Ear infections are most common in infants and children, but they affect people of all ages. At Refresh Wellness in Garland, Texas, board-certified nurse practitioner and house call specialist Bincy Varughese, APRN, FNP-C, has over nine years of experience diagnosing and treating ear infections in kids and adults. Call the office to receive treatment for an ear infection today, or book online.
An ear infection occurs when bacteria or viruses infiltrate the inner ear, causing pain and inflammation. More children get ear infections than adults. Researchers estimate most children will have at least one ear infection before they turn three.
Sometimes ear infections improve on their own. Even so, seeing a primary care specialist is crucial to reduce the risk of complications.
Symptoms of an ear infection include:
Often, infants with ear infections cry, become increasingly fussy, and tug at their ears.
Make an appointment at Refresh Wellness if you or your child have ear pain that lasts for more than a day. That’s particularly true if the pain is severe or your symptoms occur alongside upper respiratory issues, like a stuffy nose or a sore throat.
Your Refresh Wellness provider reviews your health records and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, what they feel like, and if the pain in your ear extends into your neck or head.
Next, your provider completes a physical exam. They examine your ears, throat, and nasal passage and listen to your breathing with a stethoscope, checking for congestion or wheezing.
Last, your provider uses a handheld tool called a pneumatic otoscope to check for fluid behind your eardrum. If there’s fluid present, you have an ear infection.
Treating ear infections depends on various factors, including your or your child’s age and general health. Sometimes, mild ear infections resolve on their own without treatment.
For example, if you or your child has a mild fever and few symptoms, over-the-counter pain medicine and anesthetic ear drops may provide significant relief.
Conversely, if you or your child has a severe ear infection, your provider prescribes antibiotics. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria, reducing pain and inflammation.
Take your entire course of antibiotics. If you stop early, the infection may recur and be more challenging to treat.
Call Refresh Wellness to explore the treatment options for an ear infection today or book online.