Ear Infections

Ear infections are common in children, and this health problem is often a side effect from having a cold or sinus congestion.

What Causes Most Ear Infections?

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.

Signs of an Ear Infection

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.

Home Treatment for Ear Infections

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.

Come into WellCare

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.

Should I visit Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

Urgent Care

When you have any medical condition that is non-life threatening or have general medical needs, then an Urgent Care center can take care of these. WellCare Urgent Care takes care of a variety of medical concerns such as the flu, vaccinations, physicals, allergy symptoms, and more.

WellCare Urgent care is convenient because it is quick and cost-effective.

Average visit time: 1 hour
Average cost: $150

Emergency Room

Emergency care is necessary when you are suffering from a life-threatening condition. This could be a heart attack, stroke, head injury, or other trauma that requires more advanced treatment. If you or someone you love has a life-threatening illness or injury, then you need to call 911 and get to the closest Emergency Room.

Emergency Rooms, while the best option for serious trauma, do take time and are costly.

Average Time Spent: 4.5 hours
Average Cost Per Visit: $1700

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