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Ear Infection

Ear infections are very common, especially in children. They often get better on their own in three days.

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Common Symptoms

Ear infections start quickly and include:

  • Pain inside the ear
  • Temperature of 38c or more
  • Being sick
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Discharge running from the ear
  • Feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear
  • Itching and irritation in and around the ear
  • Scaly skin in and around the ear

Treatment at home

  • Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (see a pharmacist)
  • Place a warm or cold flannel on the ear
  • Remove any discharge by wiping the ear with cotton wool

When should I book a GP?

  • You have a very high temperature or feel hot and shivery
  • Earache that does not start to get better after 3 days
  • Swelling around the ear
  • Fluid coming from the ear
  • Hearing loss or a change in hearing/ new ringing sound in the ear
  • Other symptoms, like being sick, a severe sore throat or dizziness
  • Regular ear infections
  • Along-term medical condition – such as diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
  • A weakened immune system – because of chemotherapy, for example
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