Velocity Care explores the painful but common affliction of earaches
What is an earache?
Earaches are a common affliction, especially in young children, and are one of the top reasons for urgent care visits. This painful condition may feel like uncomfortable pressure in the inner ear or it may cause a burning or sharp stabbing sensation. The symptoms of an earache can range from mildly uncomfortable to severely painful.
There are many conditions that can cause an earache to occur. Often doctors can treat an earache quite easily, but some earaches require surgery to bring relief. The most common causes of pain in the ear are the following:
- An infection in the inner ear.
- Fluid buildup inside the eardrum.
- Injury inside the ear.
- Blockage inside the ear from earwax buildup or from a foreign object.
- Throat infections.
- Upper respiratory infections.
What are the symptoms of an earache?
Earaches occur often in infants and young children, but sometimes they are difficult to diagnose. Since young children may not be able to explain their symptoms to you, you should look for the following:
- Loss of appetite.
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Difficulty hearing.
- Unusual balance issues.
- Rubbing, pulling or pointing to the ear.
What are the best treatment options for an earache?
There are several treatment options available for an earache, depending on the cause. An infection will require antibiotics in the form of eardrops or oral medication. This should clear up the infection within five to seven days, and symptoms should start to decrease in a day or two. Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help to reduce any fever that is present and should minimize any pain and discomfort. Minimizing the pain will help to improve any sleep or appetite issues. If the earache is caused by a blockage in the ear, a doctor will need to remove whatever substance is present. Afterward, the pain will usually diminish.
If fluid is present in the ear (also known as glue ear) your doctor may recommend surgery. The doctor will implant small tubes in the inner ear, which help to drain the fluid and keep it from building up, thus reducing or completely eliminating pain and pressure. This type of surgery is very common and routine and will help to prevent future chronic earaches.
The medical teams at all our Velocity Care clinics are well-trained in diagnosing and treating earaches. If you or a loved one is experiencing ear pain, Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center can help. With little to no wait and exceptional service, you will be on the road to good health in no time. Our conveniently located walk-in clinics in the Louisiana and Arkansas areas offer exceptional care for your family.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
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