Earaches Treatment Questions and Answers
Ear pain is often caused by ear infections. If left untreated, they can lead to unnecessary pain and permanent hearing loss. Primary Care 360 offers treatment for earaches. Call us for more information. We have convenient locations near you in Sherwood, East End and White Hall, AR.
Our ears connect us to the world in a very unique way. By enabling us with hearing, the perception of sound allows us to communicate, listen to music and hear emergency vehicles in traffic. The ears are incredibly complex organs and because of their intricate design, they can be subjected to infection, pain and other uncomfortable conditions. Earaches are a common symptom that can arise from a number of different causes, from something as benign as a change in air pressure, to jaw-related problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
What are the symptoms of an earache?
The signs and symptoms of an earache vary in children and adults. In children, symptoms include:
- Ear pain, especially when lying down
- Tugging or pulling at an ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Crying more than usual
- Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Fever of 100ºF or higher
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Loss of appetite
In adults, earache symptoms include:
- Ear pain
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Trouble hearing
What causes Earaches?
There are many causes of earaches, one of the most prominent being ear infections. These can occur in the inner, middle, or outer part of the ear.
- Outer ear infection can be caused by:
- wearing hearing aids or headphones
- putting objects in the ear canal, including cotton swabs and fingers
- Middle ear infection can be caused by:
- respiratory tract infections
- fluid buildup behind the ear drums
- Inner ear infection can be caused by viral or bacterial infections that stem from respiratory illnesses and is known as labyrinthitis.
Other common causes of earaches include:
- change in pressure (flying on a plane or opening a vehicle window)
- earwax buildup
- a foreign object in the ear
- strep throat
- sinus infection
- shampoo or water trapped in the ear
- use of cotton swabs in the ear
Less common causes of earaches include:
- temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
- perforated eardrum
- arthritis affecting the jaw
- infected tooth
- impacted tooth
- eczema in the ear canal
- trigeminal neuralgia (chronic facial nerve pain)
What are my treatment options for Earaches?
The treatment options for earaches vary depending on the cause of the pain and range from medications to TMJ disorder treatments. In the case of a bacterial ear infection, a course of antibiotics will be prescribed which should be taken in completion to ensure that the infection is gone, even if symptoms have subsided prior to the end of the antibiotics. If earaches are caused by wax build-up, wax-softening eardrops will likely be prescribed. These special eardrops allow wax to break apart more easily, which can then be washed out with water.
At home remedies for earaches include:
- Apply a cold washcloth to the ear
- Avoid getting the ear wet
- Sit upright to help relieve ear pressure
- Use over-the-counter (OTC) ear drops
- Take OTC pain relievers
- Chew gum to help relieve pressure
When should I see a doctor for an earache?
In many cases, earaches can clear up on their own without medical intervention. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that indicate a more serious problem that should be addressed by a professional right away, including:
- severe ear pain
- bad headache
- swelling around the ear
- drooping of the facial muscles
- blood or pus draining from the ear
At Primary Care 360, we care about your health and are dedicated to providing you with all of your urgent care needs. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating earaches and can help you make an expeditious recovery. We have convenient locations to better serve you: in Sherwood, AR, Hensley, AR, and White Hall, AR. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Sherwood AR, Hensley AR, White Hall AR, Little Rock AR, Jacksonville AR, Maumelle AR, Cabot AR, Bryant AR, and Conway AR.