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An earache may be caused by any of the following:
- Infection of the inner or outer ear
- Earwax buildup, or small objects put into your ear
- Ear injury caused by a cotton swab or by air pressure changes from a plane ride or scuba diving
- Other infections, such as tonsillitis or pharyngitis
- Jaw or dental problems such as cavities or TMJ
- Neck pain caused by problems such as arthritis in your upper spine
Seek care immediately if:
- You have a severe earache.
- You have ear pain with itching, hearing loss, dizziness, a feeling of fullness in your ear, or ringing in your ears.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your ear pain worsens or does not go away with treatment.
- You have drainage from your ear.
- You have a fever.
- Your outer ear becomes red, swollen, and warm.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for an earache
will depend on how severe it is. Pain medicine may help decrease your pain. Ask for more information about the medicines you are given and how to use them safely.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.