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Ear Ache Treatment

An ear ache may be a symptom of a cold or an ear infection (otitis media). An ear ache from a cold is caused by the cold virus. Symptoms may include a sharp, dull, or burning pain that can range from mild to very painful. Patients may also experience pressure in the ear from trapped fluid. Difficulty sleeping, fever, and green or yellow mucus in the nose associated with a cold may also occur.

Treatment for an ear infection should have the patient feeling better within a few days. Some of the treatments your provider may prescribe include:

  • Pain relievers. A pain reliever such as Tylenol can reduce fever and ease pain. Don't give your child aspirin without a doctor's OK. Aspirin can cause serious illness in kids.
  • Antibiotics. If the doctor prescribes antibiotics, make sure your child takes all of the medicine, even if he or she seems better before it's gone. If you don't, the infection could come back.

You can also ask your provider about home remedies to ease pain. Home remedies can include placing a warm heating pad on your ear, chewing gum, sleeping with an extra pillow and sitting up as much as possible.

To learn more about ear aches, visit the Ear Ache health topic center.