Ear Infection

DTLA Urgent Care

Urgent Care & Multi-Specialty Group located in Arts District, Los Angeles, CA

Ear infections most commonly affect children, but they can also cause problems for adults. At DTLA Urgent Care in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, the team of medical professionals can check your ears to make sure you or your child gets the treatment you need. If you’re experiencing an earache, call the office today or book an appointment using the online scheduling tool.

Ear Infection

What are the signs of an ear infection in adults?

In adults, some signs of ear infection can include:

  • Earache (sharp, sudden pain or dull, continuous pain)
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Nausea and vomiting (which can signal an inner ear infection)
  • Muffled hearing
  • Ear drainage
  • Red, tender, or swollen ear

While ear infections are more common in children, in adults, they’re usually more serious and caused by a bacterial infection.

What are the signs of an ear infection in children?

In children, the signs of an ear infection can be slightly different. When a child gets an earache, it is most often in the middle ear, where the tubes can get blocked with fluid and mucus. Some signs of an ear infection include:

  • Tugging at the ear
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fever
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Fluid drainage
  • Balance problems
  • Crying at night when lying down

Sometimes children aren’t old enough to explain that their ear hurts, so it’s important to pay attention to these signals — approximately three out of four children will experience an ear infection by their third birthday.

How are ear infections treated?

If you or your child has an ear infection, your doctor at DTLA Urgent Care will look at the ear using a tool called an otoscope, which has a light and magnifying lens at the tip.

If you have a middle ear infection, you’ll likely receive antibiotics, either in a cream or in pills. You may also receive a pain reliever, as well as a decongestant or antihistamine if your ear infection is due to allergies or a cold.

If you have an outer ear infection, you’ll receive a topical treatment or oral antibiotics, and the ear should be cleaned carefully. If a virus is causing your ear infection, you may have to just wait for the virus to clear up.

How can I prevent an ear infection?

Using certain strategies can prevent some ear infections. Always make sure to keep your ears clean, and use a cotton swab carefully on the outer parts of your ears only.

You should also make sure you dry your ears after showering or swimming, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid picking up germs, and make sure you have received necessary vaccines.

Also, exposure to secondhand smoke can cause ear infections in children, so try to limit children’s exposure to tobacco smoke.

If you or your child has an ear infection, call DTLA Urgent Care or book an appointment using the online scheduling tool.