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Earache can cause a lot of pain to children.
Young children especially less than one year will be incessantly and inconsolably crying if earache occurs.
A little older child may cry with pulling of ear.
Older children who can speak will be able to identify it as earache.
Why does it happen?
1)With cold and cough or upper respiratory infection .
The infection from the sinuses and nose can enter into the middle ear (part of ear with hearing apparatus) through the eustachian tube (cartilaginous tube connecting the back of the nose with middle ear).
Acute otitis media and earache occurs ,if cold and cough persists beyond 7 days.
2)Water entry into the ear
This can cause a fungal infection in ear known as otomycosis and cause pain.
It can also cause wax in the ear to swell up get infected and cause pain.
3)After ear cleaning or scratching with nails .Even cleaning with ear buds can cause furuncle in the ear canal and pain.This is because the skin in the ear canal is very delicate and easily gets traumatised.
4) Referred pain from toothache and dental caries or pain in throat
A tip to know what could be the cause
Acute otitis media child complains she has more pain during swallowing or coughing.
She will allow you to touch her ear.
In case of 2 and 3 child will not allow you to touch her ear as in this case the external part of ear is infected and is painful.
For 4 the child will have loose tooth and pain at caries site too while eating.
If referred pain due to tonsillitis ,pharyngitis or laryngitis there will be pain in throat.
What to do ?
Hot fomentation by warming a soft cloth helps to give relief while medicines get time to act.
In all cases of earache antibiotics will be needed as well as painkillers for relief.
For Acute otitis media no ear drops are generally needed.
For otomycosis and furuncle in ear additionally ear drops with or without ointment will be needed.
For hard wax.No attempt of removal should be done when child has pain.
In all cases avoid water entry during bathing.
Do you have any experience with earache in your child ?
Comment below to let me know.
This information is for educational purpose only. Always consult your pediatrician or an ENT specialist before starting any oral or topical medicines in children with earache.