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Ear arch: What is an ear ache and when to see a doctor?

What is an ear ache and when to see a doctor?


By The Harley Stre…

ENT Clinics, Ear Infection, Ears


An ear ache is commonly associated with childhood illness but it can actually affect adults too. Both children and adults can experience an ear ache in one or both ears although it’s more common for the pain to appear in just one. There could be a number of different reasons why an ear ache happens and not all of them mean that you need to go and see a doctor.

How do you know it’s an ear ache?

If you’re experiencing the problem yourself then you may have a persistent pain or one that comes and goes – it could be dull or feel like stabbing. Adults may also notice fluid coming from the ear and/or experience problems with hearing. Symptoms in children can include the same pain as well as a fever, hearing problems that mean they may not respond well to sounds, sleeping issues, headache loss of appetite and constantly touching or tugging at the ear.

Ear infections

An ear infection is one of the most common causes of ear ache. There are a number of different types of infection, including:

  • Outer ear. This type of infection stems from the ear canal and can be caused by activities such as swimming or putting fingers, headphones or cotton buds in the ear canal. Any damage to the ear canal can lead to infection, as can bacteria that breeds in skin in the ear canal that has been softened by water.
  • Middle ear. Mostly commonly, a middle ear infection is the result of a respiratory tract infection which has caused fluid to build up behind the ear drums and allowed bacteria to breed.
  • Inner ear. Labyrinthitis is a common inner ear infection that can be a consequence of viral or bacterial infections that result from a respiratory illness.

What else causes ear ache?

While an infection is the most common cause of an ear ache this can also be triggered by issues such as a sinus infection, getting a foreign body lodged in the ear, an infected tooth, pressure changes in the surrounding environment (e. g. on an airplane) and even a perforated ear drum.

When do you need to see a doctor?

You can treat an ear ache at home with painkillers and taking steps such as keeping the ear dry or sitting up right to help relieve pressure in the ear. If an ear ache is accompanied by dizziness, a serious headache, swelling around the ear or a dropping of the facial muscles on one side of the face then it may be time to seek medical treatment. A persistent fever of 104ºF (40 ºC) or higher in children is a clear sign that medical attention is necessary. Most ear aches will improve in a couple of days – if that doesn’t happen then you may need medical help.

Ear ache is a condition that should be treated cautiously and medical attention sought where necessary.

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The Harley Stre…

Earache – NHS

Earache and ear pain is common, particularly in young children. It can be painful, but is not usually a sign of anything serious.

How long earache lasts

It depends on what’s causing it. Most earaches in children are caused by an ear infection, which usually start to improve after a few days.

Spotting earache in babies and young children

A young child might have earache if they:

  • rub or pull their ear
  • do not react to some sounds
  • have a temperature of 38C or above
  • are irritable or restless
  • are off their food
  • keep losing their balance

Earache and ear pain can affect 1 or both ears.

How to treat earache yourself

There are some things you can do to help relieve earache and ear pain.


  • do not put anything inside your ear, such as cotton buds

  • do not try to remove earwax

  • do not let water get inside your ear


Some painkillers are not safe for everyone (for example, if you’re pregnant). Always check the leaflet or get medical advice before taking them.

A pharmacist can help with earaches

A pharmacist might be able to tell you:

  • what you can do to treat earache yourself
  • if you can buy anything to help (for example, eardrops)
  • if you need to see a GP

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you or your child:

  • have earache for more than 3 days
  • keep getting earache

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:

You or your child have earache and:

  • become generally unwell
  • a very high temperature or feel hot and shivery
  • swelling around the ear
  • fluid coming from the ear
  • hearing loss or a change in hearing
  • something stuck in the ear
  • your child is under 2 and has earache in both ears

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

What causes earache and pain

Earache and pain can be caused by many things, but sometimes it’s not known by what.

Here are some of the most common causes:

Possible causes of earache symptoms.
SymptomsPossible condition
Ear pain with toothacheChildren teething, dental abscess
Ear pain with change in hearingGlue ear, earwax build-up, an object stuck in the ear (do not try to remove it yourself – see a GP), perforated eardrum (particularly after a loud noise or accident)
Ear pain with pain when swallowingSore throat, tonsillitis, quinsy (a complication of tonsillitis)
Ear pain with a feverEar infection, flu, cold

Page last reviewed: 29 April 2022
Next review due: 29 April 2025

Aesthetic proportions of the outer ear

Aesthetic proportions of the outer ear


The points of attachment of the curl (b) and earlobe (c) to the head are called “ otobazione “, and form a line (d) passing immediately behind the mandibular joint. Angle between lines (a) and (d) are approximately equal to 20 degrees .

The place of attachment of the curl to the head is the superior otobazion (b) , is on the same level with the external canthal ligament of the eye (e) , the distance between these anatomical formations (b) and (e) is 65 -70 mm .

The upper edge of the curl is on the same level with the arch of the eyebrow, these points form a line (g) . If the curl of the auricle is located above the line of the eyebrows, then such an ear can be considered large.

