Ear Infection

Physicians Medical Primary Care

Primary Care, Urgent Care & Walk-In Care located in San Jose, CA

If you suddenly feel lots of pressure or pain in your ear and can’t hear properly, you might have an ear infection. At Physicians Medical Primary Care in San Jose, California, family physicians Gina Bui, MD, and Sveltlana Burkhead, MD, can diagnose an ear infection and help you or your child find relief. If your ears don’t feel right, request an appointment by phone or online for ear infection treatment at Physicians Medical Primary Care today.

Ear Infection Q & A

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection is a viral or bacterial infection affecting part of your ear. They’re much more common in children than adults, but you can get one at any age. Without the right treatment, an ear infection can put you at risk of losing your ability to hear. 

Your ear has three chambers: your inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear. Infections usually occur in the middle or outer ear. Inner ear infections can indicate a more serious underlying condition but are highly uncommon. There are a few key differences between outer and middle ear infections:

Middle ear infections

Middle ear infections occur in the area behind your eardrum and start when bacteria from your sinuses, eyes, or mouth gets trapped in the region. 

Outer ear infections

Outer ear infections often start out as a rash that you can see and feel on the outside of your ear. Soon, they spread to infect your ear canal. 

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

The symptoms that you get from your ear infection depend on the location of the infection and can range from relatively mild to painful and severe. Your ear infection might cause:

  • Inflammation and tenderness
  • Ear pain
  • Hearing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches

If you notice a discharge coming from your ear, it could be a sign of a more severe complication. You should contact Physicians Medical Primary Care right away for a diagnosis if you see or feel discharge from your ear. 

How are ear infections treated?

Many ear infections go away quickly before treatment is needed. However, if your ear infection causes a fever, lasts for three days or longer, or involves discharge, you should book an urgent care appointment at Physicians Medical Primary Care right away. Your doctor may treat your ear infection using:

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are effective in treating ear infections brought on by bacteria. If your infection is viral, antibiotics can’t treat it. 

Over-the-counter medications

Your doctor might recommend taking over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen to relieve pain and inflammation or decongestants to clear the mucus from your ear canals. 

Ear drops

Anesthetic ear drops may help relieve the pain from your ear infection. You should only use them if your doctor advises you to.

Home remedies

Home remedies like using a warm compress or stopping smoking can relieve the pressure inside your ear canals. 

To find out if you have an ear infection and get relief for your symptoms, call Physicians Medical Primary Care or request an appointment online today.