Ear Pain: What to do until the morning comes
Treat the pain
Elevate your child's head
Warm compresses (or cold, whatever works)
Important things to consider
Going to the ER in the middle of the night is hardly ever necessary. All the ER can do is give you a prescription for antibiotics but antibiotics take about 48 hours to kick in for pain relief with ear infections. And, about 80% of ear infections go away by themselves, without intervention, in about 5 days. The mainstay of treatment, therefore, is pain relief.
What if the eardrum ruptures?
You will see goo coming out of the ear canal, and sometimes blood. It's mother nature's way of taking care of the pus build up behind the drum. It's not a bad thing--the kids usually feel much better when it happens. The eardrum will heal by itself in about a month, but until it does, the kids have hard time hearing, as if their ear is "under water." It's not an emergency. I usually just give drops for the ear when I see you in the office, and recheck the eardrum in a month to see if it has healed properly.