Choose the right healthcare service to get the care you need and to enable the NHS to help the greatest number of people.

GREEN Self-care at home

Earache and ear pain

Use painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (children under 16 should not take aspirin)

Place a warm or cold flannel on the ear

Do not put anything inside your ear, such as cotton buds

Do not try to remove earwax

Do not let water get inside the ear

Ask a pharmacist:

  • how to treat earache yourself
  • if you need to see a GP

AMBER It is urgent but not life threatening

Earache and:

  • feeling unwell
  • very high temperature or feel hot and shivery
  • swelling around the ear
  • fluid coming from the ear
  • hearing loss or a change in hearing
  • something stuck in the ear
  • have earache for more than three days, or keep getting earache

Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk


Go to an Urgent Treatment Centre at:

  • Mary’s Community Health Campus, Portsmouth
  • Gosport War Memorial Hospital
  • Petersfield Hospital


Contact a GP Practice