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About Ear infection

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An ear infection - also known as otitis media - is an infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is an air-filled cavity that sits behind the eardrum and is responsible for transmitting sound from the outer ear to the inner ear.

Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria or viruses and are more common in children than adults. The most common symptoms are ear pain and fever. You may also recognize an ear infection by drainage or fluid coming from the ear, balance problems, and hearing problems. A child suffering from an ear infection may pull at their ear or act fussier than usual.

While ear infections will normally go away on their own, medical attention may be needed. You should see a doctor if symptoms persist for longer than 48 hours, the ear pain is severe, you or your child experiences a fever over 102.2 F, if the child experiencing symptoms is less than 6 months old, or if you notice any discharge coming from the ear. Children who suffer from recurring infections or persistent fluid in the middle ear should receive regular checkups to avoid any damage to their hearing or other complications.

Treatment Options

Ear infections often clear up on their own and do not require medication. To relieve discomfort, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil & Motrin IB). If your symptoms are severe or persistent, antibiotics may be prescribed to help clear up the infection.

Doctors often recommend the following treatment options for an ear infection. Note that you should always defer to the treatment plan your doctor recommends.
FAQs

Ear Infection Care

How do audiologists test hearing?

Hearing tests are quick, painless, outpatient procedures usually offered at audiology clinics or other clinical practices. Whether you're having trouble hearing or just want to get checked out, audiologists can help check for hearing loss with just a few easy tests. Common hearing evaluations performed at a hearing clinic include:

- Ear exam: This is usually the first evaluation an audiologist will perform. Sometimes called otoscopy, these exams involve checking the inside of the ears with a small light and scope (known as an otoscope). By visually assessing the ear, your audiologist can screen for earwax blockage or abnormal physical issues. Earwax blockage occurs when excess wax is pushed back into the ear canal (usually with a q-tip) and hardens. This can cause hearing loss, ear infections, and other complications.

- Audiometry: This is the hearing test that most people think of when they think of hearing evaluations. You will be seated in a sound-proof room and given headphones. Your audiologist will then play different sounds at a variety of frequencies to check for hearing loss and tinnitus. Audiometry tests are painless and only take a few minutes to complete.

- Speech Testing: Like an audiometry test, you will be played a number of different words through headphones and be asked to repeat the words you hear. Speech testing helps audiologists determine your ability to recognize words.

- Tympanometry: This test helps assess how well your eardrum moves and can help determine whether you a condition of the eardrum, an ear infection, or an earwax blockage.

Sesame offers convenient and affordable online hearing tests starting at around $6. Book a hearing test with a licensed audiologist through Sesame to get the care that's right for you - all for one affordable, up-front, cash price.

What is the purpose of a hearing test?

A hearing test is a tool that an audiologist uses to make sure that your ears work well. So if your doctor recommends a hearing test, it doesn't necessarily mean she/he is concerned that you have hearing loss.

Hearing loss can often come on gradually, and you may not notice until someone else asks you to turn the volume down. Though free online hearing tests are available, you may consider having a trained professional conduct your hearing test, as they may provide a more thorough hearing test with more precise hearing test results and can offer proper medical advice for treatment options.

A hearing test with a health care provider can show you how mild or severe your hearing loss is and what type of loss you have, be it conductive, sensorineural, or a combination of the two.

What are the different types of hearing tests?

There are a handful of common hearing tests that a health care provider may conduct. These include:

- Hearing screening: This is a basic test that may help your health care professional decide if further testing is needed.

- Pure tone audiometry test: Often performed in a soundproof room, you will use a set of earphones connected to a machine that delivers different tones and sounds of speech to one ear at a time. Your health care provider may ask you to raise your associated hand, left hand for the left ear and right hand for the right ear, depending on where you hear the noise. This test can check to see what the softest, or least audible noises and the loudest decibels you can hear.

- Word recognition test: This test, also known as the speech discrimination test, can figure out your ability to discern speech from background noise. This type of test is useful in determining whether or not the use of a hearing aid is a helpful form of treatment.

- Tympanometry test: This is an exam that tests the middle ear for hearing health. This type of test is often used for children. By testing the movement in your tympanic membrane, this test can help find fluid in the middle ear, detect a middle ear infection, or discover any tears.

What happens during an online hearing assessment test?

A hearing assessment test is pain-free and non-invasive. It can be done in an audiology office or from the comfort of your own home. With telehealth options available, getting a hearing test couldn't be easier.

Because you are taking the test from home, try to find a quiet area with little to no background noise.

You will likely answer an evaluation about your hearing ability and may fill out forms such as a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) to protect your personal data.

Before you begin your test you may be asked to wear headphones and/or adjust your sound level. Your doctor may give you one or more assessment tests (tone test, noise test, etc.) which will help your provider get a thorough evaluation of your current hearing ability and potential hearing loss.

When the assessment or tests are complete, your health care provider will go over the audiogram results with you and discuss treatment options if they are needed.

What are the advantages of an online hearing assessment test?

Whether you have good hearing or have concerns about hearing loss taking a professional hearing test is as easy as ever. Online assessment hearing tests are a new form of telehealth that allows you to understand your own hearing threshold. This may be a helpful option if an in-person session is:

- Unsafe (due to social distancing guidelines, for instance)

- Inconvenient (based on work or life schedule that doesn't allow for a trip to the doctor)

- Impossible (such as not being able to leave the house due to illness or social anxiety disorder)

What happens during an in-person hearing test?

