Ear infections are a type of infection that’s most common in children but can also be found in adults. They’re most commonly caused by congestion and swelling from an upper respiratory infection. Ear infections cause severe discomfort and you want to do everything you can to encourage healing, but what can you do from home? Probably a whole lot more than you realize!
Ear Infection Symtpoms
Before you can begin treating an ear infection, you have to know what it is. It’s impossible to confirm a diagnosis without the help of a doctor, but you can attempt to self-diagnosis by comparing your symptoms to that of an ear infection. Symptoms are different for children and adults. Common symptoms in children include:
- Ear pain
- Worsening of the ear pain when laying down
- General fussiness
- Crying frequently
- Tugging or pulling at ears
Common symptoms in adults include:
- ear pain
- difficulty hearing
Home Remedies for Ear Infections
Home remedies for an ear infection are more about managing the pain than actually healing the infection. The hope is that your body will clear the infection on it’s own, but you’ve got to be comfortable in the meantime. Over the counter pain relievers are a great place to start for pain management. If your child is the one suffering, call their doctor to confirm correct dosing. You may also find a cold or warm compress placed over the ear can help. Once you’ve made the pain more tolerable, all you need to do is stay distracted so you don’t constantly think about the ear infection! Try watching a favorite movie, taking a nap, listening to music, or whatever else you and your child enjoy!
When to Seek Professional Help
Sometimes even the best home remedies aren’t enough. To avoid hearing loss, visit a doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms:
- a fever of 102 degrees or higher
- discharge from the ear
- symptoms that continue for more than 2 days
- difficulty hearing
- symptoms that feel like they’re getting worse, not better
If you need professional help to treat an ear infection, getting same-day care is vital. Urgent care centers are a great place to go for treatment because there is no appointment needed! Patients are seen in the order they arrive and urgent care centers are designed to keep patient costs as low as possible, so you won’t break the bank getting the care that you need.