What is an ear infection?
Ear infections are a build-up of mucous in the inside of the ear, usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. The infection is usually secondary to another upper respiratory illness, such as a cold, the flu, or even allergies. While ear infections can happen at any age, they are most common in children.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Ear infections are usually characterized by ear pain and difficulty hearing. But there are some other symptoms that you may encounter, especially in children:
- Tugging at or pulling on the infected ear – keep an eye out for this in children who can’t yet communicate that they are in pain
- Increased fussiness or crying
- Difficulty sleeping (often because pain increases when lying down)
- Loss of balance
- Loss of appetite
- Fever of 100℉ or higher
- Drainage or fluid from the ear
Do I need to go to the ER for an ear infection?
Most ear infections will clear up on their own without the need for medication other than to manage pain. However, it is a good idea to check with your doctor, since the symptoms of an ear infection can indicate other conditions, some serious. Ear infections may also rupture the eardrum. Seek immediate medical attention if:
- Symptoms persist longer than a day or two, or worsen
- Symptoms are in a baby younger than 6 months of age
- Symptoms are accompanied by a high fever
- There is a knot or swollen area around the ear
- There is a discharge of fluid, blood, or pus from the ear
The staff was very attentive and courteous, the Dr. addressed all of my concerns– Laura