Ear infections are frightfully common in the winter. At Preferred Urgent Care we know how irritating they can be. They are a very uncomfortable and often painful condition. Here is some information so you can properly detect and treat an ear infection.
The Three Types of Infection
There are three forms of an ear infection: inner ear infection, middle ear infection, and an outer ear infection (otherwise known as swimmer’s ear). These ear infections each affect different parts of the ear but can have common symptoms to look out for that may need urgent care.
- Diminished or muffled hearing
- Fluid Drainage
- Headaches or changes in vision
- Itching or redness
- Pain that gets worse when laying down
For children these symptoms can appear differently. Children don’t have the same skills or methods in communicating their problems. Easy signs to look for an ear infection in children are crying, ear tugging, and fever.
How To Treat An Ear Infection
Visiting urgent care might not be necessary if the ear infection is treatable at home. There are a few methods that one can try if the ear infection is not too severe.
To help with pain one can place a warm or cold compress in the ear. There is also ibuprofen or other pain relievers that can help with inflammation. If you feel there needs to be fluid drainage try sleeping upright to assist with that. If the pain and symptoms don’t get better, it’s time to head out to Preferred Urgent Care.
Doctors will generally prescribe antibiotics for viral ear infections. This is to help deal with the symptoms because viral ear infections have to go away on their own.
Why Are They Common in the Winter?
Scarves and hats are often used in the winter, when the cold and wet takes over and snow is coming down in flurries. These can be breeding grounds for bacteria and lead them right into your ear. You can also be at risk because the snow can make clothes cold and wet, and if they don’t dry properly it can lead to an ear infection.