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My Child's Health  >>  Ear Aches and Pain

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses the 4 Causes of ALL Health Concerns, which most doctors fail to consider when looking for understanding with a child's health.  They are quick to medicate.

Having a child with Ear Pain or Aches can be disheartening with not knowing what to do.  We help eliminate Child Ear Pain is as little as one visit!

Dr. Huntoon looks forward to meeting with you to solve your child's health imbalances.

To Request an Action Plan to Address Ear Aches and Pain Click Here

EAR ACHES AND PAIN

Most ear pain clears up on its own without any treatment. But if it's not getting better, or if you have other, more serious symptoms, you may need to see a doctor.

Most people assume earaches and ear pain happen only to children, but they can also happen to adults. An earache may affect one or both ears, but the majority of the time it's in one ear. Ear pain may be dull, sharp, or burning, and it may feel constant or come and go.

Pain in the ear can have multiple causes. It can be an early sign of colds, flu, or infection. If you have an ear infection, fever and temporary hearing loss may occur.

Symptoms Associated With Ear Pain

What are the Symptoms Associated with Ear Pain?

Symptoms associated with ear pain depend on the underlying cause. Symptoms that may occur with otitis externa include ear redness, ear swelling, ear tenderness, and discharge from the ear canal. Additional symptoms that may occur with otitis media include fever, sinus congestion, hearing loss, dizziness, and vertigo — a feeling that the room is spinning.

An earache from an ear infection can be especially troublesome for children and babies.

Symptoms of ear pain include:

  • Babies appearing hot and irritable
  • Children pulling, tugging, or rubbing an ear
  • A high temperature, over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
  • Poor feeding in babies, or loss of appetite in children
  • Sleep problems and restlessness at night
  • Coughing and runny nose
  • Not hearing as well as normal
  • Balance problems

What Are The Causes Of Ear Aches And Pain?

Causes of Ear Pain

A person with ear pain feels discomfort in the outer, middle, or inner ear. Ear pain may be caused by an ear injury, inflammation, or infection. The most common cause of ear pain is an ear infection, such as otitis media or otitis externa. Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, while otitis externa is an infection of the ear canal.

Common causes of earaches and ear pain include:

  • Ear infection
  • Changes in air pressure, such as when flying on a plane
  • Earwax buildup
  • A foreign object in the ear
  • Strep throat
  • Sinus infection
  • Shampoo or water trapped in the ear
  • Use of cotton swabs in the ear

Less common causes of earaches include:

Ear Aches In Babies and Children

Earaches in Babies and Children

Earaches and ear pain in children are a fact of life for parents and are one of the most common reasons they call their pediatrician after hours. Experts estimate that 3 out of 4 babies develop ear infections, when fluid in the middle ear builds up and inflammation develops, but diagnosing the exact cause can be challenging.

Young children and babies who have ear infections tend to be fussy and irritable. They may also cry and tug at or rub their ears. Other signs of earaches in babies include trouble sleeping, waking at night, fever, clumsiness, and difficulty hearing. Very rarely, earaches in children can result in hearing loss.

Temporary Ear Pain

Many people experience ear pain and mild hearing loss or muffling due to sudden changes in air pressure, such as traveling on an airplane or riding on an elevator. While disconcerting, this kind of ear pain is temporary and rarely leads to lasting hearing problems. Try chewing gum or swallowing for quick ear pain relief.

Excessive earwax that builds up in the ear canal can also cause pressure and pain in the ear. But that old saying that you should never stick anything smaller than your elbow into your ear still holds true: People who try to clean wax from their ears with cotton swabs or other objects can inadvertently damage the eardrum and push the wax farther back into the ear, making it harder to remove. Excessive earwax should be diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional.

What is a Ruptured Eardrum?

People who experience intense ear pain accompanied by clear or bloody fluid from the ear may have a ruptured eardrum. Ruptured eardrums can be caused by injuries to the head and neck area, changes in air or water pressure — from going scuba diving, for example — inner ear infections, and less commonly by being around loud noises.

A ruptured eardrum is a hole or perforation in the membrane that separates the inner and outer ear. Ruptured eardrums can be very painful and may result in temporary or permanent hearing loss, but they usually heal on their own.

Ear Pain and Other Conditions

Chronic ear pain in adults can also be associated with related conditions, including tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ear that affects about 1 in 5 people.

Some ear pain comes from a "referred source," meaning the sensation of pain is felt in the ear but originates elsewhere in the body, such as the brain, jaw area, or throat. Though it's rare, ear pain can also be caused by structural changes in the jaws or teeth. People with damage to or disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jaws, can feel pressure or fullness, or experience tinnitus.

What Is The Medical Treatment For Ear Aches or Pain?

Treatment for Ear Pain

Treatment for ear pain depends on the underlying cause. It may include over-the-counter, age-appropriate painkillers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Tylenol) for pain and fever. Treatment may also include warm compresses, acetaminophen (Advil, Motrin), other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), or a short course of narcotic pain medication. Treatment for otitis media may include oral antibiotics, while treatment for otitis externa requires antibiotic eardrops. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for ear infections, although some research suggests antibiotics may not always be an effective treatment.

