Whenever the word earache is mentioned or brought up, people of all ages cringe in fear. Many people have experienced those pains and they definitely don’t want to experience them again.

Earaches, also known as acute otitis externa, can be caused by the common cold or result from an actual ear infection. The pain developed from a cold can result in an intense throbbing pain that may vary from slightly mild to very intense. The buildup of fluid inside the ear causes this pain, which in turn, puts a lot of pressure on the eardrum. This causes the eardrum to swell and then the individual may experience pain. Earaches are very similar to the common cold because they go away in generally the same amount of time. However, sometimes a secondary ear infection can result.

Is your earache a cold or an infection?When an ear infection occurs, the eardrum appears to be red and it looks inflamed. The endings of the sensory nerve inside the eardrum react to the rise in pressure with extreme pain. Due to the rise in pressure, it is common for the pain can spread to the temple, jaw and the neck of the person.

How do you diagnose an ear infection or earache?

It is tough to diagnose if your ear pain is being caused by an ear infection or a cold because a visible inspection of the ear must performed. Most people do not have the tools and are not medically trained to perform this examination, so seeing an ear, nose and throat specialist is recommended. The examination needs to be conducted with a medical instrument known as an otoscope. This is used to check if the ear canal or the eardrum is red, swollen, or if it is inflamed.

It is also possible to check the pressure of the fluid inside the ear with a device called a pneumatic otoscope. The pneumatic otoscope blows a little amount of air towards the eardrum to measure how much fluid is inside the ear. Earaches are very painful and one of the main goals is to manage that pain. It recommended that the patient wait, relax and stay comfortable so the body can recover more quickly. In order to also help with the pain, antibiotics which are consumed in an appropriate matter could help lower the pain as well because the steroid addition may help the earache heal faster. One of the treatments available requires the patient to be laying down and then drops are applied inside the ear that is experiencing pain. The dosage of drops may differ between each person depending on the size and weight of the individual.

What do they both have in common?

Earaches and ear infection both are very painful! The longer you wait to be treated, the more likely you are to experience pain. There are some house hold pain remedies, but if you’re not sure and experiencing a lot of pain, don’t hesitate to see an ear, nose and throat doctor.

Is it a cold? or an infection?

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