As the weather warms up, you and the family are most likely going to be spending more time outside. This means hiking, camping, swimming, and more. The staff at Quality First Urgent Care encourages more movement and activity outdoors. However, it’s important to remember with outdoor activities comes the risk of cuts, bruises, and infections. A common infection for those who enjoy swimming often is an ear infection. So before you go to your phone and search “urgent care near me” consider the following post to determine if you actually have an infection or if you’re experiencing something more serious. Whether it’s you, your child, or you, it’s imperative you understand how you treat an ear infection so it does not worsen before you get to the local urgent care.
What is an ear infection?
Generally, ear infections cause pain. In most cases, the infection is found in the middle ear, which is the space between your eardrum and the small vibrating bones to be able to hear properly, and it’s from bacteria or a virus. Whether you have an infection or a buildup of fluids in your middle ear–it can be both–you will experience discomfort, pain, or even equilibrium issues, which means dizziness, headaches, or even the inability to walk straight.
Depending on your infection, your body will work to fight the bacteria or virus. This means the initial step is to manage or mitigate pain with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. The general approach to ear infections may change based on whether it is you, an adult, or your child who has the infection. Nonetheless, if you’re not sure what to do, you can use your phone to search “urgent care near me” or you can simply visit our team at Quality First Urgent Care.
If the pain grows to great, or you are noticing more serious effects due to the infection as mentioned above, you need to see a doctor immediately to clear up the infection.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
The symptoms of an ear infection for an adult and a child are relatively similar, but it’s important to know the difference, so you can become better at treating or preventing the infection altogether
If your child is experiencing pain while lying down, pushing, pulling, or tugging at their ear, or having difficulty sleeping, they may have an ear infection. More symptoms include irritability, crying, hearing difficulty, balance loss, high-grade fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), fluid drainage from ear, headache, or loss of appetite.
In most cases, noticing these symptoms early could prevent your child from worsening discomfort or pain. Pay attention to them after swimming or spending an abundance of time in the water.
As for adults, the symptoms are similar to children; however, the symptoms are not as pronounced. Adults are usually better at tolerating pain. They are typically less likely to pull or tug at their ears when they have an infection. Finally, they may run a fever, but it’s low-grade, meaning 100 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Nonetheless, if you or your spouse begins to experience inner ear pain, fluid drainage from the ear, or trouble hearing, you may be dealing with an ear infection.
When should visit an urgent care near you?
It’s a common question to ask: “Should I visit my local urgent care?” The answer depends on your infection. The infection, whether bacterial or virus based may be fought off by your body’s immune system. However, if your discomfort or pain symptoms worsen, you will want to see a doctor.
The best time to see a doctor at your local urgent care is a judgement call on your part. Nonetheless, the staff at Quality First Urgent Care are always ready to welcome you and get you the treatment you need to get back to feeling normal again.
Choose Your Local Urgent Care!
As you and your family adventure outside, take some precautionary measures to reduce the chance of ear infection. After a good swim, make sure and gently rinse out the ear with warm water. Do not use cue tips to clean out the ears, since it pushes most everything deep into your ear. Remember, if you or your child are facing intolerable pain, visit your Quality First Urgent Care to get treated.