Children with earache

Children can have earaches very often. Ear pain is very painful and children sometimes cannot stop crying. However, in most cases earache is harmless and does not even require a doctor’s consultation.

Earache in general

Ear pain is almost always an inflammation of the middle ear and usually occurs after a cold or flu. More than half of the cases occur in children under the age of four. There will then be an accumulation of pus behind the eardrum. This sometimes presses so hard against the eardrum that it bulges. This also causes the pain in children. Ear infection is a harmless condition. Even if the child is in a lot of pain. The complaints usually go away on their own within three days. And only good pain relief is needed.
In rare cases, antibiotics are necessary.

Earache in very small children

The symptoms are often not clear in very small children. This is either because they cannot yet point it out or tell it themselves. But often also because children often feel the pain in a different place. For example, this can indicate abdominal pain and still have an ear infection. Such a child must therefore be fully examined by the doctor to know for sure where the complaints come from. If a baby starts drinking poorly or is irritable, the ears are often checked first.

Running ear

Sometimes it happens that the pressure of the pus behind the eardrum becomes so high that the eardrum bursts. Then we speak of a running ear. This is not bad. If a child develops a runny ear, the complaints are often largely resolved because there is no longer any pressure on the eardrums. A runny ear may last about two weeks, by which time the hole in the eardrum should have closed again on its own. During the time that the child has a runny ear, it is not allowed to put its head under water. Water can then flow deep into the ear through the hole in the eardrum. Showering is allowed.

What can you do

To start with, give enough paracetamol (maintain the maximum dose) and drip the nose with a saline solution. Sufficient pain relief is often good, even if the child is in a lot of pain. Children with an ear infection often experience more pain when they have to go to sleep. This is because they lie down. When you lie down, there is more pressure on the ears, so they also experience more pain. By putting a pillow under the mattress you raise the headboard and there is less pressure on the ears.

Inflammation of the ear canal

In adults, the causes of earache are often inflammation of the ear canal, and not of the eardrum. This may be because there is too much earwax, or because the skin on the inside of the ear is somewhat broken or there is some eczema. Scratching the ear or incorrectly using cotton swabs can also cause an ear canal infection. Due to the loss of earwax or swelling of the skin in the ear canal, the ear can become closed and you may temporarily hear less. The pain often feels the same as an ear infection.

Earwax (cerumen)

Earwax is a fatty substance produced by your ear canal. The function of earwax is to protect the ear canal against ingress of dirt and dehydration. Sometimes the ear produces a lot of earwax and the body cannot remove it as quickly. Your ears then become clogged due to clogged earwax. This can sometimes be painful because it presses against the walls of the ear canal. Some experience it as unpleasant and others can become dizzy and nauseous. The assistant can have your ears checked and syringed out if necessary. Your problem will then be solved immediately.

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