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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


My baby is constantly pulling at his ears. The pediatrician checked and said there was no ear infection. What other conditions can cause a child to pull at their ears?
    
The most common cause is a middle ear infection. Because your physician did not find an infection or fluid behind the ear, there are at least three other possibilities. The first is teething, which can cause a child to pull at their ears. The same nerve that supplies the gums and teeth also goes to the ear canal. The child's brain then gets the signals confused. Second, irritation or wax in the ear can cause a child to yank at their ear. Third, a child may pull at the ear because of itching from soap or shampoo in the ear canal. Most commonly, pulling at the ears may simply be a habit. Many children after an ear infection will pull at their ear for weeks. Others pull at their ear lobe when they are tired or to soothe themselves.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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