Learn about the services of our Savannah, Georgia walk-in center.

It’s summertime, which means it’s the perfect time for fun in the water. However, as enjoyable as a summer swim can be, it can also lead to ear infections if you aren’t careful. As your family enjoys the splishing and splashing, make sure you know the difference between an ear infection and a swimmer’s ear. They can both cause pain and discomfort, but the symptoms and treatments differ. If you have any doubts, our Savannah, Georgia, walk-in center is here to help!

Early Signs of Ear Irritation

If you’re an adult or have a child, it’s always best practice to watch for early signs of ear irritation. Listed below are early warning signs that you should be on the lookout for when not feeling well. 

  1. Ear pain, especially when lying down
  2. Unintentional tugging or pulling at the ear
  3. Trouble sleeping 
  4. Trouble hearing 
  5. Loss of balance 
  6. Fever of 100 °F or higher

What Is Swimmer’s Ear? 

Swimmer’s ear is a type of bacterial infection typically caused by water that remains in the outer ear canal for an extended period, providing a moist environment for bacteria to grow. Anyone can get swimmer’s ear.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pain when the outer ear is tugged
  • Itchiness inside the ear
  • Drainage from the ear
  • Redness and swelling in the ear

Other factors:

  • Exposure to other bacteria is found in polluted water
  • Contact with chemicals like hair spray or hair dye
  • Excessive cleaning of the ear canal 
  • Cuts in the ear canal (eczema, seborrhea, etc.) 

What Is an Ear Infection? 

An ear infection is due to irritation in the middle ear cavity. The disturbance is caused by a blocked Eustachian tube and is usually part of a common cold. Fluid builds up and allows bacteria and viruses to grow. They are also most frequent after a cold. Anyone can get an ear infection. 

Signs and symptoms:

  • Decreased hearing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Ear drainage
  • Fever
  • Loss of balance
  • Discomfort around the ear
  • Tugging at both ears

Other factors:

  • Excessive smoking 
  • Changes in air pressure 
  • Climate changes 
  • Pacifier use

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Treat the Pain

It’s essential that infections should be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, an ear infection can lead to severe pain and even permanent hearing loss. Your provider will examine your ears with an otoscope instrument. They may also take fluid samples inside your ear and test them to determine if antibiotic-resistant bacteria are present. Your provider may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan of your head to determine if the infection has spread. Finally, you may also require a hearing test, especially if you’re frequently suffering from ear infections.

How We Can Help

Swimmer’s ear and ear infections may be diagnosed with a virtual or in-person visit to our Savannah, Georgia, walk-in center. St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care provides expert medical services that can give you peace of mind while you’re away from home, after center hours, or over the weekend. 

Searching for a Walk-In Center in Savannah, Georgia? 

St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care provides families and employers with affordable, high-quality medical care. We have several convenient locations, including a walk-in center in Savannah, Georgia. Whatever your needs, you can find services centered around you. Visit us for ear infections, sprains, breaks, cuts, colds, flu, and sinus issues. For employers, we offer immunization programs, physical exams, and drug testing. Check-in today!