Is It Risky to Let an Ear Infection Go Unchecked?

Generally speaking, ear infections are not a significant emergency. They are not contagious and typically resolve with rest, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and antibiotics.

Ear infections are common, especially among children. As many as eight out of ten kids will endure an ear infection before they turn three. However, adults can get them, too. Overall, health complications are uncommon, yet they can happen; they can be severe when they do.

Risks Involved with Letting Ear Infections Go Unchecked

Even though most ear infections do not result in permanent damage, chronic infections that go untreated might cause serious issues.

Mild hearing loss is a common side effect of ear infections because of the swelling or fluid buildup, although it typically resolves itself when the condition does. However, irreversible hearing loss can occur if the eardrum is severely damaged from fluid accumulation in the middle ear caused by persistent ear infections.

Tears in the eardrum are another possible complication of untreated, persistent ear infections. In most situations, these tears may mend on their own within days, though surgery may be required in rare instances.

In addition, not treating an ear infection might increase the likelihood that the infection will spread to other parts of the body. For example, meningitis can develop if an infection in the ear is left untreated and spreads to the brain and spinal cord.

The mastoid bone, found behind the ear, is also a common target for infections that can lead to bone deterioration and pus-filled cysts.

It Is Better to Have a Medical Professional Examine Your Ear Infection

These problems stress the importance of monitoring ear infection symptoms and seeking medical attention if they persist or worsen beyond two days.

Even if you do not think you need treatment immediately, it is wise to check in with a doctor to know if it is severe or what symptoms to look out for that signal the need for follow-up exams. If the infection does not go away after the first checkup, a follow-up for lab tests may be needed.

Visit an urgent care clinic for quick relief from an ear infection when you want an immediate diagnosis, or your regular doctor is unavailable. CLEAR Immediate Care has you covered with various treatment options. You can get help whenever you want without needing to schedule an appointment in advance. The Chicago clinic can help you with your ear infection right now if you visit.