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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is earache?
An earache is pain in one or both ears that may be short-term or ongoing. The type of pain can differ from person to person, but it is often described as a sharp, a dull or burning sensation. Although earache can occur in anyone, it is most common in children up until the …
What are the symptoms of earache?
Apart from pain in one or both ears, other symptoms that often occur with earache include: Fever; A general feeling of being unwell; A blocked or runny nose; Mild hearing loss, and; Discharge of fluid from the ear. In young children and babies who …
What causes earache?
Common causes of earache include middle ear infections, earwax, build-up of sticky fluid, or damage to the ear drum or canal. In other cases, pain from another area of the face or head may be felt as an earache. This is known as 'referred pain'.
Who develops earaches?
Although earache can occur in anyone, it is more common in babies and children up until the first year of school.
How is earache diagnosed?
Earache is usually diagnosed from the physical symptoms and an internal ear observation using an otoscope. From this examination, your doctor may be able to see signs of infection such as: a bulging eardrum that looks red or cloudy; fluid, blood or pus behind the …
How is earache treated?
Treatment options for earache differ from person to person depending on the level of pain and cause of symptoms. Most earaches pass within 2-3 days without any specific treatment. If an earache remains after 48 hours, and a middle ear infection is thought to be the …
What can be done at home to treat earache?
During the initial monitoring period, some home-care measures to relieve earache could include applying a warm compress to the affected ear, resting in an upright position (rather than lying down), and chewing to reduce the pressure. …
Is earache contagious?
An earache is not contagious. However, the viruses and bacteria that often cause the underlying middle ear infection can pass from person to person. These are spread by the droplets of fluid from sneezes or coughs of infected people.
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 45 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Outer ear infections