What does it mean when you have a double ear infection?

A double ear infection is when both ears become infected by bacteria or a virus. Double ear infections are not always more serious than single ear infections, but their symptoms are often more severe.

Early diagnosis and treatment may lead to a quicker recovery and reduce the risk of complications.

Read on to learn more about identifying and treating a double ear infection.

What are the symptoms?

Woman holding head in pain due to double ear infection

Symptoms of double ear infection may include pain in ears, fatigue, a headache, and problems hearing.

The symptoms of a double ear infection are similar to those of a single ear infection, but they may be more severe when both ears are infected.

Symptoms may include:

  • pain in the ear
  • difficulty sleeping
  • drainage from the ears
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • fever that lasts for 2 or more days
  • problems hearing

How to spot symptoms in toddlers and infants

Signs in infants and toddlers include:

  • crying more than usual
  • increased irritability, especially when lying down
  • loss of interest in feeding
  • pulling on the ears (this may not be a symptom of an earache in infants who are otherwise well)
  • persistent fever, or a fever that goes away and then returns during the same illness

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