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do i have to make a doctors visit for an earache?

my 4 year old has been complaining and crying of an earache since she got up this morning. i am broke and have no insurance. do these things go away on their own or is there something over the counter i can buy for her? i will go if needed but if theres another option id like to try that first

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:45 AM on Apr. 18, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (9)
  • If you know it's an earache, you can call the doctor on the phone and tell them what is going on. He should be able to fax a script to the pharmacy without making you come in. That way you don't have to pay for the visit, only the prescription.

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:50 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • There is a new "movement" among pediatricians' to NOT treat ear infections right away with antibiotics. Usually they CAN go away in about a week without treatment, but not every infection will. The danger with not treating is rupture of the ear drum. You would know if that happens because the (sorry) pus will drain out the ear.
    You could try to wait it out....give your daughter tylenol or motrin for the pain, have her rest the affected ear on a hot water bottle covered in a towel, the warmth feels good.
    I do not usually recommend this wait it out course, I always say check with the doc, because I am a nurse and that's what I am supposed to do. The new "do not treat" is because kids are becoming resisitant to antibiotics, so the fewer they get the better they will work for them in the future. Good luck.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 10:08 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • I dont know what the other two posters are thinking!? Ear aches are serious and painful. If the ear ruptures your child could lose her hearing. Take her to the doctor asap.

    Answer by hisblueeyes at 10:16 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • Crying means pain, and pain means that you need to call at least! Blue Cross has a program out now for kids that you can get insurance for about 50 a month,,, better a visit today than a ruptured ear drum,, Unless you have been swimming alot, I can just about bet that this needs antibiotics! Sorry momma!

    Answer by kimigogo at 10:36 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • I would NOT let an earache "go away"....if there is an infection, it will spread and eventually infect the mastoid bone which is right behnd the ear. My Mom had that...back before they had invented antibiotics (I know was a long time ago,....back in 1916 ) She had to have surgery to remove the infected bone and she was deaf in that ear. She almost died. Never ever ignore an ear infection. Deafness happens way too often when ear infections are ignored. If you have a few bucks, have it checked out by a Doctor. You can cut back on other expenses to save your child's hearing and protect health,can't you?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:01 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • 60% of ear infections are viral. Meaning that antibiotics won't work on them anyway. Which means that most of the time a trip to the doctor is pointless anyway.

    Spend $14 on an odoscope and check it out yourself. You can get them at Walmart or Walgreens. If it looks like it's about to rupture, yeah, take her in. If it doesn't, then get some calendula oil and warm it up and put it in her ear. You can get "earache" oil at natural food stores that has calendula in it. It's wonderful and it works. Tea tree oil is also safe and is antimicrobial.

    If she were an infant it would be different, because their immune systems are not developed enough to handle this. Since she's at least 3, give her some tylenol and check otu her ears, get some oil and help her rest.


    Answer by Ati_13 at 11:24 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • i agree with ati 13, except for the tylenol.
    out of 4 kids i only have had one ear issue. the eardrum did burst. there was no hearing loss, although temporary hearing loss is common. after the burst, there was low grade fever for 3 days. before the burst there were sleeping issues, but not after the burst. we rode it out and everything was fine. if the eardrum does burst you will need to keep the ear dry (use earplugs in the bath) for 3 months, if the fever and pain seem to get worse, then you may want to take her in. you can also look it up at the mayo clinic website.
    good luck! hopefully things will be better tomorrow!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 1:23 PM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • Why would you not take her? Other than the insurance issue? An untreated ear infection can cause permanent hearing damage. ONLY a doctor can determine if it's viral or bacterial. You can take her to a walk in or urgent care clinic or a minute clinic at Walgreens. What is more important, your child's hearing or a medical bill you can pay later? Also, you can get generic prescriptions and fill them at Walmart for $4!!!

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:24 PM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • Personally, I woulld take her somewhere---urgent care, Walgreens, or CVS minute clinic or her doc if cost is about the same. I had this issue last week with my youngest son (3 1/2 years old My children also don't have insurance and I had $10 in my bank account. My son woke up at 4:00am screaming from ear pain. I put some drops in his ear, gave him some tylenol and he fell asleep aound an hour later. I took him to a CVS minute clinic (same cost as his doc but 30 miles closer!) when they opened at 8:30 because he was still complaining of pain. I put the $62 charge on my credit card, she told me his ear drum was "buldging pretty bad" so no more ear drops (if it ruptured and drops where still in there it could affect his hearing). She gave me a script for Amoxicillian which I got filled at Walmar for $4 and said to use motrin for the pain, she said it works better than tylenol. He's doing fine and no rupture :)

    Answer by lissa27504 at 10:58 AM on Apr. 19, 2010

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