If you are a parent, you most likely have had that moment where your kid comes to
you in the middle of the night crying that their ear hurts. It’s a hard and sometimes
scary experience. Or maybe it’s happened to you. Should you run right away to the ER
or not? Do you even need to be seen? and if so where is the best place to go? We’ll
help you answer these questions and more, coming up. Welcome to Family Med, your medical home for
practical and accurate information to help your family make healthy decisions. I’m
Doctor Erik Richardson, my passion is helping you cut through all the health information
clutter on the internet. If that sounds like the kind of information you or family needs
make sure you follow along with us, hit that subscribe button and share it with your friends.
So today we’re going to talk a little about ear infections. You may have seen my prior
video on this but I thought that it was a little long and a little boring so hopefully
this attempt at it will be a little more engaging. In this video we are going to focus most on,
How do you recognize them? when do you need to need to be seen? Where is it most appropriate
to go if you have one. My next video, we’ll talk a little more about home treatment and
prevention, so make sure you check that one out as well.
So when we talk about ear infections it’s important to know that there are several areas
that can get infected: the outer ear canal, the inner ear or the most common that we are
going to talk about today the Middle Ear. The official term for this is otitis media.
In children, we tend to see symptoms such as * Ear pain, especially when lying down
* Tugging or pulling at an ear * Difficulty sleeping
* Crying more than usual * Acting more irritable than usual
* Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds * Loss of balance
* Fever * Drainage of fluid from the ear
* Headache * Loss of appetite
No in Adults Common signs and symptoms in adults include:
* Ear pain * Drainage of fluid from the ear
* Diminished hearing Ear infections tend to happen more after recent
viral illnesses due to the swelling that happens in the middle ear creating fluid areas that
are prime for infections to grow. So when should you seek care?
The answer to this is going to be fairly vague but simple. It depends on the severity of symptoms
as well as the age of who is suffering through it. For Kids, If your child is less than 6 months and starts
with fevers and pulling at their ears they really should be seen. The risk of them getting
sicker is higher, and is more likely to be a condition that needs antibiotics to treat.
Over the age of 6 months it’s going to depend a lot on the severity of symptoms. If they
are having significant pain or fevers that you can’t control with normal doses of ibuprofen
or Tylenol then they should probably be seen.
If their symptoms are lasting over 48 hours without improvement then it’s probably a
good idea to go in. If you are an adult, it’s usually o.k. if
you can control symptoms at home to give it a few days before seeking care. But if symptoms
persist or get worse over 2-3 days then it’s probably time to have somebody take a look
at it. All of these symptoms are ones that your typical doctor’s office or quick care
can usually handle. So save yourself time and money and avoid the ER if at all possible.
If you are unsure about where is appropriate to go the call your doctor’s office. They
usually have somebody on call that can help direct you to where is most appropriate.
Hopefully this helps you feel a little more comfortable about when you should go in to
be seen. In the absence of severe symptoms, you have time to work on some home treatments
and see if it can get better on its own. It’s important to remember that most ear
infections start out being viral and can be cleared on their own. Most of the time your
body is going do what it does best and fight it off on its own.
So that’s it, if you missed anything go back and watch or check out the notes section
below for a review of what we talked about today. I hope you found the information we
presented today useful. If you did, don’t forget to like, subscribe and even hit that
notification button as well as share it with your friends. This is key for me to be able
to continue this kind of content for you. Remember my purpose in sharing this information
for you is to educate you in things that you can think about in trying to make decisions
in your own health. In no way should be taken as direct medical advice to you in your own
situation. Please consult your own doctor for concerns regarding your specific situation.
So until next time this is FamilyMed with Dr Richardson. And remember don’t forget
to take care of your body because it’s the only one you have.