MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earache. Young boy, aged 3, holds his hand to his ear while suffering from earache. This is a common childhood complaint which may originate in the ear itself or may result from a disorder in a nearby structure. The most common cause of earache is otitis media (infection of the middle ear), in which the pain is likely to be severe and stabbing. It may be accompanied by loss of hearing and a raised temperature. Another common ear disorder is otitis externa which is an inflammation of the outer ear canal. Analgesic drugs may be given to relieve the pain and antibiotic drugs may be prescribed to treat any bacterial infection.
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