Symptoms of a middle ear infection (acute otitis media) often start 2 to 7 days after the start of a cold or other upper respiratory infection. Symptoms of an ear infection may include:
- Ear pain (mild to severe). Babies often pull or tug at their ears when they have an earache.
- Drainage from the ear that is thick and yellow or bloody. This means the eardrum has probably burst (Reference ruptured Opens New Window). The hole in the eardrum often heals by itself in a few weeks.
- Loss of appetite, vomiting, and grumpy behavior.
- Trouble sleeping.
Symptoms of fluid buildup may include:
- Popping, ringing, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. Children often have trouble describing this feeling. They may rub their ears trying to relieve pressure.
- Trouble hearing. Children who have problems hearing may seem dreamy or inattentive, or they may appear grumpy or cranky.
- Balance problems and dizziness.
Some children don't have any symptoms.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology