Healthcare Tips

Ear Infections – When to Go to Immediate Care

December 18, 2023

Ear infections are a common ailment this time of year, and some people are more prone to them than others. Kids, especially, tend to experience ear pain because their eustachian tubes (or ear canals) are smaller and positioned in such a way that doesn’t facilitate easy drainage. 

How to Know When Ear Infections Need Immediate Care?

Sometimes ear pain can be treated at home with a warm compress, ear drops, or soothing herbal oils massaged around the ear. But if those don’t do the trick, it’s time to head into immediate care for a visit. 

If you have ear pain that persists more than two or three days  – intense pain that surpasses a dull ache – it’s time to be assessed by a provider. Sometimes ear blockages clear on their own, but anything longer than a couple days warrants medical attention. Pain levels can grow sharply as infection increases and this can lead to larger issues – including hearing loss – later on. 

Another sign that it’s time for an expert opinion is if you have any type of ear drainage coming from your ear. This is a clear sign that infection is present and that your body isn’t able to clear the blockage. Antibiotics are likely necessary to assist your body in healing. 

Another common symptom indicating a need for medical attention is a fever. If you or your child experiences a fever over 100.4 degrees fahrenheit, then it’s time for a medical provider to take a look. Fevers aren’t bad in and of themselves – they are a sign that your body is fighting against something. However, it’s important to pay attention to this sign and support your body in getting well again.     

Finally, if you experience hearing loss or a sense of dizziness along with your ear pain then it’s time to call in the experts. These symptoms are signals that your body needs some intervention to get well and be feeling 100% again. 

Of course, you don’t need to have one of these symptoms in order to be seen. If you have any ear discomfort that you are worried about, always reach out to a provider. Gateway Hancock Health is here to help you and your family through ear infection season. Our expert providers will have you feeling better in no time.  

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