Ear pain may be the first symptom of an
ear infection, especially if you have moderate to
severe ear pain during or shortly after you have a cold. Other symptoms of an
ear infection may include:
Swelling, heat, or tenderness around or behind
Redness of the ear, ear canal, or skin around or behind
Drainage from the ear that does not look like
Itching of the ear or ear
Several different parts of the ear can become infected.
Ear pain and fever may be caused by a middle ear
infection (acute otitis media), especially if cold symptoms, such
as a runny or stuffy nose or a cough, have been present for a few
Ear pain may also be caused by a fluid-filled blister on the
eardrum (bullous myringitis).
Itching, a feeling of fullness in the
ear, and pain that is worse when you chew, press on the "tag" in front of your
ear, or wiggle your earlobe may be caused by an infection of the ear canal
You may have an
infection of the outer ear (cellulitis).
Complications of a middle ear infection can be caused by other serious
Redness, swelling, pain behind the ear, and fever
may be caused by an infection of the bone located behind the ear (mastoiditis).
Pain will get worse when you press on the bone behind the ear. This infection
is rare and usually occurs 10 to 14 days after a middle ear
Headache with severe
stiff neck, irritability, confusion, and excessive
sleepiness may be caused by an infection of the lining of the brain (meningitis).
Severe dizziness (vertigo) and hearing loss may be caused by swelling
and irritation in the inner ear (labyrinthitis).
If you have symptoms of an ear infection or think that complications
of an ear infection are developing, call your doctor for an evaluation.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.