If My Ear Hurts, Do I Have an Infection?

There are many different reasons why your ear might start to ache. Simple weather or elevation changes, allergies, and sinus issues are all common and easily treatable situations. But your ear pain could also be due to an ear infection.

Ear infections are one of the most common forms of infection, so don’t panic if you think this is your diagnosis.

Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team can evaluate you and discuss treatment options! In the meantime, check out our latest blog regarding ear infections below.

How Do Ear Infections Start?

Most commonly, ear infections are caused by a virus or bacteria. If the infection is introduced into your ear, it can start to grow and replicate, which is when you begin to experience pain or discomfort. As it spreads, the pressure can build in your ears and cause fluid buildup and trouble hearing out of the affected ear.

The good news is that this type of infection is rarely dangerous. Most people actually have at least one ear infection before their third birthday! An ear infection usually clears up in a few days, though some people may experience chronic infections that linger for weeks or months.

Symptoms of an Inner Ear Infection

  • Pain inside ear
  • Fever
  • Discharge coming from ear
  • Feeling pressure in your ear
  • Difficulty hearing

Should I See a Doctor for an Ear Infection?

A doctor’s visit is not always a necessity when it comes to ear infections. Our bodies can typically eradicate ear infections on their own within two to three days, so if your symptoms are manageable, rest and wait for your immune system to do its job.

If your pain is getting worse or you are finding no relief after this timeframe, we can perform a full evaluation and determine your best course of treatment. Some infections can benefit from a round of antibiotics, so be sure to take the entire prescription if one is given to you. In addition, rest, drink plenty of water and take some OTC pain medication if desired.

Practice Proper Ear Health

  • Keep your ears clean and dry.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Stay up-to-date with the vaccination schedule.

Is ear pain affecting your day? Drop by AFC Urgent Care Hixson to visit with our care team.