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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

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
Otis externa
Amount: $300.00
Posted by: Callisto in Clearwater, FL.Posted: December 27th, 2021 01:12PM
Type of Treatment: Examined earsMedical Facility: Largo medical center Clearwater er
Was there for 20 minutes so when I got the bill of $300 I was shocked. I had no choice but to pay since I was in immense pain. The oral antibiotics were $14 but the ear drops were $275!!!!!! This is ridiculously overpriced. The state of this nation is hell bound. This country doesn’t not care for its citizens. The one who ACTUALLY work to keep this machine we call America running suffers under its heavy and unforgiving foot. We’re doomed.
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$987 for ear infection
Amount: $987.00
Posted by: Jason sparks in Heppner, OR.Posted: October 15th, 2021 01:10AM
Type of Treatment: Ear dropsMedical Facility: Emergency room
This is insane. Now I am gonna battle this bill as far as I can. Not right
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Ear Infection
Amount: $468.75
Posted by: US Health Care Is a Fraud in Chicago, IL.Posted: August 16th, 2020 03:08PM
Type of Treatment: Ear DropsMedical Facility: Chicago
With "good" health insurance from employer, two visit copays, drops, bills from service provider, the out-of-pocket to treat an ear infection was
$468.75 after insurance.
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Ear infection
Amount: $1,235.00
Posted by: J james in NJ, NJ.Posted: June 7th, 2019 09:06PM
Type of Treatment: Just look got a prescriptionMedical Facility: Holy name medical center nj
I just move to this state I have no health insurance , i explained to them that I just started working and I'm on 3 months probation , i was surprise when I got a letter for $900 first then they took off $300 so I owe $600 so I got another letter today stating that I owe and addition of $635 not to the facility but for the doctor's visit ,this is really stressful to see that I'm a single parent and I just started working and to be hit with this ridiculous bill , these hospital r not looking out for anyone...if I had know that it was so much just to visit I would have stayed at home with the pain...this is a ripoff.....sorry I went there.....i will never go back to holy name medical center.......now they r telling me that it us my responsibility to pay the $1235
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cost of ear drops
Amount: $67.00
Posted by: jeffo in Palatine, IL.Posted: June 23rd, 2018 02:06PM
I was prescribed antibiotic drops for an ear infection. Went to pick up at Walgreen's and declined due to price of $219. I asked the medical facility to send prescription to Costco. Picked it up there for $67. Same prescription, same insurance info. Makes you wonder.
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Ear Wax Removal by Dr. in office
Amount: $115.00
Posted by: J.Polo in Pinehurst, NC.Posted: May 1st, 2017 06:05AM
Type of Treatment: Ear Wax Removal by Dr.Medical Facility: Pinehurst Medical
I recently spent 15 minutes to visit my doctor for a routine checking. I was not experiencing any ear issues. Doctor checked my ear and noticed small piece of ear was in my ear. He literally spent 30 seconds (or less) getting some forceps and removed it. I did not think twice abou this simlar removal. Although I receive a bill for my checkup I was very upset to see a charge $115 to remove wax. This cost seemed outrageous. Am I overreacting????
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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=Amoxici...
  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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