A Parent’s Guide To Infant Ear Infections

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Even though your little one isn’t able to tell you when they are not feeling well, they are able to show you signs. If your baby has an ear infection, they will likely show certain symptoms. Fortunately, these are easy to spot, and you will be able to get your child to one of your local urgent care locations for treatment. Rest easy and use this guide to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment of infant ear infections.

What causes ear infections?
When fluid builds up behind your child’s eardrum, it usually drains out easily through the eustacian tube. When a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection causes the tube to become blocked, the fluid might stay there and allow bacteria or a virus to grow. This is common in infants because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off the infection.

What are the symptoms of an infant ear infection?
If your baby’s ear becomes infected, they will likely let you know through certain behaviors. Your baby might be crying more and could develop a fever. You may also notice that your baby is tugging on their ears and is hesitant to lie down. Ear infections in babies are often linked to gastrointestinal issues, so your child might be vomiting, having diarrhea, or have a reduced appetite. Look at their ear closely to see if you notice any liquid draining out of there ear or a foul odor. If you notice any combination of these symptoms, take your child to a medical clinic as soon as possible.

How are ear infections treated in babies?Treatment of the ear infection will depend on the severity of your child’s case. These infections will usually clear up on their own after a few days. For more severe cases, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Whether the clinic prescribes a specific treatment, be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s symptoms. If they appear to be getting worse, be sure give your doctor a call or visit one of the urgent care locations in your area.

Over 90% of urgent care centers are open until 7 p.m. or later on weeknights, and two out of five stay until 9 p.m. This is far more convenient then your primary care doctor’s office, so if your infant is uncomfortable, do not wait to seek treatment.

Will It Be Your Doctor or The Emergency Room?

urgent care servicesMany ask, “What is urgent care?” In short, it can be any service from a flu vaccination to medical urgent care. If you have the need of care whether your doctor is in the office or you believe you don’t have time to wait, the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state 48% of the adult emergency room patients did not need to be admitted to the hospital for extra care.

Many times you postpone visiting your regular physician’s office because you believe you aren’t sick enough. Unfortunately, by the end of the day, you discover the trip should have been made, but the office is closed. It is good to know you can seek a medical care professional from more than 66% of the urgent care centers that are open before 9:00 AM during the week.

Advanced urgent care is important, and you are aware that roughly 60% of the facilities offer less than 15 minutes waiting time before you see a qualified physician or mid-level provider. Approximately 65% of urgent care centers have an on-site professional when the emergency arises. Two out of five facilities are generally open until 9:00 PM or later, whereas approximately 90.6% of them were open until 7 PM. About 80% of those visits lasted 60 minutes or less.

Urgent care for kids in Englewood is superb. Children seem to become sicker during the evening hours. Dehydration can play a factor. If you want to avoid the emergency room, 70% of the urgent care services can also provide intravenous fluids if necessary.

If you have children or need fracture care, four out of five urgent care clinics offer the service. You know there is always a dedicated doctor waiting for you at the after-hours urgent care center. You can rely on the electronic prescription ordering systems which are effective in 40% of the urgent care locations.

The urgent care services can also include computerized lab and imaging results to better diagnose your problem. All of your information will be collected in the clinical notes using detailed condition and procedure coding, so your regular physician can be aware of all elements covered at the urgent care facility.

With all of the modern technologies offered through urgent care, roughly 21.7% or more than 450 patients seek urgent care services. That equals about one in five after-hours urgent care centers. You can rest assured that you receive will excellent care since 40% of the urgent care centers are owned by a group of physicians or an individual physician.

Could Your Common Cold Be A Sinus Infection? How To Know The Difference

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Even when cold and flu season seems to be over, cold viruses may still sneak up on you. When you are sneezing, sniffling, and feeling achy and congested, it is important to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Be careful, however, as what seems like the common cold could actually be a sinus infection. Upper respiratory infections require more treatment, such as antibiotics, that can easily be prescribed in urgent care services. Know when to seek further medical attention by understanding the difference between these two ailments.

Common Cold

  • Stuffy or Runny Nose
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Low-Grade Fever

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, chances are that you just have a cold. Like any virus, your body’s immune system will fight the common cold naturally. To kick a cold quickly, make sure you are getting plenty of rest and sleep, eating healthy foods, and drinking to stay hydrated. For a sore throat, try gargling warm salt water. Blow your nose often and try sinus irrigation to clear your nasal passages.

Sinus Infection

  • Stuffy or Runny Nose Lasting More Than A Week
  • Yellow or Green Mucus
  • Sinus Pressure Behind The Eyes and Cheeks
  • Worsening Headache
  • Fever
  • Cough

Any of the above symptoms could indicate a sinus infection, which is caused by bacteria. The only way to know for sure is to visit one of your local urgent care services and get checked out by a medical professional. If they do diagnose you with a sinus infection, they will then recommend the best treatment. Unless the doctor determines that the sinus infection may go away on its own, they will likely prescribe you antibiotics. While you are taking any medications, either prescribed or over the counter, it is important to follow the same self care regimen as with a common cold.

Avoid Self Diagnosis
If you are having any doubts about your symptoms, or your symptoms are lasting for more than a week, it is worth visiting a medical clinic to get a diagnosis. Self-diagnoses are often not accurate, leading to further health complications. Visiting an urgent care facility is quick and simple. According to a survey conducted by The Urgent Care Association of America, 80% of all patient visits lasted an hour or less, and 57% of patients waited 15 minutes at the most to be seen. Taking the time to visit a clinic is quick, easy, and unarguably beneficial to your health.

