Does your ear hurt because of a cold or infection?

All those who have experienced it know that ear pain is one of the worst and when it hurts we are able to do anything just to stop it. It is very important that you know before you start treatment, drops and tablets whether the ear pain is a consequence of a cold or an infection.

Although you may not think so, the pain caused by colds and infections is quite different and it is important to know the difference in order to treat yourself in the right way. Ear pain caused by a cold can be sharp, dull and vary from moderate to very severe. Even if water is left in your ear, it does not mean that there is inflammation, because in fact the pain is caused by water that puts pressure on the eardrum.


When it comes to colds, in addition to ear pain, you should have some other symptoms such as runny nose, fever, yellow runny nose, and sleep problems in children. If it is related to a cold, the ear pain should go away on its own, along with other symptoms. And, if after all the symptoms except the earache have passed, you should consult a doctor.

Ear problems can occur as the first symptom of a cold while an infection sometimes develops due to a virus. Such infections come on suddenly and are very painful at first. This is because the sensors of the nerve endings in the eardrum pressurize with pain. Once the eardrum is released a little, the pain will disappear.

Symptoms of ear infection in adults and children can be:

  • Loss of appetite. This is especially true for children who are breastfed or bottle-fed because sucking can change the pressure in the ears and cause more pain.
  • Nervousness.
  • Sleep problems. The pain may be stronger while lying down due to the movement of fluid in the ear.
  • High temperature.
  • Discharge from the ear. Whether it is yellow, brown or with blood, any discharge that is not wax is an indicator of an ear infection or even a rupture of the eardrum.
  • Hearing difficulties. Fluid that builds up in the middle ear due to infection can cause hearing problems.

How is an ear infection diagnosed?

When a doctor suspects an infection, he will examine the ear with a special device called an otoscope. A healthy eardrum is usually pale pink in color and easily visible. If there is inflammation, the eardrum may be bright red and swollen. The doctor can also check the pressure caused by the accumulated fluid in the middle ear using a pneumatic otoscope. This instrument blows a small amount of air towards the eardrum, which encourages the eardrum to move back and forth. If the eardrum is not mobile enough, it is a clear sign of inflammation.


How to treat a sore ear due to a cold or infection

Nowadays, permanent damage to the ears caused by infection or cold is very rare if the ear is treated in the right way. When it comes to colds in the first place, you will need painkillers to lower your temperature, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. In case of infection, your doctor will also prescribe antibiotics that kill bacteria, which are to blame for the infection. If the sore throat is a symptom of a cold or virus, you will not need antibiotics.

You can also use special wax sleeves to unclog the ear and get rid of excess fluid.

Do not joke with ear infections and be sure to visit a doctor if you think you have it, because if it is not treated, it can leave permanent consequences such as:

  • Tympanic membrane ruptures.
  • Middle ear infections
  • Hearing loss.
  • Mastoditis (inflammation of the part of the skull behind the ear)
  • Meningitis (inflammation of the meninges)
  • Paralysis of the face
  • Speech development problems in children.

If you or your child has an earache, be sure to see a doctor and do not be diagnosed.

Source: LifePress magazin by

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