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To Sniffle or not to Sniffle: Ear infections.

You probably remember the painful experience of having an ear infection. From the redness to the swelling—these bacterial infections are not fun! Most people experience ear infections as children, although adults can also become unlucky victims. Sometimes ear infections resolve on their own, and sometimes they require medical attention. I bet you’re wondering, “When should I (or my child) visit the doctor (in person or through Sniffle) for an ear infection?” Let’s take a step back to understand ear infections better and the steps someone should take when facing them. 

Unlike child ear infections, these infections in adults can signify a more serious health problem. So if you’re an adult with an ear infection, pay close attention to your symptoms!

Types of ear infections:

  1. Outer Ear Infection: Known as “swimmer’s ear,” this infection results from water remaining in your ear, usually after you swim or bathe. The moisture in your ear becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, making it easy to develop an infection!
  2. Middle Ear Infection: This infection occurs when you have a cold or respiratory problem. The infection moves through the Eustachian tubes, causing them to swell. The swelling prevents the tubes from draining properly, causing build-up against your eardrum.
  3. Inner Ear Infection: This condition is likely to cause inflammation, deriving from a more severe condition, like meningitis.

Visit the emergency room immediately if you experience:

  1. Having a seizure
  2. Developing a high fever
  3. Difficulty moving your face (or parts of it)
  4. Extreme personality changes
  5. Swelling under or behind the ear
  6. Stiff neck
  7. Severe drowsiness
  8. Nausea or vomiting

Visit your primary doctor through Sniffle if you experience:

  • A swollen and fluid-filled eardrum (middle ear infection): A doctor through Sniffle may choose to prescribe antibiotics, depending on severity, or advise home-remedy treatments.
  • An ear canal infection (swimmer’s ear): A doctor through Sniffle may choose to prescribe you antibiotics, steroid drops, and pain medication.

Ear infections can be uncomfortable and painful. However, if you (or your child) are experiencing an ear infection (middle ear or swimmer’s ear), it’s easy to contact a doctor through your Sniffle app to get the help you need! Remember, if you are experiencing an inner ear infection, it’s time to visit the emergency room immediately, as this may be a sign of a more severe condition!

Sniffle is an easy way to speak to a doctor of your choice virtually, without having to wait hours in a waiting room or even days to get an appointment! With this easy-to-use telemedicine app, you can feel better faster. Download the app today through your smartphone to get started. Let’s Sniffle away those ear infections! 

Once you’ve cleared up your ear infection, it’s time to start preventing your next one! You can prevent an ear infection by:

  1. Keeping your ears clean and dry; dry them thoroughly after swimming or bathing;
  2. Avoiding smoking or being around people who are smoking (second-hand smoke);
  3. Keeping your allergies under control and staying away from people with colds;
  4. Making sure your vaccines are up to date!

Don’t suffer through an ear infection; download the Sniffle app today!