Ear infections are some of the most painful and irritating health conditions you can experience in the winter. If you fear you're among the many Americans who suffer from the ailment, here's how you can notice the signs of infection and what you can do to treat it.
The three types of infection
You might already know that are three primary forms of ear infections: an inner ear infection, a middle ear infection, and an outer ear infection (also known as swimmer's ear). While these three infections affect a different portion of your ear, they have a few symptoms in common that can render urgent care treatment necessary:
- Itching and/or redness
- Fluid drainage
- Pain, especially when lying down
- Diminished or muffled hearing
- Headaches or changes in vision
Keep in mind these symptoms may look a little different in children who are unable to voice their discomfort. If you suspect your child is suffering from an ear infection, watch for fevers, crying, irritability, and tugging at the ear.
How to treat an ear infection
There are few ways to treat an ear infection at home without the assistance of a local urgent care facility. To help ease your pain, you can administer a warm or cold compress, try a pain reliever like ibuprofen, or sleeping upright to encourage fluid drainage. If your symptoms persist or worsen, however, you may need urgent medical treatment to improve your health.
When you visit your doctor, they will likely prescribe you an antibiotic for a bacterial ear infection or another form of pain reliever in the event of a viral condition. Viral ear infections will have to go away on their own, but your Seattle doctors will help you cope with the symptoms in the meantime.
Why are they common in the winter?
Because of the cold, wet snow, you might be at an increased risk for contracting an ear infection. This is primarily because wet clothing is improperly dried after spending time outdoors. Scarves and winter hats are common sources for bacteria, putting just about anyone at risk for an ear infection if you live in a colder climate.
If you think you have an ear infection, visit your local 24 hour urgent care in Seattle for prompt medical help. The trained local doctors at Immediate Clinic offer reliable after hours urgent care for any condition, including ear infections and chronic conditions. In fact, it's estimated that one in 10 seniors will require urgent care treatment for a chronic condition by 2030. Contact us right away when you need urgent care treatment.