Earaches usually occur more often in children, but they can occur in adults as well. An earache may affect one or both ears, but the majority of the time it’s in one ear. It may be constant or come and go, and the pain may be dull, sharp, or burning.
If you have an ear infection, fever and temporary hearing loss may occur. Young children who have ear infections tend to be fussy and irritable. They may also tug or rub their ears.
Your ear canal produces a waxy oil called cerumen, which is more commonly known as earwax. This wax protects the ear from dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms. It also protects ear canal skin from irritation due to water. In normal circumstances, excess wax finds its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally, and then is washed away.
When your glands make more earwax than necessary, it may get hard and block the ear.
A perforated or burst eardrum is a hole in the eardrum. It'll usually heal within a few weeks and might not need any treatment. But it's a good idea to see a GP if you think your eardrum has burst, as it can cause problems such as ear infections.
Signs of a perforated eardrum, or an ear infection caused by a perforated eardrum, include:
Sudden hearing loss – you may find it difficult to hear anything or your hearing may just be slightly muffled
1. Earache or pain in your ear
2. Itching in your ear
3. Fluid leaking from your ear
4. A high temperature
5. Ringing or buzzing in your ear (tinnitus)
The symptoms will usually pass once your eardrum has healed or any infection has been treated.