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Internal Medicine
Emory University
131 Answers
58,468 Helpful Votes
52 Followers
A.

The first thing to do for an earache is to find out why it’s aching. The main concern would be for acute otitis media, an infection of the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum).

Acute otitis media causes pain and sometimes decreased hearing in one or both ears. Acute otitis media is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Your doctor can diagnose acute otitis media by looking in your ear with an otoscope. In acute otitis media, the eardrum (tympanic membrane) is often swollen and inflamed, and fluid sometimes builds up behind it.

Another cause of ear pain is inflammation of the outer ear or ear canal, called  otitis externa or "swimmer's ear." Otitis externa is sometimes caused by an infectious agent. Your doctor can perform an ear exam and determine the appropriate treatment.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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