Ear Pain Causes
Two of the most common causes of earaches are due to infections of the middle ear and outer ear. A middle ear infection is commonly known as otitis media, which is usually preceded by cold, cough or fever.
An outer ear infection, is known medically as otitis externa and more commonly as “swimmer’s ear” since it occurs in those who frequently swim. A child can easily get swimmer’s ear, if he or she is either swimming frequently or immersing the head under water while taking a bath. This causes water to get trapped in the ear canal and eventually results in infection and irritation. Other causes of swimmer’s ear are Q-tip use, which can cause microabrasions of the ear canal allowing for bacteria to enter and cause infection as well as physical trauma to the ear.
Apart from ear infection, tooth and throat pain often can radiate to the ears and cause ear pain, even if there is no ear infection. Sometimes, buildup of earwax in the ear canal can cause infection, which is also characterized by pain as well as a ringing sensation in the ear (tinnitus). Some other common causes of ear pain in children are teething, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), sore throat, mumps, tonsillitis, sinus infection, and ulcers in the oral cavity and tongue.
Treatment for Ear Pain in Children
Most often physicians initially recommend eardrops for treating ear pain in children, however if an infection in any part of the ear is present then oral or topical antibiotics may be prescribed.
Home Remedies for Ear Pain in Children
There are times where home remedies can be very effective for easing mild ear pain in children, which is not associated with any kind of infection. One such simple home remedy for ear pain is a cold or warm compress. It is important to make sure the compress is not extremely cold or warm and that it is only applied to the outer ear.
Slightly warm olive oil can act as a topical pain reliever and can also be used for softening impacted earwax. This is a safe natural method for earwax removal, provided the eardrum of your child is not perforated.
Home remedies for severe ear pain in children may not be very effective and is important the child be seen by a physician or the ER if after business hours if the following occurs:
- No improvement of pain within 72 hours
- Ear drainage
- Swelling and redness behind the ear (mastoid area)
Feel free to contact our office to schedule an appointment.