Why you shouldn't ignore earache

Feb 20, 2019 in Hearing Care

Man inspecting inside of woman's ear

Earache is a real pain in the…well, ear. Most of the time it will go away after a few days, but sometimes it shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s why.

With temperatures dramatically fluctuating, cold and flu symptoms are ten-a-penny. If you do catch something, there’s a chance it could be accompanied by earache – but can you just ignore it and hope it goes away?

In most instances, ear pain isn’t a sign of anything serious. But it’s worth understanding the different types of earache and how to deal with them.

Ear pain and toothache

Most common in teething children but can also be caused by dental abscesses in adults. Abscesses are swellings caused by bacterial infections, but they don’t usually disappear on their own – they need treatment. So book a visit to your GP or dentist as soon as possible.

Earache accompanied by changes in your hearing

This could be caused by a build-up of earwax. Earwax usually falls out of your ears naturally, but sometimes it can get stuck and cause blockages. As well as pain in your ears, signs of excess earwax include difficulty hearing, itchiness, dizziness, or an ear infection. You can find out more about earwax removal in this Leightons blog post.

Ear pain accompanied by changes in your hearing can also be caused by glue ear, otherwise known as otitis media with effusion. Glue ear causes the middle ear to become congealed with a gluey substance. It’s the biggest cause of hearing problems for children.

Other causes include perforated eardrum, which can happen following a loud noise or other trauma. Don’t worry, it might sound nasty, but it usually repairs itself within a few weeks (although best see a GP).

Earache accompanied by pain when swallowing

This could be caused by a sore throat or tonsillitis. Book an appointment with your GP to get it sorted.

Earache and fever

If your ears are aching but you also have a high temperature (above 38˚C), you could have an ear infection, flu or cold. A trip to your GP will help you get on the road to recovery.

Get in touch

If you have an earache, or believe you have any excess earwax, our experienced Leightons audiologists are here to help deliver the best ear care advice for you. Book an appointment online with your nearest Leightons branch or call us on 0800 40 20 20.