Ear InfectionsHouston, TX
Chances are you have been treated for an ear infection at some point in your life. Ear infections happen when a cold, respiratory infection or allergy attack causes fluid to become trapped in the middle ear, which is the space behind the eardrum. According to WebMD, aside from well-baby visits, ear infections are the most common reason for trips to the pediatrician. However, adults are not immune.
Ear infection treatment is available at Woodforest Pediatric & Family Clinic in Houston and the surrounding area. While ear infections can sometimes clear up on their own, it is always best to see a doctor in order to help manage the pain and monitor the problem. Not seeking treatment can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
Our team can help to provide the professional treatment and services you need if you are suffering from an ear infection.
Do Not Ignore the Symptoms
The symptoms of an ear infection can hit quickly and unexpectedly. Signs and symptoms of ear infection in children can include:
- Ear pain, especially when lying down
- Tugging or pulling at an ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Crying more than usual
- Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Loss of appetite
In adults, common signs and symptoms include:
- Ear pain
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Trouble hearing
Another reason to seek treatment for an ear infection is to visit us if the fever goes above 100.4 degrees. If a child frequently develops ear infections, has hearing problems, or has frequent ear infections, then it is crucial to call us right away. Contact us immediately if the child develops a stiff neck or is weak and unresponsive.
Diagnosis and Treatment
We can diagnose an ear infection based on symptoms while also conducting a close examination of the ears, throat, and nasal passage. When we examine the eardrum, we will check to see if it is red and bulging. Although most ear infections do not cause long-term complications, infections that repeatedly happen can cause serious issues such as significant hearing loss, developmental delays in children, the spread of the infection to other parts of the ear, or even tearing of the eardrum.
Treatment typically includes antibiotics, pain medication, and special drops to relieve pain. Some ear infections do heal without antibiotics. In those cases, we will consider a number of factors to choose the right treatment for the ear infection. We can help prevent repeat ear infections in patients and recommend how to continue avoiding this type of infection. Along with that, we will also customize the treatment for each patient and their needs.
Treatment may include follow-up visits with our doctor to check that the infection is completely gone. We can also keep a record of the patient's health and any repeated ear infections in case the issue comes back up. If your child or loved one has a history of repeated ear infections, bring it up during an annual physical or well-child visit.
Call Us Today
While some people may not see an ear infection as a cause for concern or professional medical treatment, it is crucial to ensure that the condition is not severe. We can help measure the extent of the infection, relieve symptoms, treat the infection, and provide any necessary follow-up care.
There is no reason to continue struggling with an ear infection and related symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Woodforest Pediatric & Family Clinic at 713-597-6989.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a way to prevent an ear infection?
Since ear infections are often the result of a virus, such as the common cold, washing the hands frequently and staying up to date on a flu vaccine can help. Keeping a house clean can also help to prevent the spread of germs in general. During an appointment, we can go over more possible methods for preventing ear infections.
Are ear infections contagious?
No, an ear infection is not contagious. It is the result of an infection in another part of the body that has settled in the ear. Regardless, it is essential to seek treatment and measure the full extent of the infection before seeking treatment.
How long does it take to recover?
The recovery time for an ear infection varies and can take anywhere from two to three days or a week to fully recover. In some cases, children will begin to see improvement within days of receiving a diagnosis.
If symptoms do not improve, please contact us right away to schedule an appointment.
What is the difference between an ear infection and the condition known as swimmer’s ear?
An ear infection typically refers to an infection of the middle ear, which is inside the body. Swimmer’s ear is an outer ear infection, in which the ear canal becomes infected. Swimmer's ear is an external infection often treated with ear drops.
Why do kids get so many ear infections?
In babies, the ear is shaped in a way that is difficult for fluid to drain from the middle ear, which is where the majority of infections occur. As babies get older, the inner workings of the ear begin to change shape and make it easier for this fluid to drain. Eventually, the possibility of an ear infection will become minimal.
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