Ear Infections

ear diagram

Causes

Ear infections often happen in children with a cold, sore throat, or allergies. These cause the nose and throat to swell and block the tube that drains fluid out of the middle ear (see drawing). Fluid backs up behind the eardrum, and germs spread to the middle ear. This can cause ear pain and fever. Anyone can get an ear infection, but children get them more often than adults. 

Symptoms

Some symptoms of an ear infection include: 

  • Fever 
  • Earache 
  • Pulling or rubbing the ear 
  • Not eating as much as usual 
  • Problems sleeping 
  • Fluid coming out of one or both ears

Go to your local FastMed Urgent Care if you think your child might have an ear infection. The medical provider will use a special tool to look inside your child’s ears to see if they are infected. 

Treatment

Over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (one brand: Tylenol) or ibuprofen (one brand: Motrin) can help with fever and pain. Do not give your child aspirin. Your child should start to feel better within a few days after visiting FastMed. If not, call the clinic. If the medical provider has already prescribed an antibiotic, your child might need a different medicine. The fluid behind the eardrum may not go away for several weeks.

Call the clinic right away if your child starts vomiting or gets a high fever, pain inside or behind the ear, or headaches.

ear infection exam