When to Seek Care for Ear PainDenton, TX
Ear pain by itself is generally not concerning. It will usually go away by itself after a few days. However, if specific symptoms accompany it, individuals should seek medical treatment. Ear pain with other symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition that requires medical attention. For example, an earache, along with a sore throat, could be an indication of strep throat or tonsillitis.
Code 3 ER & Urgent Care at Denton can see patients who believe they are suffering from mild, moderate, or severe ear pain. If you are located near Denton, you can walk-in without needing to call ahead and be seen at any time of day.
When to Go to an Emergency Room
Children who have frequent earaches should receive prompt medical attention when they have ear pain. Persistent ear pain can lead to a more serious infection for a child. If left untreated, the infection can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Below is a list of symptoms that could indicate a potential infection. If your child is suffering from any of the following symptoms, contact a medical professional. If you need fast service, you may stop by an emergency room. Make sure to first check on hours of operation. Some but not all locations are open 24 hours per day.
- Fever above 104 degrees
- Hearing problems
- Stiff neck
- Becomes lethargic
- Becomes inconsolable
Individuals who have recently experienced trauma to the head should also seek medical attention if they are experiencing ear pain. Head trauma can cause injury to the brain. Ear pain may be one of the first signs of a more serious injury to the head. A doctor may recommend tests to determine if this is the case.
Less Severe Symptoms
Even if an individual is not experiencing severe symptoms, such as a high fever or chronic lethargy, there are a few other symptoms that may require a visit to our emergency room and clinic. For example, people who are experiencing hearing loss should seek medical attention because the hearing loss may worsen if left untreated.
Pain that does not start to improve after about 24 to 48 hours also requires the attention of a doctor. A low fever or any discharge coming from the ear may be a sign of an infection. Pain that worsens when blowing the nose or tugging on the earlobe may indicate a more significant infection.
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By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with stronger medication and treatment options instead of ineffective store-bought products.
Treatment for Ear Pain
For ear pain that is caused by an infection, the doctors at an emergency room may prescribe antibiotics. These antibiotics most often come in the form of ear drops. It is essential to complete the entire course of antibiotics for an ear infection, even after the ear pain has disappeared. The bacteria that caused the infection may cause the ear infection to return if the entire prescription of antibiotics has not been completed.
A doctor at an emergency room may also recommend that the child use over the counter (OTC) pain relievers for ears. These may include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. A doctor can recommend the right dose, depending on the child's age and the amount of pain.
What causes ear pain?
The most common cause of pain in the ear is an infection. Children get ear infections, often during colds or allergies. When tubes in their ears get blocked, ear pain can result. It is important to seek medical attention if the pain is not getting better.
Other causes of ear pain can include excessive ear wax, a change in the air pressure, or another problem near the ear. For example, tonsillitis and pharyngitis can both cause severe pain in the ears. People who grind their teeth and have TMJ pain may also develop ear pain. People who have severe pain in one or both ears should seek prompt medical attention.
Can a loud noise cause ear pain?
People who have jobs that regularly expose them to loud sounds, such as industrial equipment, may be at risk for acoustic trauma. Acoustic trauma causes damage to the eardrum and the muscles in the inner ear. Symptoms may include a buzzing sound, ear pain, and hearing loss.
How is an ear infection treated?
A doctor can diagnose an ear infection by examining the inner ear. If the ear infection is not improving, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics for a bacterial infection. Doctors may recommend ear drops to help lessen the pain. In extreme cases, surgery may be required if the pain does not go away.
What is acute otitis media?
Acute otitis media (AOM) is a type of ear infection that happens in one ear or both ears. It is the most common type of ear infection. It is a short-term infection that comes on suddenly. It often causes sharp pain in the ear.
This infection can happen when the middle ear becomes infected and swells. The swelling prevents the eustachian tube from draining fluid away from the middle ear. This causes pressure on the eardrum and pain in the ear. Because the fluid is not draining out of the ear, bacteria can begin to build up.
Children often suffer from this type of ear infection because their eustachian tubes are narrower and can more easily become clogged. Children are especially susceptible to ear infections when they are sick with a cold. They may have temporary hearing loss as a result.
How do I tell if my infant has an ear infection?
While it can be difficult to tell if an infant has an ear infection, there are a few signs of an ear infection:
- Fever higher than 100 degrees
- Hearing loss
- Extreme fussiness
- Tugging on or touching the ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Drainage from ear
Depending on the age of the patient, symptoms may differ.
Is swimmer’s ear contagious?
Swimmer's ear happens when water is trapped in the ear canal and allows bacteria to grow. Individuals may notice pain when pulling on the earlobe. However, because the bacteria are inside the ear, this infection is not contagious. Doctors may prescribe antibiotic ear drops for the infection.
Visit Your Emergency Room
When in doubt, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention for ear pain. In children, waiting too long can result in permanent hearing loss. In individuals with recent head trauma, ear pain can be a sign of a more severe injury. Getting the right antibiotics or another treatment can help ear pain go away faster.
Whatever the cause, it is crucial to find out if the pain is caused by ear wax, loud noises, an infection, head trauma, or something more severe. For those living near Denton, you can find the route cause of the pain by stopping by Code 3 ER & Urgent Care at Denton. If you want to verify if the ear pain is benign before coming in, you may contact us at (940) 535-7259. We have staff available to see you any time of day year-round.
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