Earache is one of the most common medical problems faced by children and adults. It is either sharp or dull or there could be burning pain in one/both ears. The pain from earache may either be constant or it may come and go. The earache is a result of an inflammation and swelling of the structures of ear which include the external auditory canal, the middle year and the tympanic membrane.
Following are the symptoms that can be noticed to detect an earache:
- Sleep problems and restlessness at night
- Problems with hearing, more than usual
- Loss in appetite
- Incessant crying in children
- Ear pain
- Problem balancing
- Coughing and running nose
When to visit the doctor
Earaches sometimes take their own course and heal themselves, especially if caused by the common cold. However, if the pain is causing sleepless nights and is accompanied by high fever it is necessary to visit a doctor. In some cases the swelling of the ear and slack in facial muscles is a sure indicator that the ear infection must be attended to by a physician. Also if the afore mentioned symptoms are noticed to be worsened or have not improved over a period of 48 hours, it is advisable to seek professional help. Most importantly it should be noted that, if severe pain in the ear abruptly stops it could mean that the ear drum has ruptured and would therefore need immediate medical assistance.
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