes zoster oticus
Herpes zoster of the ear is when the auditory nerve is infected by the herpes zoster virus. Symptoms include ear pain, vertigo , hearing loss, and small blisters on the outer ear and ear canal. The blisters may also appear on the face and neck. The main nerve of the facial muscles may also become infected, leading to facial weakness. Not all causes of facial weakness are due to the herpes zoster virus.