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Happy Little Indian Boy Kissing Mother Outdoors
Happy Little Indian Boy Kissing Mother Outdoors

Earache

Managing Earache And Ear Infections

Earache is common in children, and is one of the main reasons parents take their children to see the doctor.

What causes earache?

There are many causes of earache. Otitis media (inflammation in the middle ear) is a common cause, and can result from a middle ear infection. The thin tube that connects the nose to the ear (the Eustachian tube) may become blocked, causing fluid to build up inside the ear, resulting in earache. Otitis media can occur when children get a cold.

Children are more prone to otitis media than adults because they are still building up their immune systems to fight off infections, and the Eustachian tube is still developing. Once a child reaches the age of around 6 to 10 years, ear infections are less common.

Signs to look out for

The main symptoms of otitis media are:

  • earache
  • a high temperature
  • irritability
  • ear discharge
  • lethargy
  • mild deafness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting

In younger children who cannot explain what is wrong, otitis media is often difficult to detect. What’s more, it’s easy to dismiss the symptoms as general irritability or tiredness. Some signs include:

  • pulling or tugging of the ear
  • irritability
  • restlessness and poor sleep
  • loss of balance
  • fever
  • slight deafness

Tips to manage ear pain in children

In most cases, otitis media clears up without any treatment within a few days. Consult a medical doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of ear infections. For home treatment, experts recommend using paracetamol or ibuprofen, as this can help ease the pain of otitis media and relieve fever. Aspirin should be avoided in children under 16 years of age who are suffering from a fever.

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