The lower edge of the earlobe is on the same level with the base of the tip of the nose, they form a line (h) . If the lobe is located below the line running through the base of the tip of the nose, then we can assume that its size is larger than average – perhaps there is a uniform increase in the entire auricle.

The analysis of the folds of the outer ear begins with the helix and antihelix. They start from below, at the level of the tragus and diverge upward, where they are separated by the navicular fossa.

At the top, the antihelix divides into a smoother, wider upper stalk and lower stalk. Seen from the front, the whorl forms the most lateral deviation of the ear and should be only slightly visible behind the antihelix and superior peduncle.

Classification of protruding auricles (protruding ears)

Correct analysis of the protruding position of the ear is an important step in otoplasty. Protruding auricle (protruding ear) – is the result of one or more features of the development of the ear.

  1. Underdevelopment of the antihelix.
  2. Hypertrophy of the auricle or deformity of the shape of the auricle.
  3. Lobe protrusion.
  4. Uniform enlargement of the entire outer ear (macrotia), or overgrowth of the ear.

1 – The most common cause of protruding auricles is underdevelopment of the antihelix . The spectrum of underdevelopment of the antihelix is ​​quite wide, from its complete absence, in this case the entire auricle sticks out, to partial underdevelopment, only the upper pole of the ear occupies the protruding position.

2 Excessive development of the cartilaginous structure of the pinna itself also results in protrusion of the ear. It has been established that the thinner cartilages of the helix and the antihelix complex are located on the stronger cartilage of the auricle, and when it increases, the entire ear protrudes excessively.

3 Lobe protrusion may be the only deformity of an otherwise normal ear. This may be due to the unusual shape of the tail of the curl, or develop due to hypertrophy of the auricle.

4 Uniform enlargement of the entire outer ear (macrotia) . The range of “normal” ear sizes is quite wide, but there are cases when the increased size of the ear makes it out of proportion to the facial skeleton. This may occur as a result of isolated congenital overgrowth of the ear, or in combination with overgrowth of one side of the face. Uniform enlargement of the entire ear may be a sign of neurofibromatosis or a vascular anomaly.

General information Photos before and after surgery Preparing for otoplasty Anatomy of the auricle Aesthetic proportions of the outer ear Ear plastic surgery (otoplasty) Complications and risk of otoplasty

Soup recipes: soup according to a restaurant recipe

We asked the chef of the trendy restaurant ARKA bar&grill volume as he prepares the ear. Zhenya Khitrov – that’s the chef’s name – although he doesn’t specialize in Russian cuisine, he cooks fish soup so that even those who don’t like fish remember this soup with tenderness.

ARKI’s signature recipe, which so many people love, is based on a few tricks: the first one is an incredibly long cooking time. It takes a little over five hours to make such an ear.
The second is the use of fish bones for cooking broth. This is what gives the soup its concentrated taste. The third trick – when cooking, baked vegetables are added to the soup. Let’s stop at this for now, give the recipe, and then we will continue the story about tricks again.

  • water – 1 l
  • bulb – 1 pc.
  • carrot – 1 pc.
  • fillets of salmon, pike-perch, cod – 100 g of each type of fish
  • fish bones – 450 gr
  • leek – 1 pc.
  • potatoes – 3 pcs.
  • dill – bunch
  • cherry tomatoes – 4 pcs.
  • bay leaf, black pepper, allspice, salt

Send the fish bones to the water and put on the fire. This mixture will need to be boiled for 4 hours. All this time it should not boil, but be as close as possible to this. So that everything does not boil away for such a long time, take a thick-walled pan with a good heavy lid!
Set a small fire, so that it barely warms.
45 minutes before the end of cooking, you will need to add vegetables to the broth: onions and carrots. They need to be baked first. What does it mean? It is necessary to fry them without oil so that they are slightly burnt. Strange? Yes. But this is what will give the broth a piquant taste and even a beautiful color. How to do it?
If you have an electric stove, just press the vegetable against the burner for a few seconds. If the stove is gas, heat the pan well on it and attach the vegetable in the same way to the hot surface.
Look what effect you need to achieve:

Ready? Put the baked onions and carrots in the soup and cook for 45 minutes.
5 minutes before the end of cooking, we throw bay leaves, black pepper and allspice into the soup.
When the time is up, turn off the soup and let it cool down. After that we filter. No vegetables should remain in the broth, nor, of course, seeds, or seasonings.
Now we need to prepare the dressing for the soup. It consists of vegetables – leek and potatoes and fish – a mix of three fillets.
So, here’s what you need to do: cut the leek into half rings, potatoes into cubes. Cut off all stems from a bunch of dill. Pour them and vegetables into the cooled broth, put on fire, bring to a boil, then cook for 10 minutes. After that, we take on the fish. We cut three types of fillets – salmon, pike perch, cod – into cubes. Like this:

Then we do a very important manipulation: scald these cubes with boiling water. This must be done! If this step is neglected, the soup will become cloudy and will not look the way we want. How to scald? Pour boiling water over chopped fish for a few seconds and quickly drain it.
Now these pieces can be put into the soup and then boiled for another 2 minutes.