My dd (6) has a cold and a dreadful cough. Doctor says its viral and will pass. She's complaining of ear ache intermittently but doctor has checked her ears today and says they are clear....so why has she got earache? Any ideas?!
It could just be due to the general build-up of pressure in her nasal-sinus-ear cavity and tubes. Maybe there is no actual infection, but the blocked nose and sinuses are enough to cause her ear ache. If that's the case, you should be safe to simply treat the pain with calpol or something similar and it should clear up when her cold does.
Usually one of the symptoms of acute middle ear infection is high fever (e.g. around 39 degrees celsius). I would try to let her sleep with head raised (extra pillow or raising head-end of the bed), putting humidifier in her room or bowl of water or damp cloths on the radiator. Most important is to make sure that nose gets cleared: you can use saline drops, sterimar spray. She probably won't like it but it is necessary to prevent a nasty ear infection. Furthermore you can give an oral anti-histamine to reduce swelling in nasal passages (Boots for example). In the meantime, if she has high fever alternate Calpol and calprofen or just stick to calprofen. If she doesn't have high fever and says that her ear hurts she might be having something else, could she be having toothache? I would otherwise ask another doctor to have a look, not all doctors know how to diagnose ear infection.