Diagnosing & Treating Ear Pain Online

Ear pain is a common symptom for many illnesses, including:

  • Middle ear infections
  • Swimmer's ear
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Bullous Myringitis
  • Sunburn
  • Dermatitis
  • Trauma and more.

Ear pain is different than an ear infection. Online, we can treat some causes of ear pain, but not all. Specifically, we cannot treat a middle ear infection online because as of now, we cannot look at the ear drum without an otoscope to confirm the diagnosis. Middle ear infections are the most common type of ear infection and typically are caused by bacteria and viruses. Bacteria ear infections require an antibioitic to clear them and viral ear infections should be treated with supportive care.

During a video consult on TelaCare, your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms are bacterial or viral. Then your physician will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. This is based on duration, severity of symptoms and your medical history. Questions about your work and home environment may be discussed as well.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risk and benefits of the various treatment plans. The biggest obstacle will most likely be managing the pain. In many cases, pain control is all that is needed while your body fights off the infection. Depending on the cause and severity of the infection, your treatment plan may include:

  • A warm compress
  • Over-the-counter anti inflammatories
    • Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin IB, etc.
    • Tylenol/Acetaminophen if fever is a symptom
  • Ear drops
  • Ear wax removal
  • A prescription for antibiotics
  • A referral to a specialist

Note: Middle ear infections need to be treated in person with your primary care physician. Online, we can treat swimmers' ear and we can help treat eustachian tube dysfunction. Diagnosing a patient will be based on history and certain physicial signs.

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Got Questions? We've got answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-317-0280 to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms or conditions.



 What is an online doctor visit?

TelaCare is an affordable, convenient way to resolve routine medical conditions. Our unique, secure, technology makes it possible to see a doctor, face to face, without you having to leave your home on your smartphone, desktop or telephone. With video, providers can look, listen and engage with you to diagnose your health concerns and provide an effective treatment plan.

 Is my online doctor visit private and secure?

Yes, we feel it is of utmost importance to maintain patient privacy and keep information secure. TelaCare is designed to be a private, secure, HIPAA-compliant tool that allows you to safely and confidentially consult with a doctor online.


 Can I get a prescription online?

Yes, in general you can get a prescription online. There is support for this nationwide, however there are several exceptions. 


 Can medical forms like sick slips or doctors notes be provided?

Doctors on TelaCare are able to provide simple forms like sick slips or back to work/school documents as clinically appropriate. Be sure to request the documentation before ending your conversation. Please note that doctors on TelaCare are not able to provide more substantial documents like FMLA forms, disability forms or handicap/DMV documents as these documents require in in-person evaluation.

 Can a doctor on TelaCare be my regular provider?

Unfortunately, no. Doctors on TelaCare are there to support your care between office visits, such as when you are traveling or when you have a non-emergency or low acuity health condition.

 Will I be charged more if I talk to a doctor on weekends, holidays or at night?

No. TelaCare offers 24/7/365 access no matter when you visit with the doctor, therapist or medical specialist.

 Why would I see a doctor online?

Illness or injury can strike at any time. TelaCare helps you get back on your feet, no matter where you are or the time of day. You can see a doctor online for a range of issues, from minor illnesses and injuries, symptoms from a chronic condition, or to address general health concerns. Here are a few reasons people go online to see a doctor:

    • I feel like I should probably see a doctor, but can’t really fit it into my over-booked schedule.
    • It’s difficult for me to get a doctor’s appointment.
    • I’m not sure if I should go to the ER or not.
    • My doctor’s office is closed and I don’t want to go to an urgent care clinic or hospital
    • I just moved and don’t know any doctors in my area.
    • I just need a second opinion.
    • I’m between jobs and have no coverage.
    • I have a question about a loved-one’s health and would like some advice.

     Who are the doctors?

    The doctors on TelaCare are part of the TelaCare Medical Group, Inc., which is a primary care practice with a national network of board-certified doctors who, on average, have 15 years of experience. Doctors are both single- and multi-state licensed and credentialed to work in your state of residence; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each of our doctors goes through a rigorous selection process to become a part of the network.

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