If you or a loved one has an ear infection, you need to act fast to get the situation resolved. In rare cases, ear infections can lead to hearing loss, but in all cases they lead to a great deal of pain. As soon as you can, get to an urgent care. Orange County has several that can help you out. However, if the situation becomes apparent during the hours the Costa Mesa medical clinic is closed, you can do a few things to reduce the pain and assess whether or not this truly is an ear infection.
There are several things that can cause an ear infection, most especially in small children. When the inner ear canal becomes bombarded with germs or builds up enough debris, it causes the canal to become infected. Since children are so small, their canals are extremely small, so it doesn’t take much to get an infection.
Obviously, pain is a sign of an ear infection, but small children may not be able to tell you they hurt. Watch for children to tug on their ear or hold their hand over it. In adults and children both, the ability to hear may be reduced, or the ear may just feel irritated before it actually hurts.
Antibiotics can help clear up the infection, but, until they go into effect, you’ll need to do something to reduce the pain. This means you will need to deal with the cause or related symptoms, as well as the direct pain from the infection.
Nasal infections and congestion can put pressure on the ear and lead to an infection, so you might consider using a decongestant to try to clear up some of the mucus and drainage that is putting pressure on the ear canals. A mild painkiller can also be beneficial.
You have probably noticed that the pain occurs more frequently at night, which is why you may not know about the problem when most Costa Mesa walk-in clinics are open. The reason for this has less to do with the time than it does with activities. At night, people lay down. Gravity does the work of pulling the drainage toward the ears, so the pressure on them increases. Naturally, this intensifies the pain. You can help by putting yourself or your loved one in an upright position. Consider a reclined seat or pillows behind the back on the bed.
In very severe cases, there may be drainage coming from the ear. You can place a warm cloth over the ear to draw some of the drainage out and reduce the pain at the same time. Don’t assume the problem is cleared up because the pain is reduced. Instead, seek medical treatment as soon as you possibly can so the source of the pain can be treated. Remember that ongoing or multiple infections may be a sign of a larger problem, so it’s a good idea to let your medical professional know if this is a frequent issue. Xpress Urgent Care in Costa Mesa offers convenient hours 7 days a week, 365 days a year to ensure that we’re always available when you need us.