Emergency advice

How to help someone with earache:

  1. Advise the recommended dose of paracetamol and something warm to hold against the ear.
  2. Seek medical advice. 

What causes earache?

An earache can develop from inflammation of the outer, middle, or inner ear. It is often caused by an infection, such as a cold or flu. It may also be caused by an object stuck in the ear canal or pain from a tooth infection.

Signs and symptoms

Someone who has earache may have: 

  • pain in the ear
  • temporary hearing loss
  • discharge of pus from the middle ear.

What to do

  1. If someone is suffering from an earache, advise them to take the recommended dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen.

  2. Give them a source of heat, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, that they can hold against the ear.

  3. Advise the patient to seek medical advice, particularly if you are concerned and they are a child.

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