Also known as: earache

What is earache?

The pain of an earache tends to be sharp, dull or burning in nature. They’re more common among children, who tend to get fussy or irritable when they experience an earache.

What might cause earache?

Earaches can have many potential causes, ranging from mild to serious:
  • Ear infections
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Earwax buildup
  • Change in air pressure
  • Sinus infection
  • Strep throat
  • Water trapped in the ear
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Impacted or infected tooth
  • Arthritis of the jaw
  • Eczema in the ear canal
  • Foreign object in the ear
  • TMJ syndrome

How can it be treated?

Mild earaches can be treated at home by having the child sit upright to relieve pressure, using over-the-counter ear drops or pain relievers, chewing gum to relieve pressure or applying a cold washcloth to the ear. If babies need pressure relieved on the ears, you can do so by feeding them.

When should you seek medical attention?

If earache is severe or accompanied by high fever, headache, dizziness, swelling of the ear, drooping of the facial muscles or blood and pus from the ear, see your health care provider. Also see your provider if earache doesn’t improved within 24 to 48 hours.

Reviewed by: Yamilet Tirado

This page was last updated on: January 13, 2020 04:11 PM

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