While ear infections are more prominent in the winter months, summer can mean ear infections. Why? Swimming and allergies.
What is an ear infection?
From the Mayo Clinic, “An ear infection (acute otitis media) is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear . . . [E]ar infections frequently are painful because of inflammation and buildup of fluids in the middle ear.”
If you suffer from seasonal allergies related to pollen, you might experience congestion from swelling in your nasal passages and/or throat. If left untreated, the swelling can cause a buildup of fluids in the middle ear. It is in this buildup of fluid where bacteria and viruses can take hold and cause an infection.
Swimming can lead to ear infections when your ear canal does not have adequate time to properly dry out.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
In children, the common signs and symptoms may include:
Ear pain, especially when lying down
Tugging or pulling at an ear
Crying more than usual
Acting more irritable than usual
Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
Loss of balance
Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
Drainage of fluid from the ear
Loss of appetite
In adults, the common signs and symptoms may include:
Drainage of fluid from the ear
When to see a doctor
U.N.I. Urgent Care is a full-service, walk-in medical clinic. We recommend you contact us, or your trusted physician, if you suspect you or a person in your care might have an ear infection. The symptoms listed above are not meant to be exhaustive, and these symptoms may be related to, or symptoms of, other health issues.
From the Mayo Clinic, “Symptoms of ear infections usually improve within the first couple of days, and most infections clear up on their own within one to two weeks without any treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend a wait-and-see approach as one option for:
- Children 6 to 23 months with mild inner ear pain in one ear for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F (39 C).
- Children 24 months and older with mild inner ear pain in one or both ears for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F (39 C).
Some evidence suggests that treatment with antibiotics might be beneficial for certain children with ear infections. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of antibiotics weighed against the potential side effects and concern about overuse of antibiotics creating strains of the resistant disease.”
Always better to be safe than sorry. If you, or your loved one, are experiencing the symptoms listed above, visit the nearest U.N.I Urgent Care Center today. If you think it is an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest hospital.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site!
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.