Otitis media symptoms

When children have ear disease, they can show clear signs that something is wrong. They might pull at their ear, or show symptoms of a cold or fever. But sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Learn how to recognise ear disease in children.

Symptoms

Symptoms of ear disease might include:

  • signs of a cold (coughing, sore throat, runny nose)
  • rubbing or pulling at the ear
  • pain in the ear
  • fever
  • runny fluid or pus in the ear
  • being unable to hear properly
  • not eating
  • diarrhoea or vomiting.

Ear disease doesn’t always cause pain or symptoms. That’s why it’s important for children to get an ear check every time they visit a health worker, nurse or doctor at a health clinic.

Read about what you can do to prevent ear disease.

Resources

Care for Kids’ Ears – Order resources

If you care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, you can order Care for Kids' Ears resources for free, including brochures, booklets, activity books, crayons and stickers. You can also download and print as many copies as you like.

Last updated: 
5 August 2021

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.