Ear Infections: Cost, Treatment and Prevention
posted by The Live Better Team | March 14, 2018
Ear infections are some of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. They’re also the most common reason for antibiotic use in children. Symptoms of ear infections include ear pain (often exhibited through fussiness, crying or tugging/pulling at the ears), fever, fluid drainage from the ear, difficulty sleeping, and trouble balancing or hearing.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection, you may be wondering how much treatment costs, where you should go for care and how you can prevent recurring infections. Here are some answers to parents’ common questions.
A recent study conducted by UCLA found that ear infections in children account for nearly $3 billion in health expenses each year. Typical healthcare costs associated with ear infections include:
If your child has an ear infection and needs medical attention, it may be difficult to know what level of care he or she needs. Urgent care facilities are typically open after hours and on weekends to care for medical needs that can’t wait until the next day, and they are significantly cheaper than hospitals. Urgent care providers are trained to handle immediate medical needs that are not life-threatening, like ear infections.
Although most ear infections can be treated at an urgent care, some symptoms may require emergency treatment:
If you aren’t sure whether your child’s ear infection is a true emergency, call your doctor or local urgent care.
The best way to avoid doctor visits and healthcare costs associated with ear infection is prevention, and the best way to prevent ear infections is to minimize the risk factors that cause them. Here are some things you can do to lower your child’s risk of ear infection:
Ear infections are not usually serious, but the cost of treating recurring infections can add up. If your child has an ear infection, contact your doctor. He or she can offer treatment and prevention recommendations.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.