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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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    Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- the Basics

    Known to medical professionals as otitis externa, swimmer's ear is an inflammation of the ear canal. Its common name comes from the fact that it often occurs in children and young adults who swim frequently. However, any cause of dampness in the canal can lead to irritation and chafing, very similar to diaper rash in babies. An inflammation of the skin can sometimes lead to an infection that can be very painful. Despite its name, you don't have to be a swimmer to get swimmer's ear. It can...

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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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