Earache Specialist Questions and Answers
If you are experiencing an earache, visit Ahava Medical. Our professional medical staff is able to diagnose and provide comprehensive treatment for your earache. For more information, call us or book an online appointment. We have convenient locations to serve patients in Liberty, NY, and Brooklyn, NY.
When should I go to the doctor for an earache?
Earaches can be caused for any number of reasons and are a common occurrence in children. Adults can also experience earaches for one reason or another. Earaches can affect either one or both ears and, in some cases, maybe even be related to the ear. Pain in the ear can be caused by:
- A blockage in the Eustachian tube, which is the passageway connecting the middle ear to the back of the throat
- A virus or bacteria in the fluid behind the eardrum, leading to an infection
- Inflammation or infection affecting the ear canal, typically called swimmer’s ear
- Infection affecting the ear lobe and external ear
- Irritation of the nerves in the ear, known as neuralgia
For adults and older children, a visit to the doctor is often unnecessary in cases of mild ear pain or pressure, unless they are experiencing a fever or loss of hearing. For pain that is more severe or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, a visit to a doctor is recommended. Young children should see a doctor if they are experiencing an earache. Medical attention for an earache can be found through your family doctor, a walk-in clinic, or urgent care such as Ahava Medical.
What happens if an earache is left untreated?
Not all earaches require medical care and treatment. Depending on the cause of the earache, it can go away on its own. The most common cause of earaches in adults and older children is a blockage in the Eustachian tube, which will typically fix itself without requiring intervention. In some other cases, particularly if there is a fever or loss of hearing, medical attention is required to ensure that permanent damage to the eardrum or any part of the ear canal is avoided. In severe cases of ear pain, if left untreated it can lead to a complete and permanent loss of hearing. If you are experiencing an earache, it can often be treated using over-the-counter medications such as decongestants and pain killers. If the pain doesn’t go away, or gets worse, after a few days, seeking medical attention is recommended to ensure that the earache isn’t a sign of a serious condition. Earaches can sometimes be a sign of a problem not even related to the ear, such as temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ for short. Getting it checked by a doctor through urgent care such as Ahava Medical will ensure that you get the right treatment needed to help ease the pain.
How do you know if ear pain is serious?
In many cases, ear pain is a mild condition that will clear up on its own and people can take decongestants or pain killers to help provide relief. However, sometimes people may experience additional symptoms in conjunction with their ear pain that could be a sign of a more serious issue. These can include a fever, loss of hearing, or a general unwell feeling. These symptoms can be a sign of an ear infection that will require antibiotics to clear up. In this case, people should seek the care of a medical professional such as their family doctor, a walk-in clinic, or an urgent care. Ahava Medical offers walk-in urgent care without the need for an appointment to treat urgent medical conditions such as ear infections.
How do I know if my ear infection is bacterial or viral?
Knowing if an ear infection is being caused by bacteria or a virus will be dependent on the symptoms a person is experiencing. A doctor can also diagnose what type of ear infection you have and provide you with the right medication, if necessary, to clear it up. A bacterial ear infection is commonly associated with pain, fever, and a very red eardrum that doesn’t show any movement. Viral ear infections on the other hand typically have either mild pain or no pain, no fever, movement in the eardrum and the patient is experiencing cold symptoms. Viral ear infections do not require antibiotics as the infection will clear up on its own, whereas a bacterial ear infection will often require a course of antibiotics. Getting checked by a doctor through a walk-in clinic, your family doctor, or urgent care like Ahava Medical will confirm which type of infection you have and what the proper treatment should be.
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