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    Ear Infections - Symptoms

    Symptoms of a middle ear infection (acute otitis media) often start 2 to 7 days after the start of a cold or other upper respiratory infection. Symptoms of an ear infection may include:

    • Ear pain (mild to severe). Babies often pull or tug at their ears when they have an earache.
    • Fever.
    • Drainage from the ear that is thick and yellow or bloody. This means the eardrum has probably burst (ruptured). The hole in the eardrum often heals by itself in a few weeks.
    • Loss of appetite, vomiting, and grumpy behavior.
    • Trouble sleeping.

    Symptoms of fluid buildup may include:

    Recommended Related to Ear Infection

    Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- Treatment

    Swimmer's ear is usually not a dangerous condition and often clears up within a few days after starting treatment. However, if untreated, it can become extremely and surprisingly painful. In rare cases, especially in diabetes patients or anyone with problems with their immune system, the infection may be more difficult to treat and can spread and damage underlying bones and cartilage, requiring hospitalization. Your doctor may gently clean your ear canal with a cotton-tipped probe or a suction device...

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    • Popping, ringing, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. Children often have trouble describing this feeling. They may rub their ears trying to relieve pressure.
    • Trouble hearing. Children who have problems hearing may seem dreamy or inattentive, or they may appear grumpy or cranky.
    • Balance problems and dizziness.

    Some children don't have any symptoms.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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