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Health Information For Parents
Otalgia is a general term for ear pain or earache.
Earaches are a common pediatric complaint. Kids under 5 years old are particularly at risk, especially following upper respiratory illnesses when ear infections often occur.
A number of things can cause ear pain. Some of the most common include ear infections, airplane pressure, a perforated eardrum, excess earwax, and dental problems. The pain can be deep and aching or sharp and piercing. It also can feel as if the ear is full or blocked.
People with earaches may also experience redness or swelling of the eardrum or outer ear, leakage from the ear, difficulty hearing, ear popping, and fever. In infants and toddlers, fussiness and pulling or rubbing the ears can be a sign of ear pain.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen should help ease discomfort. Antibiotics or ear drops also might be recommended depending on the cause and severity of the earache.
Earaches can be quite uncomfortable but are easily treated once a doctor determines what’s causing the pain.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
That weird ear-popping sensation is a normal part of air travel. Here’s how to help equalize the air pressure in your child’s ears to prevent or decrease ear pain.
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the ear canal that can be caused by different types of bacteria or fungi. Find out how to prevent or treat it.
Learn more about imnpacted earwax build-up, which can cause temporary hearing loss and ear pain.
Learn more about otitis media, an infection of the middle ear.
Ear injuries not only can affect a child’s hearing, but sense of balance too. That’s because our ears also help keep us steady on our feet.
A middle ear infection happens when germs like bacteria and viruses get in your middle ear and cause trouble. Read this article to find out more.
You swam! You splashed! And now you have it: swimmer’s ear.
An earache requires a visit to the doctor’s office. Here’s what to do if your child complains of ear pain.
A perforated (or ruptured) eardrum is a hole in the eardrum caused by injury or infection.
Earwax helps protect the eardrum and fight infection. Parents shouldn’t attempt to remove earwax at home, as doing so risks damage to the ear canal and, possibly, a child’s hearing.
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the ear canal caused by many types of bacteria or fungi. Find out how to prevent it.
A “popped” eardrum is more than just painful – it can sometimes lead to hearing loss. Learn about ruptured eardrums and how to prevent them.
Ear infections are common among kids and, often, painful. Find out what causes them and how they’re treated.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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