Reviewed by William Blahd on April 25, 2016
Special thanks to Chattahoochee Nature Center: http://www.chattnaturecenter.org/ American Academy of Pediatrics, Hansa Bhargava, MD, WebMD Pediatrician
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Hansa Bhargava, MD: Earaches can be really painful and it's because the fluid behind the eardrum can actually cause pressure on the eardrum that causes a piercing pain. If you've ever sat on flight when it's about to land and you felt that pressure in your ear and that intense pain, that's what your child might be feeling if they have an earache.
Narrator: What can I do to help the pain?
Hansa Bhargava, MD: A few things that you can try is having the child suck on a lollipop, perhaps an older child could chew some gum to help with the ear pressure, or you could put a warm cloth next to the child's ear. If those things aren't working, you might want to use a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Now remember if you choose to do that, use the correct dosage for the age and the weight of the child. And usually those medicines don't kick in immediately. So give it about an hour or so before you worry about his ear pain.
Narrator: When should I call the doctor?
Hansa Bhargava, MD: If the ear pain's lasting for a long time, is not getting better with a pain reliever or has been going on for more than 24 hours, if your child has a high fever with that ear pain and also if he has headache, vomiting, or any kind of jaw pain…those are reasons to talk to your doctor.
Narrator: The doctor may prescribe ear drops or give you more tips about things you can do to make it better. Most kids are back in action in a day or two.