3 Tips on How to Avoid Getting Sick When the Weather Changes


That time of year is here — where it is not too cold, and not too warm. The weather is changing constantly, and it seems that we never know what to expect when we leave for work each day. Unfortunately, these fluctuations in temperature can wreak havoc on your immune system and cause you to catch a cold when all you want to do is be outside with the warm weather. So, stay out of those urgent care clinics and keep the doctor away with these easy tips that will help you to avoid getting sick when the weather changes.

Don’t spring for spring clothes just yet
As tempting as it may be, one of the easiest ways to fall ill during this time is to not dress appropriately. While the forecast may call for high temperatures, it is important you wear the right clothes to protect yourself from the elements. The best way to do so is to wear easy-to-remove layers and keep some gloves and a scarf handy in case temperatures plunge.

Keep your allergies in check
Allergies are sneaky culprits that often go mistaken for colds. When it gets warmer outside, more plants are budding, which could mean that there is more dander and pollen in the air. These two common causes of allergies can cause sniffling, watery eyes, and scratchy throats, so keep this in mind if you are feeling a bit under the weather.

Drink up
It is no question that your immune system is going into overdrive during this time of year. Because of this, it is important to keep your body nice and hydrated. Sometimes, with the warm weather, it can be easy to forget to hydrate. You are already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty, so make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Want an extra boost? Orange juice in the morning will deliver a nice shot of Vitamin C.

Have you followed these tips, but still need a doctor? Come on down to AFC/Doctors Express today and get checked out. We have flexible hours and low wait times that will work well with your schedule, as roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minute minutes. When you visit our clinic, we will get you feeling as right as rain in no time at all!

Stomach Bug FAQ: What You Need to Know

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It’s that time of year. The stomach bug, or “stomach flu,” is making its rounds and causing many people to suffer from deep discomfort. While the stomach bug doesn’t usually stick around too long, the symptoms — which include fevers, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea — can be unbearable and may have lasting effects after recovery.

But what causes the stomach flu anyway? And why is it so bad this time of year? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions that urgent care center patients have about the contagious disease.

What is the stomach flu?

While many have nicknamed this violent illness the stomach flu due to its similar symptoms to influenza, the stomach flu is actually caused by norovirus or the related rotavirus.

Why is it more common in the wintertime?

In close quarters, including workspaces, daycares, and schools, these viruses can spread like wildfire. Since most people are spending their time inside during the winter months, it’s more likely to spread during this time. During other times of the year, the viruses that cause the stomach bug are still active, but are more likely diluted by fresh air.

How is the stomach bug cured?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the stomach bug. The treatment most doctors recommend is drinking plenty of fluids and resting up. As said earlier, the stomach bug typically doesn’t last very long. It can last as long as a week, though people typically feel better within a couple of days. Some people, however, may react more adversely than others. Hydration is the most important part of stomach bug treatment. Vomiting and diarrhea can rapidly dehydrate a person, and without receiving the necessary amount of fluids, a person may not recover as quickly. In severe cases, medical care might be necessary to administer intravenous fluids in order to stabilize a person.

Luckily, 70% of all urgent care centers are able to provide intravenous fluid treatment in case of these unexpected emergencies. In the case of the stomach bug, which affects a person very quickly, there is no time to waste for treatment. Seeking medical care at AFC/Doctors Express Urgent Care is the best choice when rapid dehydration sets in.

If you are experiencing dehydration or other extenuating symptoms because of the stomach bug, seek medical treatment immediately.

CDC Reports Record Cases of the Mumps in 2016

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A vaccine for the mumps was introduced in the 1960s, but a recent surge in cases this year has caused a lot of concern in the medical field.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of December 3, 2016, 46 states and the District of Columbia have reported 4,258 mumps infections. Seven states (Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Oklahoma) have reported over 100 cases in 2016.

The number of cases seen in 2016 is nearly quadruple the cases reported the year before, and the most cases reported since 2006, when there were more than 6,500 cases reported mostly in and around Iowa and Illinois.

The latest spike appears to be a direct result of the anti-vax movement. Unfortunately, many parents falsely believe that vaccines can lead to autism and other learning disabilities, even though the study that made this correlation has since been proven false repeatedly.

The leader of the 1998 study, a doctor in the U.K., was later found to have manipulated data and taken payments from lawyers who wanted to sue vaccine companies. He was stripped of his credentials in 2010.

With fewer children vaccinated, once-vanquished diseases like mumps are able to spread quickly and more easily.

The CDC reports that the MMR vaccine (measles/mumps/rubella) is 78% effective against these viruses, and two doses of the vaccine is reported to be 88% effective. Earlier this year, a proposal was made to recommend a third dose of the vaccine as the diseases continue to spread.

An immunization advisory group will meet in February 2017 to discus the possibility of adding a third dose. Some people have already received a third dose of the MMR vaccine, but only if they have recently come into contact with an outbreak or have not received a booster in the recommended time frame.

Since mumps is still relatively rare, with the exception of last year, many people do not know how to handle the symptoms. While facial swelling is troublesome and may cause plenty of concern, it’s unlikely that a case of the mumps would warrant a trip to the emergency room.

Medical urgent care express centers are a much better choice for situations like this, when you need immediate care but your symptoms are non-life threatening. About 60% of urgent care facilities are able to see patients within 15 minutes of arrival, and 65% have a physician on site at all times.

Even better, urgent care express clinics like AFC Urgent Care Englewood offer vaccinations.