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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Ear Infection

Ear Infection Cost


How Much Does an Ear Infection Cost?

 
low costAntibiotics: $20-$110average costDoctor Visit: $25-$250high costTubes: $2,000-$3,000
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Ear infections are the swelling and possible infection of the middle or inner ear. The infection is caused by bacteria or germs entering the middle or inner ear, which results in swelling and the collection of fluid. It's pretty painful and should always be evaluated by a doctor.

Typical costs:

  • A doctor's visit, which is always recommended if the patient has ear pain, costs between $25 and $250 for those without insurance, depending upon the clinic and the region of the country. Copays for office visits range between $5 and $75, depending upon the insurance company. The average insured individual in the U.S. has a $19 office visit copay.
  • Antibiotics are typically prescribed for patients with a bacterial ear infection. These usually cost between $20 and $110 for seven days worth of treatment. One of the most common antibiotics prescribed for ear infection, Amoxicillin[1] , costs between $20 and $70 for those without insurance. For patients with insurance typical copay rates apply, ranging from $5 to $50.
  • Some doctors recommend placing tubes in the ears of children with reoccurring ear infections. This procedure, which is typically an outpatient procedure, costs between $2,000 and $3,000 for people without insurance. People with insurance will pay typical copays and deductibles. Copays can range between $5 and $50. The average deductible ranges from $500 to $2,000.
  • Homeopathic remedies for ear pain may also be recommended by a physician. These remedies, which do not cure a bacterial infection but may relieve pain and swelling, cost between $5 and $7 for Nutribiotic[2] ear drops and more than $35 for other homeopathic ear drop brands.
Related articles: Ear Wax Removal, Tinnitus Treatment, Hearing Test, Hearing Aid

What should be included:
  • A doctor's visit for ear infection will include an examination of both ears, using an otoscope. An otoscope allows the doctor to see deep into the middle ear. The doctor will likely take the patient's temperature to determine if the ear infection has caused a fever. The visit may also include a tympanogram, which is a tool that measures inner ear pressure.
  • Antibiotics should include the medication, dosage information, packaging and drug information. Patients should also have access to a pharmacist, so they can discuss any questions or concerns.
  • Surgery to insert tubes in a child's ears is generally done as an outpatient procedure, and no overnight stay is typically required. Small plastic tubes are inserted into the ears while the patient is under general anesthesia. Antibiotics are usually given to the patient to reduce the risk of ear infection after the procedure.
Additional costs:
  • If a patient's primary care provider is unavailable, the patient may seek treatment at an urgent care or emergency room. The national average charge for an urgent care visit regarding ear pain is $100. The average charge in an emergency room is $160.
Shopping for an ear infection:
  • :
  • Patients should start by visiting a physician, either in a primary practice, urgent care or emergency room clinic. The physician will examine the ears to figure out if an infection is present. Ask if the doctor believes the infection is viral or bacterial.
  • If the infection is bacterial, it can only be treated with antibiotics. Be sure to talk to a physician or pharmacist about any potential side effects, drug allergies and drug interactions. EmedTV[3] has a host of information available regarding ear infection antibiotics.
  • If the doctor believes the ear infection is viral, it just needs to run its course.
  • Homeopathic remedies, which are available at pharmacies and health food stores, do not treat a bacterial ear infection but drops can relieve pain associated with a viral ear infection. Talk to a physician before using these products, especially if the ear infection is bacterial. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association has a list of homeopathic remedies[4] that can be used to treat earache.
  • Ear tubes are sometimes recommended for children with chronic ear infections. Doctors say that the ear tubes help relieve the pressure, pain and possibly the cause of the chronic ear infections. However, there are risks associated with the procedure, including general anesthesia and possible hearing loss. Kids Health has more information about ear tube surgery.[5]
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
ear ache with tubes - urgent care visit
Amount: $476.00
Posted by: Australia has better health care for all in hudson, OH.Posted: July 12th, 2012 02:07PM
Type of Treatment: medication , consultMedical Facility: urgent / emergency cntr
1/2 hr max. The tube in the left ear was attempted to be removed. Medication and consultation only.

Insurance was billed $523.00 for the services.

My child did not receive $523.00 in services.

The medical system in the US is a fraud.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-3295-AMOXICILLIN+-+ORAL.aspx?drugid=1531&drugname=Amoxicillin+...
  2.  www.nutribiotic.com/ear-drops.html
  3.  ear.emedtv.com/ear-infection/antibiotics-for-ear-infections.html
  4.  icpa4kids.org/HPA-Articles/homeopathic-treatment-of-earaches.html
  5.  kidshealth.org/parent/medical/ears/ear_infections.html
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