Ear infections are common in children, and this health problem is often a side effect from having a cold or sinus congestion. However, teenagers and adults can also have ear infections. Most of these infections involve the middle ear, but the inflammation can spread to other portions of the inner ear. Most ear infections are caused by viruses, bacteria, or excessive moisture in the ear. If water enters the ear while someone is bathing or swimming, then this can lead to swimmer’s ear in the outer ear canal, causing an intense itching sensation. This problem can spread into the inner ear or to the outer ear, causing additional problems for the affected individual.
With an ear infection, you can experience a decline in hearing acuity, a feeling of stuffiness, itching, or pain. In some cases, fluid may drip from the ear canal, indicating a major infection, or alternatively, the ear may create additional earwax as it tries to get rid of the infection naturally. Children may tug at their ears or have a fever with an earache. An earache can make it difficult for someone to sleep, and loud noises can lead to additional discomfort.
You can find over-the-counter drops for different types of ear infections, but make sure to use these properly. It is also possible to take pain relievers to overcome discomfort along with reducing your fever. Placing a cotton ball in the ear can prevent air circulation that causes additional pain. You can apply a warm or cold compress below or behind the ear to alleviate discomfort from an earache. Use a clean soft washcloth to make a compress with cold or warm water, and you can change the compress frequently.
If your earache continues, then visit WellCare Urgent Care center for an evaluation to determine if you need to have the ear canals cleaned with professional devices or if you need prescription ear drops. A physician can prescribe oral antibiotics for some types of ear infections. Avoid trying to unclog an ear on your own because it can damage the inner components of the ear. If you have an ear infection that won’t go away or if a child has frequent earaches, then you or a child may need surgery to release the fluid from the inner ear. Schedule an appointment online or come into one of our Cascade or Leonard locations for fast and professional care.