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Ear ache - is it always caused by an infection?

(8 Posts)
posey Thu 08-Sep-11 20:19:55

and therefore need antibiotics?
Dd (14) has had earache for about 4days, never had it before. It isn't excruciating, paracetamol seems to control it and she has insisted on going to school. I tried to get an appointment yesterday at docs but there were none and today not open. She doesn't want me to take her in the morning, she doesn't want to miss any school. She isn't a malingerer and we aren't a family that runs to the doctors often. But do you think I should insist on going.
Any ideas? Thanks!

fourkids Thu 08-Sep-11 21:59:37

IME, 2 things...

1. mild earache can be caused by a build up of wax, in which case it might just go away, or might need treatment

2. standard treatment is not to treat ear infections with antibiotics immediately anyway as many will go away on their own...which is definitely the cost effective way to go. However, untreated ear infections can lead to perforated ear drums which are not nice. Repeatedly perforated ear drums can fail to heal, leading to hearing impairment and increased frequency of ear infections. very, very occasionally untreated ear infections can lead to brain abscesses.

soooo...I would go to the doctor because they can take a peek inside the ear, and if there is a build up of wax causing the discomfort they will advise you as to how to treat it (possibly warm olive oil), and if there is an infection they can either treat it immediately or tell you at what stage to go back for further advice. Also, if you don't go tomorrow and it gets much worse, you'll end up tackling the out of hours system over the weekend!

posey Fri 09-Sep-11 16:05:06

Thank you for that help. She was absolutely adamant she wasn't missing any school to go to doctors (first week back and all, I can understand that) so just waiting to see how she is when she comes in.

fourkids Fri 09-Sep-11 16:45:01

I hope she's okay smile

chocoroo Fri 09-Sep-11 16:49:14

I often get ear ache when my final wisdom tooth has it's quarterly attempt to push right through.

posey Fri 09-Sep-11 18:31:12

Much better today and hasn't taken any paracetamol. She looks better too. I asked her if she's getting any teeth coming through at the back and she said "maybe"! Anyway thanks for your help. Let's hope that is the end of it.

fourkids Fri 09-Sep-11 18:38:18

fingers crossed

chocoroo Fri 09-Sep-11 22:27:13

Glad she's feeling better smile

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