Symptoms of Ear Infections

For small children, the main symptoms for ear infections are irritability and inconsolable crying. If your child has an acute ear infection, they may have a fever or problems sleeping.

Other symptoms of an acute ear infection may include:

  • Ear pain or earache
  • Fullness in the ear
  • Feeling of general illness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hearing loss in the affected ear
  • Holding, pulling, or tugging of ears
  • Irritability or bouts of crying
  • Drainage from the ear, or
  • Changes in appetite or sleep

An ear infection may start shortly after a child has a cold or other respiratory infection. When the middle ear becomes infected, it may fill with fluid or pus. Sudden drainage of yellow or green fluid from the ear may mean a ruptured eardrum.

All acute ear infections include fluid behind the eardrum. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider to confirm any possible ear infection, if your child has symptoms.