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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:

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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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