Ear infections are a common condition that many people face. If you’ve ever had one, you know how painful and unpleasant they are. Treating ear infections at home is very difficult, but it can help to shorten the length of the infection and make symptoms more manageable. These are a few tips you should keep in mind next time you’re suffering from an ear infection!
What Causes an Ear Infection?
Ear infections most often occur after someone has suffered from another illness like the common cold or influenza. These illnesses are caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. As your body fights the infection, it can make it’s way into your middle ear, where it will settle and cause an ear infection.
Symptoms of Ear Infection
Symptoms of an ear infection are more severe in children than they are in adults. Adults typically suffer from ear pain and drainage. Children will also have ear pain and drainage, but they will likely present other symptoms too. Common symptoms in children include fever, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, fussiness, and pulling at their ears.
The best way to encourage healing at home is to drink plenty of water, rest, and manage your pain. Pain associated with an ear infection can be managed using over the counter pain relievers, cold medicines, and decongestants. Some parents place a warm washcloth on their child’s ear to help soothe the pain temporarily.
Seeking Professional Treatment for Ear Infection
Unfortunately, most ear infections don’t heal on their own. If you’re suffering from a fever, severe pain, or if your symptoms have lasted for more than 24 hours, you should seek professional treatment before the infection gets worse. A local urgent care center or walk-in clinic is a great place to receive same-day treatment with no appointment.
You’ll be diagnosed through a physical evaluation and a description of your symptoms. If the infection if not going away on its own, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. You can continue taking over the counter pain relievers until the antibiotics offer some relief. Remember, even if you feel better before the prescription is finished, don’t stop taking them! This common mistake gives an infection the perfect opportunity to flare up again.
Get familiar with the urgent care centers and walk-in clinics in your area. Most have flexible hours with no appointment necessary, so there’s no reason to delay treatment for your ear infection any longer!