There is no need to prepare for your hearing test. To ensure you get the most accurate results, try your best to stay quiet and still during the test.

You may begin your visit with the audiologist by answering a questionnaire, and or receiving a hearing screening. Your audiologist may perform different tests including a hearing screening, pure tone audiometry test, a word recognition test, and/or a tympanometry test.

During your hearing screening, you will hear different sounds depending on which test you are receiving.

When the test or tests are complete, your health care provider will go over the audiogram results with you and discuss treatment options if they are needed.

How can I test my hearing at home?

You may consider booking a telehealth visit with an audiologist to take a hearing screening from an audiologist or professonal well-versed in diagnosing and treating hearing loss. Your provider may ask you to find a quiet space to take the test with and may require the use of earphones. Book a telehealth hearing test appointment with an audiologist today with Sesame and receive quality care from the comfort of your home.

Should I see a doctor in-person or online?

It depends. Telehealth platforms like Sesame make it easier than ever to see a doctor online from the comfort of your home through virtual visits. These are real-time video chats with doctors and providers that are used to address symptoms, discuss prescriptions, and screen for health care conditions. Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) is a convenient way to see a health care provider without requiring the commute and waiting rooms of office visits.

In-person visits, however, are vital health services. Certain conditions and specialty care services cannot be diagnosed or performed via a telehealth visit. Lab testing, for instance, often requires an in-person appointment at a doctor's office. Similarly, some physical exams, chronic condition consultations, and urgent care needs require in-person care. Some patients feel more comfortable receiving their care through in-person doctor visits, and many telehealth services require in-person visits before a condition can be definitively diagnosed.

Health care marketplaces like Sesame offer both in-person and virtual care options. If you're unsure whether or not you need to see a provider face-to-face, we recommend that you book a video doctor visit to discuss your concerns and talk through any symptoms you may be experiencing. If an in-person doctor appointment is required, you can easily book a visit through Sesame's scheduling platform.

What is a video urgent care visit?

Video urgent care visits are telemedicine visits for any urgent needs. While most urgent cares may charge you $125 or more for a walk-in visit without insurance in El Monte, CA, you can see a doctor on Sesame for something urgent for as low as $35 depending on your location. Doctors, primary care physicians, and NPs on Sesame offer quality care for a range of urgent needs, like sore throats, sprains, questions and concerns about coronavirus, UTIs and other infections, and other non-life-threatening conditions. Nope, it's not too good to be true. It's healthcare the way you wish it would be: simple and affordable.

What is pediatric urgent care?

Pediatric urgent care centers treat minor medical emergencies, offer vaccinations, and perform lab work for newborns, children, and teenagers.

Sesame offers telemedicine appointments, including video pediatric urgent care visits, for any non-life-threatening urgent care needs. It's perfect for fevers, sore throats, sprains, infections, and accessible from the comfort of your home.

What are the benefits of pediatric urgent care?

Pediatric urgent care offers an accessible and kid-friendly space to take your child for healthcare services in the event of a minor emergency.

Whether your child has strep throat or needs an x-ray, consider booking a pediatric telehealth appointment with Sesame, with appointments available as early as today.

How do I find a good pediatrician near me?

On Sesame, you can connect with a real, quality pediatrician near you to get your questions answered and your child's symptoms addressed for one affordable, upfront price. Pediatricians listed on Sesame are licensed professionals. Many have practiced in children's hospitals, medical centers, walk-in pediatric clinics, and pediatric urgent care centers.

Save 60% on your next pediatrician visit when you book with Sesame.

When should I book an urgent visit?

Urgent visits are recommended for non-life-threatening conditions. If you are experiencing a medical emergency or any life-threatening symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Urgent care providers on Sesame can help with a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions, including: - Minor illness (cold & flu)
- Sore throat
- Pain from sprains
- UTIs
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Questions about vaccinations and COVID-19
- Infections (skin, ear, eye, bladder, sinus, and more)


Whether you're looking for a primary care physician or a specialist, Sesame offers urgent care services at affordable prices. Skip the long wait times at walk-in clinics and get the quality care you need by booking an in-person or video visit with top-rated healthcare providers in El Monte, CA. Save up to 60% on your urgent medical care needs with a convenient appointment on Sesame.

What conditions can be treated over a video urgent care visit?

You can address a range of conditions during a video urgent care visit, including colds, UTIs, vaginal infections, rashes, and severe skin irritation. You can also ask the doctor questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and STD testing and speak about any general concerns you have about your health. During the coronavirus pandemic, many urgent cares have offered rapid testing, antibody testing, and more COVID-19 testing options. While you can't be tested for COVID-19 over video, Sesame does offer video COVID-19 screenings as well as in-person testing across the country.

What should I bring to a video urgent care visit?

Come prepared to discuss any symptoms or conditions you may be experiencing, as well as any questions you may have for your doctor. During your visit, your doctor will likely ask about your medical history, your symptoms, or any underlying conditions, as well as any medication you may currently be taking.

Can my provider prescribe medication?

Yes, physicians on Sesame can prescribe a wide range of medications, which can be useful for infections, allergies, and other acute ailments. Please note that they will not prescribe certain drugs, such as narcotics or medications that have been designated controlled substances through telehealth.

Otherwise, many of the prescriptions available in an office setting or urgent care can be prescribed if your clinician deems it appropriate.

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