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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Human Body The Human Body Arrow to Ears Ears Arrow to Earaches Earaches

Ow! That earache hurts!Anyone who has had a serious earache or inner ear infection can attest to the ear's important role in keeping our balance.

So, ears are a major contributor to helping us make our way in the world. It's only when they hurt or don't act as they should that we realize .... hearing is not their only function!

Keeping ears healthy

Keeping ears healthy, much like other organ in the body, usually does not take constant care. More often its is simply a case of keeping them away from harm.

Good hygiene also plays an important part in keeping ears healthy, although over-cleaning sometimes does more harm than good. Ear wax is there to protect the inner workings of the ear, and so constantly removing it is exposing the ear to possible damage. Trying to clean out the ear may also only serve to compact the wax further in the ear, resulting in an earache or infection.

Earache causes & treatment

Children in particular are far more often prone to ear infections due to the fact that the Eustachian tubes inside the ear can become easily clogged as their ears are still developing.

In adults, a cold draft -- such as from an air conditioner -- may also cause waxy buildup to form in the ear as a defense that brings on the onset of pain. Other causes might be from exterior sources of water trapped in the ear, such as following a dip in the ocean or pool. Common earache symptoms may more likely stem from sinus blockage and pain caused by allergies, the common cold or flu.

See a doctor if severe or chronic earaches persist, which may be signs of a perforated eardrum, pain associated with jaw joint disorder, or 'radiating' or referred pain caused by a toothache or sore throat.

Depending on the cause, common cures for earache range from over-the-counter pain relievers and antihistamines, antibiotics for infection, prescribed ear drops, or simple homemade warm compresses to draw out liquids or waxy buildup compacting the ear canal.

More about earache causes & remedies around the Web:

Around the Web, learn more about how the ears work, or what can be done to treat inner ear infections or to ease the pain of earaches:


Earache Remedies, Treatment & Pain Relief - Extensive information on the topic including causes and treatment including pain relievers and other medications, when to see a doctor about an ear infection with related resources, pictures and illustrations.

Your Child and Ear Infections - Check out a good overview with information on causes and typical symptoms of ear infection with related resources explaining risk factors, complications, and treatment options.


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