How to relieve ear infection pain?
"Ear infections can be very painful for kids because of the pressure building in the middle ear," says Dr. McClay. (Hence, the increased crying and occasional temper tantrums.) Regardless of whether your kid is taking antibiotics, most doctors recommend using pain relievers like children's acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to soothe discomfort, especially in the first 24 hours. (Children should never take aspirin, which contains ingredients that can cause Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition in children and teenagers.)
For natural relief, Dr. Drake recommends gently pressing a warm (not hot) wash cloth on the ear, which can help mask the pain and distract your child. Your doctor may also prescribe ear drops with benzocaine, which can help ease pain by temporarily numbing the ear. Ear drops of any kind should not be used if the eardrum has ruptured, however -- unless a doctor prescribes them.