Online Ear Infection Treatment in Seattle, WA
Jodi Rook, PA
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About Ear infection
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.
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.