Earache Diagnosis: Cold or Ear Infection?


Doctor Carrying Out Ear Exam On Female Patient

Whether as a child or an adult, most of us have had an earache. What you may not know, however, is that an earache can be symptomatic of two things: a cold or an ear infection. Typically an earache starts with a cold, but it can often turn into an ear infection in the middle ear.

So, how do you know when to seek medical care? Below are a couple of key differences that can help you decide when to seek treatment.

  • If your earache is caused from a cold, it may be accompanied by a low-grade fever, runny nose, sneezing or coughing and stuffiness.
  • An earache caused by an ear infection may have additional symptoms that include loss of appetite, impaired balance, drainage from the ear, difficulty hearing, fever and irritability.

Even if your symptoms aren’t severe, it’s a good idea to seek medical treatment so a doctor can properly diagnose you and provide a treatment plan. When a doctor is diagnosing the cause of your earache, he or she will use an instrument called an otoscope to look into the ear canal. If your eardrum is healthy, it will look pinkish gray in color and transluscent. However, if your ear is infected, it will be red, opaque and bulging out.

If a doctor determines your earache is caused by a cold, anti-inflammatory medication will help relieve the pain. Cold-induced earaches usually go away within a few days. However, for an ear infection, an antibiotic will usually be prescribed to kill the bacteria that is causing the infection.

If you’re suffering from an earache, visit Denton Regional Urgent Care. Our medical professionals can help you determine the cause of your earache and get you on the road to recovery in no time.


Where to Go When You Have Abdominal Pain

Woman with a stomach ache

Stomach aches are common. From food poisoning to inflammation to an intestinal obstruction, there are many things that cause stomach pain. However, it’s important to know when to seek medical assistance if you experience abdominal pain and, if medical assistance is needed, where you should go.

It may sound easier said than done, but it’s a good idea to listen to your body to determine if you should seek medical care. If your abdominal pain is sudden, severe and persistent, your illness might be serious. It’s also a good idea to note if your stomach is or extends to your back. Serious illnesses that result in abdominal pain might also cause difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, trouble eating, lightheadedness, black stool and even vomit with blood.

 If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately. For women who are pregnant and anyone who has recently undergone gastric bypass surgery or abdominal surgery, any of the above symptoms should be an immediate trigger to visit the ER. And in someone more than 45 years old, upper abdominal pain could mean a heart attack and should be taken seriously.

For stomach pain that is less severe, does not include any of the symptoms listed above, yet remains persistent, it’s a good idea to visit an urgent care center that can help diagnose what is causing the pain. A medical professional can determine the cause and recommend treatment including prescription medication.

If you or your child is suffering from abdominal pain, consider an urgent care center such as Denton Regional Urgent Care. With convenient hours and online check-in available, we will have you treated and back to your day in no time.



Reasons to Choose Urgent Care

iStock_000043422524_Large.jpgIf you or your child are sick, you know how important it is to seek medical treatment immediately. But between school, work and other obligations, it is often difficult to make an appointment at a primary care clinic with office hours. That’s where the urgent care center comes into play.

Urgent care centers, like Denton Regional Urgent Care, are open after hours, so you can see a doctor after work or school. Some urgent care centers also offer online check-in to make it easy for you to wait wherever you feel most comfortable and to reduce the overall wait times for treatment. In fact, the average total visit time at an urgent care center is about 30 minutes.

Many people are hesitant to visit an urgent care center because they’re worried the doctors aren’t qualified or services are limited. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Physicians at Denton Regional Urgent Care are board certified or eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. Additionally, Denton Regional Urgent Care, open since 2012, cares for many needs including broken bones, sore throat, school physicals, sports injuries, flu shots, muscle strains and sprains, earaches, stitches and fevers.

Many urgent care centers are very reasonable in cost, so visiting an urgent care clinic can save you money. Denton Regional Urgent Care offers the added convenience of online payment so patients don’t have to leave home to pay. We are also a preferred provider for most insurance carriers, including BCBS, Cigna, United Healthcare, PHCS, and the City of McKinney.

If you or your child is suffering from an illness or injury, consider an urgent care center such as Denton Regional Urgent Care. With convenient hours and online check-in available, we will have you treated and back to your day in no time.