Earaches are a common occurrence in our lives, especially with our children. Earache in children is often caused by a build-up of fluid and pressure behind the eardrum, in the area called the middle ear. Earaches can be anything from slightly painful to extremely painful and are usually brought on by a fluid buildup, or a buildup of pressure in the middle ear. The symptoms of an ear infection may include fever, ear pain, fussiness, increased crying, and irritability.
Many children will have temporary and minor hearing loss during and right after an ear infection. Permanent hearing loss is rare, but the risk increases the more infections a child has. Increased irritability or pulling at the ears is often a sign of ear pain in infants. Ear pain in a child or infant is not always from infection.
Other causes include water from bathing, soap or shampoo retention, or ear canal irritation from cotton-tipped swabs. A cold or allergy can block the Eustachian tube due to inflammation and the build-up of secretions. This is especially likely in small children, because their Eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal. The child may not hear far-away noises. A child’s eardrum can break if too much pressure builds up behind it.
Ear ache may also be due to ear infection or any ear disease, nose, mouth, or throat infection, injury to jaw bones, an insect in the ear, fungus growth in the ear, wax buildup in the ear and so on. Ear pain in a child or infant is not always from infection, however. Other causes include water from bathing, soap or shampoo retention, or ear canal irritation from cotton-tipped swabs. Signs of a broken eardrum are blood and pus draining from the ear. This drainage does not mean that the infection has gotten worse.
The small break will heal on its own in a few days. Because of increased pressure in the middle ear, the eardrum is stretched and swollen. This impairs hearing and is painful. There are a number of reasons for the earache to occur, and all the symptoms have to be dealt with prompt medical care. The doctor will use an otoscope to look in the ears for infection. A tympanogram is another test that may be done. Mild painkillers such as paracetamol can be used if the pain is severe. Antibiotics may also be prescribed.
However, the role of antibiotics is still uncertain. Chewing gum, drinking fluids, or sucking on candy may help stop aching caused by temperature changes or the change in pressure when you are going up or coming down in an airplane. Several homeopathic remedies may also be helpful in treating earaches.
Causes of Earache
The common causes and risk factor’s of Earache include the following:
Usually due to an ear infection.
Blockage in the ear tube (Eustachian tube).
Damage to the eardrum.
Arthritis of the jaw.
Sore throat with referred pain to the ears.
Symptoms of Earache
Some sign and symptoms related to Earache are as follows:
Pain or discomfort in or around the ear.
Swelling of the ear.
Thick discharge from the ear.
Mild pain in the ear.
Child reports an earache.
Treatment of Earache
Here is list of the methods to treat Earache:
Most cases are treated with eardrops for 7-10 days. The drops are placed in the ear while the person is lying on his or her side, with the affected ear up.
Pain medication may be needed for the first few days.
A cold pack or cold wet wash cloth applied to the outer ear for 20 minutes may reduce pain.
For children old enough to safely chew gum, chewing may help relieve the pain and pressure of an ear infection.
If your child has a bacterial ear infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If there is a wax blockage, your doctor may irrigate or suction the ear.
Over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide partial pain relief for adults with an earache.
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