First Aid For Earache, Toothache and Sore Throat

Earache can be exceptionally painful. It has a number of common causes, including infection, or as a symptom of other conditions such as flu or tonsillitis. Like earache, toothache can cause agonising pain. Usually caused by a decaying or damaged tooth, it can also arise as a result of problems such as an ear infection or sinusitis, or even from jaw tension. In babies and children, there may be pain and discomfort as their teeth come through. Sore throats can be a sign of infection such as tonsillitis or a symptom of colds and flu. There may be swelling and infection around the throat, or swollen glands visible under the jaw.


When used according to the instructions, painkillers such as paracetamol have little risk for a healthy adult. Likewise, medicines such as paracetamol syrup made especially for children can provide safe pain relief.

People in severe pain are at risk from an accidental overdose of painkillers and while paracetamol is generally safe, one of its potential drawbacks is that very few extra tablets are required to risk an overdose.

To reduce the chances of problems with any painkillers:

  • Read and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist if necessary.
  • Do not leave painkillers near the bed while sleeping. It is easy to wake up in pain and forget when the last dose was taken.
  • Seek early medical advice if you think that an overdose may have been taken, even if there are no signs and symproms of a problem. Paracetamol poisoning, for example, does not show up immediately but the antidote needs to be taken as soon as possible.

First Aid For Treating earache

  1. If there is a fever or discharge, seek urgent medical help, as this may be a sign of serious infection or a burst ear-drum. Seek medical advice if there is any loss of hearing. Check the history of the problem to rule out injury to the ear or skull, or the presence of a foreign object.
  2. Help the person into a comfortable position. A hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel placed on the ear may provide some pain relief.
  3. Enable the person to take her usual painkillers.
  4. If the condition persists or gets worse, especially in children, seek medical advice.

First Aid For Treating a sore throat

  1. Check the history of the problem to rule out poisoning or burns.
  2. Give the person plenty of cold drinks.
  3. Enable the person to take his usual painkillers.
  4. Seek medical advice if the condition persists or if sore throats are recurrent, particularly in children.

First Aid For Treating toothache

  1. Check the history of the problem to rule out any injury to the mouth or jaw.
  2. Help the person into a comfortable position. The throbbing pain associated with an infected tooth is often eased if the person is sitting up.
  3. Enable the person to take her usual painkillers.
  4. A hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel or hot compress placed alongside the face may help relieve the pain. Oil of cloves applied to cotton wool and placed on the tooth (not the gums) may also help numb the pain. Children may benefit from teething remedies available from pharmacists.
  5. Encourage the person to make an appointment with a dentist.

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