Earaches are just part of growing up. They can be painful for children and busy mums and dads can feel a bit stuck as how to help them. Surprisingly, earaches are often triggered by a simple cold and the most common type happens when the middle ear becomes inflamed.
Look out for the first signs of earache
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
- Irritability or crying
- Sleeping problems
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Why kids are more likely to be affected by earaches
Your kids are more likely to get ear infections because their immune systems are still developing and less able to fight off infections. In fact, three out of four will experience one before the age of three.
It’s also more common in children because the passages that connect the middle ear to the nose are smaller and more easily blocked. When these tubes become blocked, bacteria 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. Occasionally the eardrum can also burst and release a small amount of ‘pus’ from the ear. But don’t worry if this happens, the eardrum will usually heal on its own.
You can take steps to relieve the pain
When your child has an earache, you just want to help them get better. Thankfully a mild case should clear up in a few hours. If it doesn’t, there are things you can do to help ease your child’s pain.
Getting your child to rest in an upright position instead of lying down can relieve pressure on the ear. You may also want to try a pain reliever that’s specially designed for kids such as Nurofen for Children. Nurofen for Children targets the source of discomfort to help ease pain quickly and reduce fever.
If you are concerned or your child’s earache hasn’t improved, you should see your doctor. In some cases, they may prescribe antibiotics or eardrops to help a speedy recovery.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.
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