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Earaches are one of the most common childhood ailments, because of the simple fact that young children haven’t built up their immune systems to fight off common viruses and bacteria yet.

An earache is usually caused by pressure from fluid that has built up behind the eardrum due to an infection in the upper respiratory tract. This is known as a middle ear infection, or otitis media.   

An infection may also cause pressure and swelling in the Eustachian tubes, or the tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat.

In addition, when a child has a cold or a fever, he may experience pain in one or both ears.

Since babies or very young children may not be able to tell you where they have pain, it’s important for parents to watch for nonverbal signs such as sudden screaming fits, crying, irritability, holding or pulling on the affected ear.

Symptoms may also include redness or swelling of the eardrum or outer ear, leakage from the ear, difficulty hearing, vomiting, headache or fever, fullness or popping in the ear.

What You Can Do

It’s important to have your child assessed to develop the best course of treatment. To schedule an appointment, contact our pediatric providers at (912) 538-8484. Your provider may recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) to relieve pain or prescribe an antibiotic or other course of treatment.