Ear Infection Without Fever?

Updated on December 12, 2010
A.M. asks from Lake Wales, FL
22 answers

Can you have an ear infection without a fever? My 2 1/2 year old came home from daycare with thick snot pouring out of his nose. He started coughing and complained that his head hurt. So I figure he's got a cold. But now, at midnight he is inconsolable. He is laying in bed softly crying and moaning now complaining that "all" of his head hurts. He has no fever, but I am wondering if you can get an ear infection without a fever? He has never had an ear infection (knock on wood) so I am unsure. Thanks for the input.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dayton on

My kids rarely ever have a fever with an ear infection. I never know when my 5 yr old daughter has an ear infection or not because she doesn't complain of any pain. I always just take her to the doctor when she has a bad sinus infection because more often than not she has a major ear infection to accompany. I agree with giving tylenol, warm cloth over ear and call doctor for an appt! Hope he feels better soon!

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

Yes--my pediatrician says not wanting to lie down or sleep is a better indicator than fever. And sometimes there's no sign!

More Answers



answers from Spokane on

YES, this used to happen to me all the time - the Dr office would tell my mom not to bring me in unless I had a fever, and then she would end up in the ER in the middle of the night with an unconsolable child who had an earache and no fever! And give motrin, not tylenol. The last time my son and daughter had ear infections (in the same week, what fun.) the doctor and nurses both told me that motrin is an actual antiinflammatory with pain relief while tylenol is only a pain reliever. I was also told I could give motrin, then three hours later tylenol, then three hours later motrin... and so on until the antibiotic kicked in to relieve the pressure and pain. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

They can certainly have an ear infection without a fever. I would take him to the doc and double check, those things are miserable.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes I just took my son to the doctors. He said he had a ear infection. He has not had a fever just runny nose and cough. He could not sleep and was tossing and turning. He put him on antibiotics. Ear infections hurt so please take your son to the doctor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Yep. My DD just got over one. Zero fever at all. No signs whatsoever that hear ear hurt. Then one night she started crying saying her ear hurt. I took her to the doc that next day. Doc liked to pee herself when she looked in my DD's ear. She ended up with liquid antibiotic and antibiotic drops for the ear. Not saying your son's is that bad but my DD had NO other signs (other than the cold she had been fighting). I'd take him to the doc because let's face it, ear infections hurt!

For tonight, I would give him tylenol & alternate with motrin and put a damp wash cloth (warm water) over the ear. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Try Hylands nighttime cold and cough for kids. I recently heard about it and it did wonders for my 2 1/2 year old. It's all natural and safe for kids.



answers from Dayton on

Yes!! My first 2 never had ear infections, but my third keeps coming down with them without a fever. I take him to the dr when he's fussier than usual and starts waking at night. Can happen!



answers from Tallahassee on

It's probably possible to have an ear infection without a fever. Honestly though, if his whole head is hurting, it sounds more like it may be a sinus infection. I know when I have a sinus infection my head feels like it's going to explode. If it were an ear infection he would probably be tugging at his ear.



answers from New York on

yes, in my daughter's case, she never has a fever with ear infection.



answers from Boca Raton on

no dairy and no sugar, they weaken the immune system, cause phlegm and lead to ear infections, allergies and all sorts of other ailments.



answers from Miami on

He might just have a really bad headache with the virus but YES, a child can have an ear infection w/o fever. My daughter sufferd 8 of them w/o fever in the first year, due to unknown allergies to soy. She had speech language problems because of it. I would say give it a day or so to see what happens because ear infections can clear on their own without the use of icky antibiotics.



answers from Jacksonville on

Yes, my son has had many ear infections without a fever. I hope he feels better soon!


answers from Dover on

YES. My daughter went in for a well visit with no symptoms and no complaints. They discovered an ear infection. She recently went in with sinus congestion, a cough, and a headache. In addition, they once again discovered an ear infection (which is caused by the allergy-like symptoms including the congestion).


answers from Norfolk on

Yes. Besides pressure on the ears, sinus infections can cause them to swell so badly that there is pressure on the nerves of your teeth. I've had them so bad on occasion that it felt like my hair hurt. A heating pad on low can help with the pain for a little while (don't let him sleep with it - you'll have to supervise). One of those air activated heat patches held in place with a head band or a knit hat might keep the heat where you need it without a burn risk.
Thick snot needs thinning. Use a humidifier, give him steamy baths/showers, have him drink plenty of fluids, avoid dairy for awhile if you can (some say dairy can thicken mucus), your Dr should prescribe an expectorant, although Robitussin is not bad, I'm not sure about dosage for one so young so stick with what your Dr says. Have him blow his nose as often as you can (put Vaseline on his nose now, his skin will get raw from dripping and blowing). If he's too young to use a neti pot, use a bulb syringe to rinse his nose with a mild slightly warm saline (2 cups warm water, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda). He'll hate it, but he'll breathe much easier once you are finished.
He may not have a fever yet, but the mucus is a breeding ground for bacteria and it's common for a fever to appear several days later.


answers from Dallas on

Yes!! My DD NEVER gets a fever with an ear infection! The only way that we know is if she's acting strange at bedtime. Give him some tylenol and call the dr. in the morning.


answers from Kansas City on

they can have an ear infection without even showing SIGNS of a cold. my son was notorious for it - one time he was at a well child checkup and the dr told me he had double ear infections in both ears. i never knew he had a cold, and he certainly wasn't showing signs of being sick at all - but my kid is a tank and he's just like that.



answers from Boston on

maybe his sinuses hurt or he has a sinus infection if he is saying his head hurts.



answers from Tampa on

Thick snot pouring out of his nose- he's sick.
What is he eating, what is he exposed to at daycare- could be an allegic reaction to some NON food type processed "food" product he has been fed.
Crying, moaning, all his head hurts- get him checked this morning.
best, k



answers from Wichita on

my daughter had a ton of ear infections as a baby, and 1 last week. Only with 1 did she have a fever.



answers from Topeka on

Yes it all drains & pools into the eustichian tubes causing ear pain then resulting into an ear infection he may show up with a fever in the next 24 hrs.



answers from Columbus on

Yes, it is very possible. Give him some non asprin pain relever and take him to the doctor. We had one child who almost never ran a fever with ear infections.

I hope he feels better soon!

Next question: Anyone Know About Ear Infections?