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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health Ear pain in children

Ear pain in children

It is also known as otalgia.It is one of the common condition in the children. The main causes for ear pain in children are injury, infections of the ear, common cold, foreign body in the ear and due to impacted wax in the ear.

It is one of the common symptom among the children.

Causes of ear pain:

Causes in the ear:

  • pinna: Trauma, infection, frost-bite, sun-burn.
  • Ear canal: Otitis externa, impacted wax, furuncle or boil, herpes zoster. Otomycosis (fungal infection of ear).
  • Middle-ear like acute otitis media, Eustachian tube blockage, glue ear, aero-otitis media. Rupture or perforated ear drum.
  • Injury to the ear.
  • Pressure changes in ear as in barotrauma following travel in flight.

Causes outside the ear (referred earache):

  • Caries tooth, impacted wisdom tooth.
  • Temperomandibular joint disorder.
  • Oral cavity and tongue-ulcers.
  • Nose and sinus infection.
  • After adenoid, tonsillectomy surgeries.
  • Mumps/parotitis.
  • Pharyngitis/tonsillitis.
  • Laryngitis.
  • Cervical disc lesions.

Signs and symptoms of ear pain:

  • Tugging or pulling sensation in the ear.
  • Pain while touching the ears.
  • Increased pain while swallowing, chewing or blowing the nose.
  • Ringing in ears.

When to seek medical help:

  • It the pain is associated with fever or ear discharge.
  • Excessive crying or inactive in children.
  • If there is vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If there is any skin rashes.
  • If there is any associated blood discharge.
  • If there is any dizziness, headache, weakness of facial muscles.


Pain relievers :

  • Ear drops.
  • Antibiotics if it is associated with infection.
  • Steroid ear drop for 5-7 days.


  • Medical history.
  • Ear examination with otoscope.


  • Avoid smoking near children which may lead to infections.
  • Prevent outer ear infections by avoiding insertion of objects in ear.
  • Dry the ear immediately after bathing or swimming.
  • Control allergies.
  • Close the ears with cotton swab while bathing.
  • Avoid using sharp objects in the ear like safety pins.

Home remedy for ear pain:

  • If there is pain while lying down, sit down with head held in straight position.
  • Chewing like chewing gum help to open up the blocked Eustachian tube and reduces the pain.