Ear Pain and Ear Infections

Get Your Ear Pain or Ear Infection Treated by a Medical Professional at Home

Inner ear infections (otitis media) and outer ear infections (otitis externa) are two of the highest causes of clinical visits for children and adults. Inner ear infections occur when fluid builds up in the area behind the eardrum and then becomes infected, typically with bacteria. Outer ear infections are often called Swimmer’s Ear because repeated exposure to water can make the ear canal more vulnerable to infection and inflammation.

Inner ear infections can occur as a result of a cold, sore throat, or respiratory infection. They are very common, especially in children, because their shorter, more horizontal eustachian tubes allow bacteria and viruses find their way into the middle ear more easily than in adults. The eustachian tubes are also narrower which means that they are more likely to get blocked.

Common symptoms of inner ear infections include ear pain, fever, fluid drainage from the ear, temporary reduction of hearing, and trouble eating, drinking, or sleeping. Chewing, sucking, and lying down can cause painful pressure changes in the middle ear. Chronic inner ear infections in children are sometimes treated by a doctor placing very small plastic tubes in the child’s ears to allow fluid or pus to drain. 

An outer ear infection or Swimmer’s Ear causes inflammation (redness and swelling) of the external ear canal, which is the tube between the outer ear and eardrum. If untreated, outer ear infections can become extremely painful and progress to more serious infections of the deep tissues and bone. Damaging the skin inside your ear and regularly getting water in your ear make you more likely to develop outer ear infections

Symptoms of outer ear infections include ear pain, itchiness in the ear canal, a discharge of liquid or pus from the ear, and a temporary reduction of hearing.

How Pivotal Health Can Help

Because symptoms of inner and outer ear infections can also be signs of other conditions, it’s important to seek medical attention to get an accurate diagnosis and ensure proper treatment. Ear infections are one of the most common conditions that Pivotal Health treats. If you suspect that you or a loved one might have an ear infection, don’t hesitate to schedule a Pivotal Health house call. The Pivotal Health clinician will perform a complete examination, including a full check of the patient’s ears, nose, and throat, and determine if the symptoms indicate an ear infection. They use an otoscope, a small instrument similar to a flashlight, to see the eardrum.

The Pivotal Health clinician will then provide a comprehensive treatment plan and tips for managing pain and other symptoms. The clinician will factor in many things when creating the treatment plan including the type and severity of the ear infection, how often the patient has ear infections, how long the infection has lasted, the patient’s age and any other risk factors that may be present.

For outer ear infections, antibiotic ear drops are often prescribed. For inner ear infections, antibiotics are not always needed. If the Pivotal Health clinician deems antibiotics necessary, they can easily send a prescription electronically to your preferred pharmacy.


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