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Ear infections

Ear infections are very common, particularly in children. You do not always need to see a GP for an ear infection as they often get better on their own within 3 days.

Check if it's an ear infection

The symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and include:

  • pain inside the ear

  • a high temperature

  • being sick

  • a lack of energy

  • difficulty hearing

  • discharge running out of the ear

  • a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear

  • itching and irritation in and around the ear

  • scaly skin in and around the ear

Young children and babies with an ear infection may also:

  • rub or pull their ear

  • not react to some sounds

  • be irritable or restless

  • be off their food

  • keep losing their balance 


Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.

If you, or your child, have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.

A pharmacist can help with an ear infection

Speak to a pharmacist if you think you have an outer ear infection.

They can recommend acidic eardrops to help stop bacteria or fungus spreading.

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