Ear Infection Treatment in Laredo, TX
Infants and young children are especially prone to ear infections—the most common cause of earaches—but teenagers and adults can get them, too. If you’ve ever had an ear infection, you probably know that fast and effective treatment is important. But how do you know if an earache is caused by an ear infection and when do you need to seek medical attention? The experienced and caring providers at VitalMed Urgent Care in Laredo, Texas, can offer some helpful tips about how to deal with this common and often painful condition.
What Is an Ear Infection?
Most ear infections develop in the middle ear, a small space behind the eardrum. The middle ear is connected to the back of the throat by a tiny channel (Eustachian tube), which keeps the middle ear clean and dry by allowing the fluids produced by the ear to drain. If the Eustachian tube becomes blocked by swelling, fluid can build up in the middle ear, creating an ideal breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Ear infections often develop along with another illness, such as the common cold or flu, mainly because germs in the sinus cavities can easily travel through the Eustachian tube and settle in the middle ear.
In general, you should see a health care provider if you experience the following ear infection symptoms:
- A severe earache
- Throbbing ear pain
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- A sensation that the ear is “plugged up”
- Clear or yellow ear drainage
- Muffled hearing
You should call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room if your ear pain develops due to head trauma or if you think you might have a ruptured eardrum.
How Is an Ear Infection Treated?
After discussing your symptoms and examining your painful ear with a special lighted instrument (otoscope), your VitalMed provider may suggest a treatment plan that includes warm compresses, an over-the-counter pain reliever or decongestant, ear drops or a course of antibiotics. In many cases, the ear pain and other symptoms improve within a few days and the underlying infection clears up within one to two weeks.
Illnesses and injuries can strike when they are least expected, but the experienced and compassionate providers at VitalMed Urgent Care are here to help you through them. We offer prompt ear infection treatment and other urgent care services on a walk-in basis. To learn more, contact or visit one of our conveniently located urgent care centers in Laredo, TX, today.