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Earache.

Earache.
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Earache

Earache is a common complaint, especially in children. It is generally caused by an ear infection, but can also be caused by:

If the pain persists or gets worse, or if you feel sick or have a temperature, see your doctor.

Earache treatments

Some earaches go away on their own and do not need treatment. Simple painkillers like paracetamol can help.

You should see your doctor if:

  • the pain is persisting or is getting worse
  • you are feeling unwell with fevers
  • you have a discharge from your ears
  • it is a child under two who has the ear infection
  • you are worried and unsure what to do.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Ways to ease the pain include:

  • holding a warm cloth or heat pack to your ear
  • covering your ears if cold weather or wind makes symptoms worse.

If you have a discharge, you can gently clean the outer ear with cotton wool. If there is discharge from both ears, use a new piece of cotton wool for each ear.

Last reviewed: August 2015

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