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AIBU for asking for emergency GP appointment for suspected ear infection?

(47 Posts)
CobaltRose Mon 12-Feb-18 18:08:51

Hi everyone,

About a week ago I woke up deaf in my left ear. I'd had a cold a few days before so just assumed it was fluid build up. However, a week on and my hearing, if anything, is getting worse. I'm also getting a constant high pitched ringing in my left ear.

For the past couple of days I've been feeling a bit rough. Not horribly ill, but certainly not 100%. The ear itself doesn't hurt that much, but I've been getting headaches on the left side. I've also been getting bouts of nausea and loss of appetite, and I keep getting hot flushes/feeling sweaty. Also, today I noticed what looked to be puss/yellow fluid in my left ear (see attached picture).

The weird fluid was the trigger for me to suspect I might have an ear infection (never had one before in my whole 21 years of life) so I called my GP surgery. Unfortunately the next available non-urgent apppointment was NEXT Wednesday (21st), but I was told that if I felt I couldn't wait that long I could ring back tomorrow morning to get an emergency appointment.

Would you lovely people consider a suspected ear infection serious enough to warrant an emergency appointment? I certainly don't want to wait nine days to see my GP, but nor do I want to waste the doctor's precious emergency appointments.

Thanks! grin

Snowysky20009 Mon 12-Feb-18 18:17:06

You could try the pharmacist and see what they will suggest? Either they will give you something or tell you to get an emergency appointment.

CobaltRose Mon 12-Feb-18 18:20:12

I did see a pharmacist three days ago. They gave me decongestants but told me to see my GP it it hadn't improved within three days.

expertonnothing Mon 12-Feb-18 18:21:34

Emergency appointment with GP

kitkatsky Mon 12-Feb-18 18:22:30

Most nhs trusts don’t prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection now unless you make a fuss. You’d be best off cleaning the outside regularly, taking paracetamol and keeping up your fluids

WonderTweek Mon 12-Feb-18 18:25:39

I'd ring 111. They can assess and arrange an out of hours appointment if necessary. I think they can also get a doctor to ring you back if required so you might be able to chat to one on the phone? I rang them up with a UTI once and was given an appointment and antibiotics all within about five hours since the initial call during a bank holiday weekend. It was great. I know ear infections can get really painful so definitely worth having it checked out. Hope it gets better soon OP!

Drknittingfrog Mon 12-Feb-18 18:29:14

Sounds and looks like a busted ear drum...I would indeed ask for an emergency appointment or ring as suggested by previous answer. Good luck!

Piffpaffpoff Mon 12-Feb-18 18:30:21

I’d be ringing out of hours for that I think.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Mon 12-Feb-18 18:30:35

Take an emergency appointment, this is sufficiently urgent.

Snowysky20009 Mon 12-Feb-18 18:30:55

Get an emergency appointment then. Especially as you are having a lot of symptoms with it. Take care you must feel horrid.

StarShapedWindow Mon 12-Feb-18 18:31:59

You have to book an emergency appt because the appointment you’re offered otherwise might be in a couple of weeks and you need help within the next day or so.
My GP would advise you to book an emergency appointment.

birdlover1977 Mon 12-Feb-18 18:32:52

I would call the out of hours doctors as that looks painful and certainly infected. I hope you get well

AllChangeNat Mon 12-Feb-18 18:34:12

I had this with my four year old (several times), it sounds like a burst ear drum which DD always gets antibiotics for. I call as soon as I see the fluid and I'm always asked to come in on the same day. I can't imagine it would be any different for an adult, so I'd say make an emergency appointment.

MistressPage Mon 12-Feb-18 18:34:26

Definitely take the emergency appt

MajesticWhine Mon 12-Feb-18 18:34:46

I get ear infections fairly often and I don’t go to the doctor with them. I take lots of painkillers and wait for a couple of days for it to improve. Then once the pain is gone completely I clear the wax using Otex or similar over the counter drops. However it would not be at all unreasonable to ask for an emergency appointment. Especially if you are not used to this and you’ve been suffering for a few days.

Talkingfrog Mon 12-Feb-18 18:35:32

I have phoned surgery before told the receptionist I thought I had the start of an ear infection. She offered an advice call. Didn't really have much in the way of pain, but had a cracking sound in my ear. After a few days it was getting worse and started to hurt a bit. Dr called back, and after hearing the description asked me to go in that afternoon. Turns out I did have an infection and left with antibiotics.
Could you go back to a pharmacy and get them to look. They may say you need to see a gp sooner and so you can fairly ask for an emergency appointment. If not, does your doctor do advice calls? If you think there is really a problem and it can't wait take an emergency appt.

idontlikealdi Mon 12-Feb-18 18:35:43

Sounds like a perforated ear drum

booellesmum Mon 12-Feb-18 18:36:23

Oh yes - definitely take an emergency appointment.
Hope it's better soon.

Babyroobs Mon 12-Feb-18 18:37:10

Yes definitely appropriate for an emergency appointment. I used an emergency appointment today for a urine infection, have been in agony all weekend.

JustVent Mon 12-Feb-18 18:37:37

My brother left his ear infection and it routed so deep he was days away from it reaching the fluid in his brain.

They had to operate to sort out the infection, he hasn’t got any of the small bones left in his ear and he’s bloody lucky that he didn’t get meningitis.

Moral of the story is, you need to see the doctor.

Chembe Mon 12-Feb-18 18:40:57

I work in a GP surgery, and although I know they don't all work the same, if you said to me you thought you had any kind of infection that is valid enough reason for an emergency appointment, definitely not unreasonable x

PatchworkElmer Mon 12-Feb-18 18:41:30

I had this a couple of months ago- it was a nasty infection and a perforated ear drum. GP took it seriously- I did get antibiotics, but he also wanted to see me a week later to check that it was healing properly (which was obviously important as i’d Totally lost hearing in my right ear).

I’d take an emergency appointment.

BarbarianMum Mon 12-Feb-18 18:43:55

Agree, see your doctor. Let them decide what treatment you need. In general they do not like to prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection, no. But they will if the infection/your condition warrents it. In the dats when ds1 got repeated ear infections consultations often started with the "ear infections are a normal part of childhood and we don't like to prescribe ..." talk. The reality is no doctor ever looked into his ears and then failed to prescribe antibiotics for him. His ear infections were nasty.

CobaltRose Mon 12-Feb-18 18:44:33

Thanks everyone. Emergency appointment it is! I've never had an ear infection before. I'm rarely ill full stop. But I've definitely been feeling under the weather for the past few days. Also feel like someone's injected rancid concrete into my left ear. It's horrid!

But, I always thought perforated ear drums were agonisingly painful? My ear hurts a bit but I certainly wouldn't call it agonising. My face/head hurts more.

Thanks again you lovely lot! I shall update you when I've seen the doctor.

Didiplanthis Mon 12-Feb-18 18:47:41

Yes. If nothing else if you have a perforated ear drum you need to know do you keep it dry until healed.

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