Ear pain

Ear pain can arise due to many reasons such as an injury from poking your ear with an outside object (e.g. hairpin, pencil, or safety pin), an infection in your ear canal (otitis externa) or an infected hair follicle in your ear canal (furuncle), or an infection of middle ear (acute or serous otitis media). It could also arise due to ear wax build up or due to sudden pressure changes at takeoff and landing times during air travel.  If areas near the ear are infected e.g. tonsillitis, sinusitis, neuralgias, pharyngitis or aching jaw or jaw joint or toothache or mouth ulcers, you could get bouts of pain in the ear. Some more serious conditions causing ear pain could be malignant otitis externa or complicated unsafe type of chronic otitis media.

What can cause ear pain?

Signs that you have an ear infection rather than an earache due to a cold are:
  • Pain does not go away with your other cold symptoms.
  • Your hearing is dulled.
  • You may still have a fever.
  • Pain is more intense.

How do you stop an earache?

At home, try these tips:
  • Use pain relievers. Pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (for example Advil, Aleve, and Motrin ) and acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) will help your child feel better.
  • Apply heat to the ear, which may help with pain. Use a warm washcloth.
  • Encourage rest.
  • Use eardrops.