What can I do for my Ear Pain?

by | Ask The Intern

What you need to know about your ear pain

There are different types of ear infections. Middle ear infection (acute otitis media) is an infection in the middle ear.

When the Outer ear canal infection, the condition is called swimmer’s ear, which is different from a middle ear infection. You may notice swelling in the ear canal and drainage from the ear hole. For more information, visit “Swimmer’s Ear” (Otitis Externa).

Another condition that affects the middle ear is called otitis media with effusion. It occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear without being infected and without causing fever, ear pain, or pus build-up in the middle ear.

Common symptoms of ear infection may include:

    • Ear pain
    • Fever
    • Fussiness or irritability
    • Rubbing or tugging at an ear
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Swelling of the ear canal (ear hole)
    • Drainage (pus) from the ear canal

How to help your ear pain

  • Rest.
  • Drink extra water or other fluids.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain or fever.
  • Wait and watch (watchful waiting) for 1-2 days.

When to Seek Medical Care

See a doctor when these signs and symptoms present:

  • A fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher
  • infants under 3 months old with fever should be seen in person
  • Pus, discharge, or fluid coming from the ear
  • Worsening symptoms
  • Symptoms of a middle ear infection that last for more than 2–3 days
  • Hearing loss

References

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/ear-infection.html 

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/downloads/Preventing-and-Treating-Ear-Infections-H.pdf

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