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ear infections symptoms

Signs & Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Use these techniques to determine if you really have an infection in your ear!


Many signs and symptoms of an ear infection are general, and can sometimes be confused with other illnesses. However, there are a few symptoms that usually point to an ear infection. This is especially the case with children.

It's necessary to understand that an earache does not always mean an ear infection. If you have children that experience an earache, but seem otherwise normal, it's not likely that they have an infection. Ear problems in younger babies could be the symptoms of teething pain. People also have mucus build up immediately after a cold that cause ear pain.

List of the Most Common Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection

• Bad Colds - Children usually develop bad colds before they have an ear infection. This is accompanied by discharge of green and yellow mucus from the nose. Children almost never have an ear infection without cold symptoms.

• Pain - Probably one of the most recognized signs and symptoms of an ear infection is pain. When children develop ear infections, they will often pull on their ears, or cry more.

• Fever - A continuous lower grade fever over 100 degrees is usually a signs of infections.

• Discharge - You might have fluid that drains from the ear. This could also be in the form of blood and pus. This usually means that there is a small rupture in the eardrum, especially if there is a lot of pain. This can subside within a couple of days, but it's suggested that you see a doctor.

• Hearing Problems - Inflammation and fluid discharge in the ear canal can make it difficult for you to hear clearly.

How to Treat Ear Infections

Now that you understand the signs and symptoms of an ear infection, it is time to learn how to treat it.

The human body is an amazing machine, and it can usually help fight off ear infections within a few days. Our own natural immune systems can combat infections. However, here is some medicine you might want to take right away:

• Painkillers - One of the first signs of an ear infection is pain. Babies won't be able to tell you they feel pain, but they will cry more, and they will usually tug at their ears. Just follow the recommended dosage of the painkiller. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are usually what are suggested by doctors.

In addition to helping with pain, these medicines also lower any fever that your child might have. This can help your child feel and sleep much better.

 • Antibiotics - Doctors suggest that you wait before administering antibiotics, especially with young children. Many babies are known to get diarrhea and other skin rashes from taking antibiotics. However, antibiotics might be necessary if the infection doesn't clear up by itself. So, if there is pain in the ears after two or three days, or if you notice other complications developing, it's best to see your doctor.

Is it Possible to Prevent an Ear Infection?

• Breastfeeding - Doctors have long suggested breastfeeding as a natural way to prevent most ear infections. Breastfeeding helps prevent ear infections in two ways.

First, the mechanical process of babies feeding seems to help the Eustachian tubes function better, which keeps them open.

Second, there is something inside of breast milk that naturally fights infections.

• Smoke - If there is a smoker in your house, they should never smoke around children. Secondhand cigarette smoke can cause problems with the Eustachian tube, via the nasal passage.

• Saline Drops - You can use saline drops at the first sign of a runny nose to keep your nose clear. Suction devices can also help remove nasal discharge.

• Eat Well - A daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables can help boost your immune system, which can help prevent colds. Children are sometimes finicky eaters. Therefore, it's best to give them fresh fruit and vegetable juices to supplement the vitamins they might be missing.

Signs & Symptoms of an Ear Infection - Conclusion

If you quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of an ear infection, you can relieve the pain and suffering much quicker. Remember, if the pain and fever lasts more than a day or two, you should get it examined by a doctor.

Ear infections are normally not dangerous and can disappear without any intervention. However, in more serious cases, you will need antibiotics to treat them.

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