October 22, 2010,
R.. asks from Cleveland, TN on October 21, 2010
Teething or Earache?
How do you tell the difference in teething pain, or a possible earache? My 6 month old DD has all the typical signs of teething... chewing anything and everything, swollen gums, drooling, looser stool, SLIGHT fever, and has been really fussy. (she has been showing these signs off and on since she was 2 1/2 months old...) The last couple of days though, I have noticed that she keeps putting her hands over her ears and pulling on them when she is at peak fussiness. I know that sometimes teething pain sometimes radiates up into the ear area, but are there any telltale signs I can look for to distinguish an earache? I would hate to ignore an ear infection, thinking it's just teething... but at the same time I don't want to take her to the doctor if it IS just teething. I will take her in if it persists, but I was just wondering if there was something I should look for that might separate it from teething...
J.P. answers from Chicago on October 21, 2010
My kids spike a fever very quickly when it's an ear infection. I'll take it twice in an hour and it'll be much higher. Ear infections also hurt more when lying down- sleeping, nursing/bottle, even playing. Keep a close eye on that. If my baby is fine while playing and eating but fussy in her crib, I know it's generally teething. Also, Tylenol should bring the fever down, teething fever will almost go away, but ear infection fever will still be fairly high. If you're in doubt, call your dr! I always felt better bringing them in for nothing than I would have sitting and wondering.
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M.B. answers from St. Louis on October 21, 2010
My child has NEVER had a fever with an ear infection. The ear pulling is a good sign of ear infection. Neither one of my kids were that miserable just due to teething. His ear infections started at 4 months. Just a little runny nose would cause it. He was especially upset and in major pain when I would lay him down, but when I would pick him up he would feel better and calm down.. Just from my experience, I am always taking him in to check his ears, and it usually is. My vote, have her checked.
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C.M. answers from Dallas on October 21, 2010
My dentist told me one of the tell tale signs of teething was children pulling on their ears or messing with their ears. Sure enough, my son does that! Especially now that his molars are coming in.
I also notice my sons sleeps more when he's teething (aren't I blessed. ha!)
Just keep the oragel stocked and give her cold things to chew on.
K.K. answers from Austin on October 22, 2010
Even if it is just teething, that can cause an ear infection. My son was never sick until he turned 1 and had some crazy teething going on and he ended up with an ear infection. He just turned 2 and the only 2 times he has been sick has been with an ear infection while teething. My son didn't really tug at his ear, but he did put his hand over it a lot. Also the area around his ear started to look pretty R., kind of inflamed.
R.K. answers from Boston on October 21, 2010
don't use oragel it has really bad side effects. ear infections tend to follow colds. You wouldn't believe how many times I took my youngest in just to hear "its teething"
A.L. answers from Austin on October 22, 2010
Pulling on her ears is a good sign of an earache. I might expect pain close to the ear with molars, but those are the last to come in.
K.B. answers from St. Louis on October 21, 2010
I had horrible ears when I was little (had tubes put in my ears three times by the time I was 6). I still have awful ears due to the way my families ear canals are shaped. Anyway, I have not had to deal with a child yet, but my mom did tell me that she began to notice the problems with my ears around the time I was this age and I was doing the SAME thing with my ears that your child is doing now. She was telling me this as I am very paranoid about my future little ones ear potential ear problems. I would at least call the Dr and tell them what she is doing, but if she's anything like me, she probably has an earache.