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Earache

Earache and ear pain is common, particularly in young children. It can be painful, but is not usually a sign of anything serious.

It depends on what's causing it. Most earaches in children are caused by an ear infection, which usually start to improve after a few days.

A young child might have earache if they:

Earache and ear pain can affect 1 or both ears.

There are some things you can do to help relieve earache and ear pain.

Do

  • use painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (children under 16 should not take aspirin)

  • place a warm or cold flannel on the ear

Don't

  • do not put anything inside your ear, such as cotton buds

  • do not try to remove earwax

  • do not let water get inside your ear

A pharmacist might be able to tell you:

  • what you can do to treat earache yourself
  • if you can buy anything to help (for example, eardrops)
  • if you need to see a GP

Earache and pain can be caused by many things, but sometimes it's not known by what.

Here are some of the most common causes: