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Ear Infections Symptoms in Children And Adults

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

It’s not uncommon for someone to feel pain inside their ears when they come down with a common cold, but occasionally middle ear infections can result as a secondary infection from the initial condition. Ear aches from a cold can range from mild to very painful, and the pain can vary between sharp, dull, and burning. Ear infections are usually painful for most patients due to the amount of inflammation and buildup of fluids in the middle ear. While many upper respiratory conditions can cause ear pain, if you have persistent pain, it is probably a sign of ear infection that requires medical care.

Ear infections are more common in children, in part, because their Eustachian tubes are narrower and more horizontal. But that doesn’t mean adults are exempt from getting them. Ear aches and ear infections are common but painful conditions. Here are some symptoms of ear infections in children and in adults:

Symptoms Of Ear Infections For Children

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down

  • Tugging or pulling at an ear

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Crying more than usual

  • Acting more irritable than usual

  • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds

  • Loss of balance

  • Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher

  • Drainage of fluid from the ear

  • Headache

  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms of Ear Infections For Adults

  • Ear pain

  • Drainage of fluid from the ear

  • Diminished hearing

The warning signs of an ear infection can indicate a number of conditions. It’s vital to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. Call your urgent care doctor or bring your child into the urgent care facility if symptoms last for more than a day, if ear pain is severe, if your child is sleepless or irritable after a cold, or if you observe a discharge of fluid, pus, or blood-tinged liquid coming from the ear. An adult with ear pain or discharge should see a doctor as soon as possible.

CareXpress Urgent Care has several locations to serve you and your family’s healthcare needs. Walk-ins are always welcome; please don’t hesitate to come in for treatment. Click here for a list of our locations and hours of operation!


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