Ear Infections (Otitis Media)

Earaches occur when trapped fluid puts pressure on the eardrum causing it to bulge and throb. Pain can range from mild to extremely sharp. It can also feel like an intense dull ache. Uninfected fluid build-up may start with a cold and go away as the cold is resolved. Sometimes a secondary infection of the middle ear develops. Treatment for an earache begins with relieving pain. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for secondary infections.

Talk with your doctor about the frequency of ear infections in young children. Children susceptible to frequent ear infections may need a long-term strategy to avoid significant hearing problems. Also consider, sometimes short-term hearing loss may occur affecting a young child's ability to learn to talk.


Aching in the ear (infants will often pull on their ear), irritability, loss of appetite, fever, dizziness, drainage from the ear (white, yellow, brown that isn't earwax, and even blood), mild hearing loss.

When to See a Doctor

See your doctor if you have severe or persistent symptoms, a high fever, or there is discharge coming from the ear other than ear wax.

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