There’s no denying it — winter has arrived and is here to stay for the foreseeable future! One of the most common cold-weather illnesses is an ear infection, which can be painful and unexpected, especially when you have snow to shovel and errands to run. While some ear infections do subside on their own, most require professional assessment and treatment to ensure full recovery. Generally, an infection should clear up within five days of adequate treatment. Here’s some helpful information about their prevention and treatment, in both adults and children:
● Preventive measures: You can help avoid infections by maintaining proper hygiene and washing your hands often. Dress appropriately as the weather gets colder (cover those ears!) and make sure to stay vaccinated.
● Home remedies: Try putting a hot compress against your ear to soothe pain for a quick and easy fix. Also, over-the-counter pain relievers and non-prescription ear drops can help ease any irritation you might be feeling until you’re able to see your physician.
● Treatment options: Typically, your physician will prescribe an oral antibiotic for an acute ear infection. In more serious cases, medicated ear drops will be offered as well, to help heal rupturing and soothe pain.
● Pediatric cases: Since children’s ears are still developing, younger kids and infants are more likely to come down with an ear infection. If you have a baby, make sure to hold the child in an upright position when bottle-feeding to help minimize risks. Also, keep in mind that any child in daycare is at greater risk due to the amount of other potentially sick children there. It is always a great idea to check with a daycare facility about their sick child policies and procedures as well.
As always, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible if you start to feel feverish or in pain. If you think you are in need of more serious treatment, give us a call today to schedule an appointment, and check out our website so you know what to expect before coming in.