Ear pain is common in children and somewhat common in adults. For us adults, ear pain usually isn’t too bad, but for children, it can make them fussy and irritable. The easiest way to get ear pain dealt with is a quick trip to urgent care. For adult (and young) patients in the Division St. Portland OR area, your local urgent care clinic is Columbia Clinic Urgent Care. Come see us today with no appointment necessary, and we’ll take care of that earache right away, right on the spot.
What are the symptoms of an earache?
Typically, either injury or infection can cause an earache, and either way, the symptoms can be the same. However, symptoms do vary depending on the age of the patient. Adults usually experience pain, impaired hearing, and / or fluid drainage from an ear. Children, however, usually experience additional symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms of an earache in children include:
- Tugging at the ears
- Unusual irritability or crying
- Appetite loss
- Balance loss
- Pain in one or both ears
- Muffled hearing / difficulty hearing
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- Trouble sleeping
Because ear pain has different causes and thus requires different treatments, it’s best to have it professionally diagnosed. This is something urgent care can do much more quickly than a primary care physician can.
What usually causes earaches?
Ear pain can actually be caused by many different things, and most commonly:
- Infections (which are quite common)
- Referred pain (which is pain originating from another area, such as the teeth or jaw)
- Pressure changes (such as when flying on a plane)
- Earwax buildup
- A foreign object inside an ear
- Strep throat
- Sinus infection
- Water trapped in an ear
- A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- A perforated eardrum
There are other possible causes too, so if you want your ear pain properly diagnosed and quickly treated, you should go to urgent care. You should also go to urgent care immediately if:
- You or your child has a persistent fever of 104ºF, or if your infant has a fever over 101ºF
- You have severe pain that stops suddenly, which could be a ruptured eardrum
- You have severe pain, dizziness, a serious headache, swelling around an ear, facial muscle droopage, and / or blood or pus coming from an ear
- The ear pain gets worse or hasn’t improved in 24 to 28 hours
How is ear pain usually treated?
It might be possible to treat your ear pain at home, but this really depends on the cause. For instance, if the cause of your pain is ear pressure, then sitting upright and chewing gum can help, but if pressure isn’t the cause, then you’ll just be prolonging your pain. You could also try applying a cold washcloth to the area, taking an OTC (over-the-counter) pain reliever, or using OTC ear drops.
To have your ear pain properly and professionally diagnosed and treated, go to urgent care instead. A doctor there will likely be able to determine the precise cause of your earache, then offer the precise treatment. For infections, a prescription oral antibiotic or ear drop medication will help. Or for a buildup of wax in the ear, wax-softening ear drops or flushing out the wax can help. There are many other possible treatments available depending on the particular cause of your ear pain.
To have your ear pain professionally treated, come see us today here at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care. No appointment is necessary, so just come over to our clinic at 16279 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97236. We’re open for you and your loved ones Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. If you’d prefer to, you can call us at (503) 761-6111 to make an appointment.
We look forward to your visit!