Can an Urgent Care Clinic Treat My Ear Infection Effectively
Urgent care clinics treat a wide variety of health problems, but ear infections are among the most common. Here’s why it’s important to get your ear infection treated right away.
Urgent care clinics get more patients coming in with ear infections than almost any other common ailment. For an urgent care facility, ear infections are a relatively simple condition to diagnose and treat, and most ear infections can be cleared up with prescribed ear drops or oral antibiotics. However, many people who develop ear infections hesitate to go to the doctor—and that’s a bad idea. Here’s why.
Ear infections start off innocuous, and are perhaps a mild annoyance at first. For some people, especially children, they can become painful quickly, but for many busy adults they’re an afterthought. However, in both children and adults ear infections can rapidly worsen. Ear infections are caused by bacteria (or sometimes viruses) that have made their home inside the ear, often past the protective barrier known as the eardrum. That means that the bacteria have access to the sensitive, irreplaceable inner ear structures that allow you to hear.
If these bacteria are allowed to reproduce unchecked, the infection can become dangerous. The swelling in the ear will increase, making the pain from the pressure more severe and potentially triggering fever and other symptoms. While the bacteria don’t directly attack your inner ear, they can cause damage which can include an excess of fluid and the swelling shut of the Eustachian tube (which drains the ear). Both of these conditions can cause hearing loss that lasts for days, weeks or even months after the infection is gone. They can also cause dizziness and vertigo, as the inner ear provides your body with a sense of balance.
If the ear infection is very severe and lasts too long, or if it is a viral infection, there is a chance of permanent hearing loss. In almost all cases this can be prevented by simply seeing a doctor right away at the early stages of the infection.
Urgent care clinics are a popular choice for this because they are quick, inexpensive and do not require appointments. All you have to do is walk in when it’s convenient for you and you could have your ear infection treated within a half hour.
No matter where you seek treatment, take ear infections seriously. Never put objects inside your year, including cotton swabs, and don’t pour liquids in your ear unless recommended by a doctor. By getting prompt medical attention you can make sure your ear infection really is a minor inconvenience.
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