Look out for the first signs of earache

An earache can be miserable for a child of any age and worrying for you. Signs to look for include:

  • Sharp, dull, or burning pain in one or both ears
  • Pointing or pulling at the ear
  • Hearing problems
  • Fever
  • Irritability or crying
  • Sleeping problems
  • Fluid draining from the ear

Why kids are more likely to be affected by earaches

Earaches are common in young children because the passages that connect the middle ear to the nose are smaller and more easily blocked. When these tubes become blocked, germs can grow, causing the middle ear to become infected and inflamed. Usually by the time they’re six, your child’s inner ear tubes will have matured enough to be less prone to infections.

Why does an earache hurt so much?

Earaches hurt because as the fluid builds up, it places pressure on the eardrum causing it to bulge and become painful.

You can take steps to relieve the pain

When your child has an earache, you just want to help them feel better. To help ease discomfort, your child may sleep better at night if they are propped up on two or more pillows (only do this if your child is old enough to use pillows).

If your child or family member has an earache, it may indicate an ear infection. Seek medical advice from your doctor, where appropriate treatment or pain relief may be recommended.