What other symptoms might occur with an earache?

An earache may occur with a variety of other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Possible symptoms that occur with an earache include:

  • Facial pain

  • Flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, aches and pains)

  • General ill feeling (malaise)

  • Hearing unusual sounds or decreased hearing

  • Itching in the ear

  • Jaw pain

  • Neck pain

  • Pain behind the ear

  • Popping or clicking sound while chewing or yawning

  • Pulling or rubbing the ear in infants and toddlers

  • Tooth pain

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, an earache may occur with other symptoms or certain combinations of symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, your child, or someone you are with, have an earache along with the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding draining from the ear, especially after a head injury

  • Change in alertness or consciousness or confusion

  • Crying inconsolably or intense distress

  • Difficulty or pain with swallowing

  • Dizziness or feeling of vertigo

  • Facial weakness

  • Hearing loss

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees)

  • Redness and warmth of the ear and surrounding tissue

  • Seizure

  • Severe headache

  • Unexpected weight loss


What is an earache?

An earache is pain or discomfort of the ear. Ear pain is also called otalgia. Your ear is divided into three sections: the outer ear (includes the external ear and ear canal), the middle ear (includes the eardrum, three tiny bones called ossicles, and the eustachian tube), and the inner ear. The eustachian tubes are responsible for equalizing air pressure in the middle ear and allowing mucus to... Read more about earacheintroduction


What causes an earache?

In children, an earache is most likely due to a middle ear infection, but it can also be caused by irritating substances in the ear and other conditions. A middle ear infection (otitis media) often follows an upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold.

In adults, ear pain is often due to disorders and conditions in another area that spread to the ear. This is due to the ... Read more about earachecauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 1, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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