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What is an Earache?

Very common, yet so very uncomfortable - earaches are up there with toothache as one of those very persistent, invasive pains. 

But don’t worry. Yes, it might feel bad now, but earaches can be easily treated and, in fact, often go away simply of their own accord. And it is highly unlikely they’ll cause any long term problems. 

That said, it’s always recommended that you take anything to do with the health of your ears seriously. It’s important for the long term well-being of your hearing and, therefore, your quality of life! 

Take a look at the information below and if you have any further concerns, please feel free to contact Amplifon for advice or a consultation.

Earache Symptoms

More typically experienced by children, earache in adults is not uncommon either. Of course, you’ll know if you have an earache - but the exact symptoms can vary. 

Symptoms experienced by adults can be wide ranging - and there are a number of indications to look out for. The ache can be a dull or sharp pain. It might be a continual throb or come and go. And if it’s associated with an ear infection, you might experience a loss of hearing or the discharge of fluid.

Earache Causes

Ear infections, which can occur in the outer, middle and inner ear, are often to blame.  

Some causes of earache include:

  • Changes in pressure (most commonly associated with air travel)
  • Water getting trapped in the ear after swimming/surfing
  • A buildup of too much earwax
  • A foreign object being inserted or stuck in your ear
  • A perforated (burst) eardrum
  • Sinus infections
  • Eczema in the ear canal

Earache can also be associated with chronic nerve pain and dental problems such as infected or impacted teeth.

Experiencing an earache? Contact your local clinic

Earache treatment

A lot of earaches will stop after a few days - especially if you give yourself (and your ear) time to rest and recuperate. In these instances, you won’t need to see a GP or administer anything stronger than paracetamol (such as Panadol) to help you sleep. 

There are also a number of straightforward natural remedies for earaches we can recommend for treating the pain of earaches.

The circumstances in which it is recommended you should see a GP include:

  • Pain is continuing (between 24 to 48 hours) or even getting worse
  • You are experiencing a fever and/or headache. In the case of an adult, you should seek medical attention if you have a fever of 40 ºC or higher.
  • There is discharge from your ears
  • You have severe pain that abruptly stops: which could be a sign of perforated eardrum.

If any of these apply, your GP may prescribe medication to treat the earache: generally oral antibiotics or ear drops (and in some cases, they’ll prescribe both). 

Be sure to finish the entire prescription even if your symptoms seem to disappear. It’s important to make sure the infection clears up completely. 

In the instance that a buildup of wax is causing the pain, you may be given ear-drops to soften it up. If the earwax is very hard, your GP might choose to gently and carefully irrigate your ear with water using an ear-wax syringe - effectively flushing it out. 

And as is always the case, if you have any concerns or questions associated with your hearing or your ears, please be sure to consult a health professional.

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