Ear Infections: Get Relief With Virtual Care (Infographic)
Did you know acute ear infections account for more than 30 million visits to the doctor each year in the U.S.? As the most common reason children see their doctor each year, ear infections can flare up at any moment. For parents, it can be an unsettling feeling when your child wakes you up in the middle of the night feeling ill. With limited options, UnityPoint Health Virtual Care can leave you feeling reassured.
What Causes an Ear Infection?
Ear infections tend to occur when viral or bacterial infections affect the middle of the ear, just behind the eardrum. These infections can be very painful when an Eustachian tube becomes blocked or swollen, causing fluid buildup. Anyone can fall victim to ear infections, but they tend to be more common in children.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection?
Symptoms of an ear infection typically start due to colds, allergies, sinus infections or excess mucus. Common symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Ear pain (mild to severe)
- Drainage from the ear (yellow and thick or bloody)
- Loss of appetite or vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
You may also experience symptoms of fluid buildup. Symptoms may include:
- Ringing, popping or a feeling of pressure in the ear. (Children are often unable to describe this feeling, but they may rub their ear in an attempt to relieve the pressure. )
- Trouble hearing
- Dizziness and balance issues
Can Ear Infections Be Prevented?
The most effective way to prevent ear infections is to reduce risk factors associated with them. A few ways to decrease your chances of ear infection include:
- Vaccinate yourself and your loved ones.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.
- Stay away from others who are sick.
How Can Virtual Care Help?
When you or a loved one are in need of medical attention during an ear infection, UnityPoint Health Virtual Care is available. With 24-hour support 365 days a year, Virtual Care is there when you need it most.
Online Urgent Care - Get care from a UnityPoint Health doctor without leaving home. Your provider can diagnose, recommend treatment and/or prescribe medication for minor illnesses all online.
Walk-In Care - Need to be seen in-person? Check our wait time estimates at an urgent care location near you.