What is an ear ache and what are the symptoms?
An ear ache may be a symptom of a cold or an ear infection (otitis media). An ear ache from a cold is caused by the cold virus. Symptoms may include a sharp, dull, or burning pain that can range from mild to very painful. Patients may also experience pressure in the ear from trapped fluid. Difficulty sleeping, fever, and green or yellow mucus in the nose associated with a cold may also occur. To determine if your ear ache is not a more serious ear infection, it is important to visit a Take Care Health Provider.
What is an ear infection and what are the symptoms?
Ear infections are characterized by inflammation (redness) and soreness in the ear. The infection is most common in infants and children aged 3 months to 3 years, but can occur at any age. Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria and less often by a virus. The infection creates a buildup of fluid or pus in the ear. These ear infections are usually sudden in onset and can be extremely painful in the beginning. Other symptoms of an ear ache from an ear infection may include loss of appetite, irritability, poor sleep, fever, vertigo (spinning/dizziness), drainage from the ear, and difficulty hearing.
Ear Aches and Ear Infections
What is the treatment?
Visit a Take Care Health Provider to determine the cause and severity of your ear ache or ear infection.
Ear aches from a cold will typically go away on their own. Over the counter pain relief medications and warm compresses can help to relieve pain.
If the Take Care Health Provider suspects an ear infection, she will examine the ear to check the color and fluid. If you are diagnosed with an ear infection, treatment may include medications for pain and fever and/or antibiotics for bacterial ear infection, though not all ear infections require antibiotic treatment.
Antibiotics and Proper Antibiotic Usage
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.