Nursing Beyond the Vital SignsNursing Beyond the Vital Signs

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Nursing Beyond the Vital Signs

Nursing is so much more than simply popping a thermometer in a patient's mouth or recording a blood pressure. In my time as a nurse, I have participated in life saving efforts when time was critical, I have held a mother's hands when her newborn baby was being prepped for surgery, and I have looked into the terrified eyes of an elderly person in pain. Nurses literally go into battle, serving in military operations all over the world. They also learn and implement the latest in medical technology. This blog is to highlight nurses and prove that they deserve respect and appreciation for all that they do.

3 Surprising Signs of an Ear Infection

Determining if you have a cold is simple because it is such a common issue. From a sore throat and light cough to a runny nose, the common cold is easy to understand. Unfortunately, many common colds lead to ear infections. While pain and throbbing in the ear are the most popular signs, ear infections may also display themselves in other ways. Using this guide, you will learn a few surprising signs of ear infections.


Infections cause inflammation of the inner ear, surrounding tissue, and nerves connected to the brain. The inflammation is not only uncomfortable, but it also affects  the transmission of sensory information to the brain. Without the ability to properly transmit sensory information to the brain, you may experience vertigo.

Vertigo causes dizziness, unsteadiness, vision impairment, and even vomiting. If you are experiencing sudden dizziness, visit your doctor to check for signs of inflammation in the ear.

Decreased Appetite/Chewing Difficulties

Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can help you recover from the common cold and other illnesses, but many people do not have much of an appetite when they are sick. Of course, a decreased appetite may be a sign of an underlying infection that requires immediate attention.

Ear infections can make food look, smell, and taste unappetizing. In addition, you may feel nauseous while suffering with an infection. Lastly, individuals who have an outer ear infection have stiffness and discomfort in their jaw while chewing. This pain can quickly decrease a person's desire to eat.


Fevers can stem from a variety of common illnesses, but high fevers usually mean your body's immune system is trying to fight off a dangerous infection. Not every person with an ear infection will develop a fever, but a large percentage will, so it should be taken seriously.

Make sure to call your doctor if a fever lasts more than 7 days or if it is 103 degrees of higher. Without treating the infection, the fever can become progressively higher, increasing your risk of life-threatening medical conditions. If you have a fever and are experiencing the following symptoms, seek out emergency care immediately:

  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in stools, urine, or vomit
  • Swelling in legs
  • Redness, swelling of skin

Ear infections are easily treated, but early diagnosis is smart. With this guide of surprising signs and the help of your doctor, you will be able to diagnose and treat the common ear infection.