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Ear Infections

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Symptoms of an ear infection typically appear suddenly.  In adults, symptoms can include:

  • Ear pain
  • Fluid from the ear
  • Poor hearing

Symptoms of an ear infection can point to a variety of other medical conditions as well, so it’s important to consult a doctor as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis.

How do you treat an ear infection?

Many times, an ear infection is treated with antibiotics.  However, depending upon your age and symptoms, your doctor may not prescribe an antibiotic (link to “why doctors may not prescribe antibiotics blog”).

Pain is one of the primary symptoms of an ear infection so relieving the pain is important.  Your doctor may recommend:

  • Warm compresses
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Prescription ear drops

What types of ear infections exist?

Two main types of ear infections exist: otitis media (or “middle ear infection”) and otitis externa (or “swimmer’s ear”).  They can be either bacterial or viral in nature.   

When should you see the doctor?

Many times, an ear infection will clear up on its own without treatment; however, depending on the severity of your symptoms and risk factors, a trip to the doctor is advised.  Additionally, if the pain or ear infection symptoms last longer than a few days, it’s important to visit the doctor.  If you're looking for treatment for an ear infection, walk in or schedule an appointment at MedSpring - we have centers across Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas; and Chicago, Ilinois.

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How do you avoid an ear infection?

Some people, especially children, are more susceptible to ear infections than others; however, there are precautions you can take to help prevent ear infections:

  • Keep ears dry
  • Keep ears clean
  • Swim in clean water
  • Only touch ears with clean hands
  • Avoid using Q-tips or swabs

Additional Resources