It’s common to experience an earache. If you are, it’s important to identify the source of it in order to find relief. In this post, we cover the common cold and an ear infection as the potential causes of earaches to help you uncover if one of these conditions is causing yours.
The Common Cold
Colds can cause inflammation of the eardrum, which can lead to a dull, sharp or burning earache.
If you have a cold, you’ll experience other symptoms, too, such as:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Joint pain
- Mild fever
A 2020 article published in the National Library of Medicine reports, “Colds are very common, especially in children. It’s quite normal for children to catch 6 to 10 colds per year – at school, daycare or kindergarten. Adults have 2 to 4 colds a year on average, mostly during the colder time of year.”
In order to treat an earache caused by a cold, you’ll basically need to wait for the illness to clear on its own. Once your cold goes away, your earache should be gone as well. Resting and staying hydrated can help you get over your cold faster, and you can take over-the-counter cold medications from Hub City Pharmacy in Spartanburg to help manage symptoms in the meantime.
An Ear Infection
Ear infections, known medically as acute otitis media (AOM), are caused by inflammation that is usually brought on by an illness or allergies. If the Eustachian tubes, which are the passageways between the middle ear and back of the throat, become inflamed, fluid can become trapped behind the eardrum, putting pressure on it and causing an earache.
Other symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Pain that does not go away when you clear your illness
- Drainage from the ear
- Muffled hearing
It’s often the case that bacteria grows in the fluid built up behind the eardrum. If this is the case, you’ll need to get a prescription for antibiotics from your doctor. To learn more about how to find relief from ear pain or to schedule an appointment with an expert ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.