What is an ear infection?

The term “ear infection” typically refers to an infection of the middle ear. Ear infections often happen in children who have a cold, sore throat, or allergies. Anyone, at any age, is able to get an ear infection, but children tend to get them more than adults.

Why did I get an ear infection?

Ear infections may begin with a viral infection of the nose and throat. For example, a cold might lead to an ear infection. Allergies or a viral reaction can cause swelling of the tube between your ear and throat, which traps bacteria in your middle ear.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

  • Earache
  • Loss of hearing
  • Feeling of blockage in the ear
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Fluid coming out of the ear

Go to your closest Our Urgent Care if you think you or your child might have an ear infection.

How are ear infections diagnosed and treated?

Your Our Urgent Care team will ask about your symptoms and look at your eardrum.

Your provider may use a special light to look into the ear canal and check for fluid in the ear. They will see how the eardrum moves when a puff of air is blown into the ear. The membrane will not move well if fluid is found behind the eardrum.

Antibiotic medicine is a common treatment for ear infections. However, studies have shown that symptoms of ear infections often go away within a couple of days on their own.

Recommendations may also be made to use a decongestant to help clear the Eustachian tube. This may help relieve pressure in the middle ear.