A pharmacist may be able to recommend over-the-counter eardrops for quick at-home ear pain relief. Olive oil, as well as some eardrops, may also help loosen earwax. Never use eardrops or olive oil if you suspect your eardrum — the membrane that separates the outer and middle parts of the ear — may have burst.

Holding a warm flannel or cloth-covered hot water bottle to the painful ear for around 20 minutes is one DIY form of treatment. But if an ear infection is suspected, avoid getting the inside of the ear wet.

In most cases, ear pain subsides without any treatment at all, but if it doesn't go away, or is accompanied by other, more serious symptoms, you should see a healthcare provider — either your primary care physician or an otolaryngologist, a doctor who specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders.

Medicines Two Choices for You

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

Dr. Huntoon has quite a bit of experience treating and resolving earaches and pain in children and adults for the past 30 years. 

Appreciating that the ear canal of a baby and young child is angled up, compared to the adult.  This can prevent proper fluid drainage of the infant.  Chiropractic Care is the BEST solution for this concern.    

The Trauma of Traditional Birthing

When being born through the birth canal, many times the doctor delivering the baby will rotate the head as far as 180 degrees, creating the basis for a misaligned skull as it sits on the spine.  This will create the basis for improper drainage of the middle ear, thus leading to ear aches, pain and possible infections.   

Learning to Crawl and Walk

A newborn or young toddler who is learning to walk, their heads are heavy and they may not have developed the neck strength to support the head on the spine.  With the spinal misalignment of the occiput (base of the skull) as it sits on the first cervical vertebrae, this too creates fluid back up and pressure, making it the perfect storm for an ear ache and pain or more serious, an ear infection.

Child and Teenage Stress

Children, Teenagers and Adults can create the same spinal misalignment of the head as it sits on the spine due to car accidents with whiplash, sports trauma, slips and falls, or even sleeping with a window open on a cool night.  These are all reasons for some of the patients Dr. Huntoon has seen over his career.

Why Chiropractic Is BEST

Being able to assess the misalignment, regardless of age, and then applying the appropriate spinal adjustment has always resolved the condition within a day or two, if not within hours.  

What to Discuss with Your Doctor

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Your Solution

Dr. Huntoon has quite a bit of experience treating and resolving earaches and pain in children and adults for the past 30 years.  Being able to assess the misalignment, regardless of age, and then applying the appropriate spinal adjustment has always resolved the condition within a day or two, if not within hours. 

Finding the underlying CAUSE by evaluating the 7 Pillars of Health allows for full resolution of the concern and keeps it from coming back.   

How to Prevent Ear Pain

Regular Chiropractic Adjustments of the Occiput on the Atlas (first cervical vertebrae) will always prevent this condition from occurring.  To prevent ear pain, avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, and allergy triggers like dust and pollen, all of which can irritate your sinuses and cause earaches.

People at risk for ear pain should avoid loud music, concerts, and environmental noise, such as banging construction. If you can’t avoid loud noises, it’s worth investing in a good pair of earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.

Keep all foreign objects out of the ear and, if you swim, wear earplugs and a bathing cap. Always take time to carefully dry your ears after swimming, showering, or bathing.

What natural or home remedies soothe and provide earache pain relief?

Earaches may often be treated at home. The goal is to decrease inflammation and pain.

  • Warm compresses held to the outside of the ear may help with some of the pain. Make certain that water does not get into the ear canal. As well, it is important not to burn the skin.
  • Alternatively, a cool compress may help if warmth does not. Holding a cool compress for 20 minutes at a time against the ear may be helpful. Be careful to not have it too cold to cause frostbite.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications may be helpful. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol). It is important to remember that over-the-counter medications may interact with prescription drugs and may also have side effects. Always check with a health-care professional or pharmacist if needed. As well, in infants and children, these medications are dosed based upon weight.
  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen may also be used for fever control.
  • Keep well hydrated and drink plenty of fluid.
  • Humidity may help sinuses and ears drain. It is important to be careful when using steam or hot water, especially around infants and children, to prevent scald burns.
  • Olive oil may be helpful for pain. A few drops in the ear canal may be soothing.
  • Other over-the-counter ear drops may also be helpful in decreasing pain
  • Herbal oils may be of use in helping with pain. A pharmacist or herbalist may be able to suggest specific herbal products.
  • Chewing or yawning may be helpful in easing pressure within the middle ear. Sometimes one can feel or hear popping sounds, like rice krispies, as the Eustachian tubes open and close to try to equalize pressure.
  • When flying, sucking on candy or having an infant feed on a bottle during take-off and landing may help as the plane changes altitude quickly
  • If the ear fullness is due to sinus pain, in addition to humidity, oxymetazoline (Afrin) nasal spray may be helpful (but should only be used for a maximum of three days). Salt water nasal spray may be used for a longer duration and more frequently.

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