Ear infections are incredibly common, especially in childhood. If you are experiencing ear pain or your child is experiencing discomfort in one or both ears, it may be due to an ear infection!
Pain associated with an ear infection can range from a dull burning to a sharp or localized pain. Our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team explains more about ear infections and what to look for below, so read on.
Are Ear Infections Dangerous?
Ear infections are similar to any other type or viral or bacterial infection in your body. If the virus or bacteria is introduced into your inner ear, it can grow and cause pain and discomfort. As the infection spreads, it can put pressure on your eardrum and can start to affect your hearing and cause fluid to build up in your ear.
While they may be uncomfortable, the vast majority of ear infections are not dangerous and don’t ever progress to a more serious situation. Some people are at a higher risk of chronic infections or an infection that lingers for weeks or months, but a shorter infection of a few days is more common.
Signs of a Mild Ear Infection
- Pain inside ear
- Discharge coming from ear
- Feeling pressure in your ear
- Difficulty hearing
Can I Take Medication for an Ear Infection?
For most ear infections, you can expect to feel better within two to three days, even without medication. Your body’s immune system can handle most mild ear infections on its own! You can certainly take some OTC pain-relieving medication, though, in order to find some relief for your discomfort.
If you don’t start feeling better in a few days or your pain gets worse instead of better, come see us. Some ear infections require antibiotics to fully clear up, and we can do an evaluation and check your ears to decide if antibiotics are right for you. If you do receive a prescription for an antibiotic, take the entire dosage, even if you start feeling better right away.
How to Avoid Future Ear Infections
- Keep your ears clean and dry.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid smoking.
- Stay up-to-date with the vaccination schedule.
Is ear pain affecting your day? Drop by AFC Urgent Care Fountain City to visit with our care team.