Earache in Child No Fever

Typically, any time a child is suffering from an earache, it is the first sign of an ear infection. These are common in both infants and young children, especially in the middle ear and outer ear. Earache can be caused by a variety of reason as follows: trauma to the ear, swimming causing fluid build-up, Eustachian tube blocked, excessive wax, or infections from pathogens. As always, it is best to consult with a specialist for treatment, but there are several home remedies that can help alleviate the pain caused by an ear infection.

Earache in Child No Fever - Possible Causes

While the following information should be used in order to self-diagnose, it can be used to help identify earache causes. Although it is not an exhaustive list of causes, it lists those that are most common.

1. Earache Caused by Damage to the Ear

The ear canal is extremely sensitive and can be easily damaged by a number of things. One of the most common elements that damages ear is cleaning earwax with a cotton swab. In fact, if the cotton swab enters too far, it can actually puncture the eardrum. While the ear drum typically heals on its own, it will take nearly two months to do so. In order to aid recovery, some can use ear drops.

2. Earache Caused by Earwax

When wax begins to build up in the ear canal, it is tempting to take a cotton swab in order to remove it. However, this will only push the wax build-up further into the ear canal and risk further damage. Instead, it is better to get ear drops from a doctor. These are designed to help soften the wax so it will fall out naturally. In some scenarios, the doctor may have to remove the wax after softening it because the build-up is too severe.

3. Earache Caused by Glue Ear

Significantly more common in children than adults, glue occurs when there is a heavy build-up of fluid deep in the ear. Oftentimes this can result in hearing loss and the excessive pressure can cause an earache. Fortunately, glue ear typically clears up on its own.

4. Earache Caused by Outer Ear Infection

External otitis, or swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the outer ear.

Other symptoms of swimmer’s ear

The typical symptoms of swimmer’s ear include the following:

  • Excessive itching
  • Progressively intensive pain
  • Redness around the ear
  • Large amounts of fluid drainage
  • Pus discharge
  • Full or partial ear blockage caused by swelling, additional fluid, or debris
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Advanced forms may include fever and swollen lymph nodes

5. Earache Caused by a Throat Infection

If a sore throat occurs alongside an earache, then one is the symptom of the other. When an earache is a symptom of a sore throat, it may be caused tonsillitis or quinsy. While some forms of tonsillitis clear up without antibiotics, others may not. Additionally, if the infection is quinsy, a doctor should be consulted, which means the sore throat worsens quickly.

Other symptoms of a throat infection

  • Consistent coughing
  • Mild or worsening headaches
  • Feeling sick or tired
  • Lymph glands in neck both swollen and painful
  • Losing or changing voice

When to See a Doctor

Anytime an earache is present for more than two days, especially if it is severe and accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness or severe headaches, you shall call a doctor immediately. Once you arrive, the doctor will attempt to determine the cause. If the earache was caused by an infection, you will receive a prescription for antibiotics, which must be finished. When earaches become a recurring theme for your child’s doctor visits, they may consider performing a simple procedure that places small tubes into the eardrums to prevent further earaches and/or infections.

Earache in Child No Fever - Home Remedies

Even though most severe infections necessitate the use of antibiotics, and sometimes surgery, there are some home remedies that will naturally alleviate the pain and encourage the ears to heal.

1. Warm or Cool Ears

Just like when you hurt a foot or hand, you can also place a hot pack, or ice pack, against your ear to help alleviate the pain. Making a home compress is simple with old clean sock that you fill with rice and heat for about a minute in the microwave. If the heat does not help, try using a cold pack or soak a washcloth in cool water and hold it over the most painful part of your ear.

2. Treat with Oil

Place a few drops of olive, castor, or mineral oil in the child’s ear. By dropping the oil in to an inflamed eardrum, it will have a soothing sensation that encourages healing and alleviates pain. For those wishing to mix oil and heat treatment, simply warm the oil to a gentle temperature, but not too hot for that it may damage the eardrum.

3. Use Chewing Gum

Chewing gum may help to relieve the pressure building up in the eardrum, just as it prevents ears from popping while on an airplane. Additional options include candy to suck on, yawning, and drinking plenty of water to relieve the pressure.

4. Over-the-Counter Medications

General pain medications you can buy over the counter, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help alleviate the pain. However, be sure not to give anyone under the age of twenty as it has been linked to a rare but deadly liver and brain disease. Aside from medications, there are over-the-counter eardrops.


As tempting as it may be, do not plug a child’s ear with cotton, regardless of whether it is draining. Doing so may trap pus inside and only worsen their condition.

Additionally, if a child reports pain suddenly stopping, it may mean the eardrum has ruptured. This should be immediately reported to the doctor and no more ear drops should be administered.