Ear Infection Treatment Specialist Q&A
If your ear infection symptoms become severe or last longer than a few days, make an appointment or walk into a clinic as soon as you can. We have convenient locations in College Park MD, New Carrollton MD, Falls Church VA, and Berwyn Height MD, to serve you.
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Express Healthcare, conveniently located around Lanham-Hyattsville, MD, College Park, MD, and Berwyn Heights, MD, offers numerous health care services. We have several urgent care clinics and primary care clinics dedicated to serving our wonderful communities. Common reasons people come to Express Healthcare are for our immunization, headache treatment, internal medicine, x-ray & imaging, urgent care, physical therapy, and general care health services. Our diverse team of doctors and nurses come from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and education that ensures each patient is met with a specialized physician.
One possible condition you may be coming in for is an ear infection. Although painful, ear infections can be treated and healed within only a few short days. Here are some common questions we get asked that will give some insight on how to properly treat and care for your ear infection.
An ear infection is, of course, an infection of the middle or outer ear. A bacterial or viral infection can cause inflammation and swelling that can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Although they are more common in children, adults can get them too. There are several types of ear infections which include acute otitis media, otitis media with effusion, serous otitis media, infectious myringitis, and acute mastoiditis. It’s important to understand that each infection will present itself slightly differently and may need different types of treatment. This is why seeing an ear infection specialist is a good idea.
Ear infections can be caused by the following issues:
– Swimming in polluted or chlorinated water
– Upper respiratory tract infections
– Blocked Eustachian tubes
– Cleft palate
– Air travel
– Improper hygiene practices (ie. using cotton swabs, putting your fingers in your ears, and not drying them after they get wet)
– Influenza or pneumonia
– Sinus infections
Ear infections can be treated with at-home remedies, ear drops, and antibiotics. Treatment will be highly dependent on the type and severity of your infection. Some infections will go away on their own while others will need to be treated with prescribed medications.
For minor ear infections apply a warm cloth over your infected ear and avoid sleeping on it. You can take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Sudafed, or certain types of ear drops.
If the infection is bacterial you’ll need to put antibiotic drops into your ear as instructed by your physician. Antibiotics that doctors may give you a prescription for include amoxicillin, cortisporin solution, ciprodex suspension, Floxin solution, or ocuflox solution. Make sure to ask your doctor how to properly take them. Antibiotic solutions and suspensions will likely need to be dropped into your ear multiple times a day.
In severe cases where treatment isn’t helping, surgery is an option. A myringotomy surgery requires a specialized doctor to make a small hole in your eardrum. This hole will relieve pain and drain any fluid buildup. If the infection is caused by enlarged and swollen adenoids, you can have them surgically removed. Surgery is a last resort for ear infections and is only needed in rare cases.
General symptoms of an ear infection can include the following:
– Abnormal ear discharge
– Buzzing or ringing ears
– Loss of appetite
– Slight loss of hearing
Signs you should seek professional medical care include:
– Chronic ear infections
– Fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
– Complete loss of hearing
– Blood or large amounts of fluid coming from the ear
– Severe pain
– Symptoms are present in an infant
Ear infections can be super uncomfortable and we want you to get back to your normal routine right away! Give us a call at one of our convenient locations or schedule an appointment online and we’ll make sure you get the medical treatment you need. We serve patients from College Park MD, New Carrollton MD, Falls Church VA, Berwyn Height MD, and surrounding areas.