Have an Earache or Have Earache. Which is Correct?

In American English, you can use the expression “have an earache” (with the article “an”) when you experience a pain in the inside part of your ear.

In American English, you can use the expression “have an earache” (with the article “an”) when you experience a pain in the inside part of your ear.

My child has an earache.

In British English, “earache” can be both countable and uncountable; thus, the article can be omitted in many situations.

If your child has earache, you should see your GP.

1. Earache in American English

The word earache in American English is always countable.

Last month I had fewer earaches.

We need to include a determiner (a, an, the, this, that, my, your, another, etc.) before a singular countable noun.

If you have a severe earache, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Pressure on my ears from a flight was the cause of my earache.

Follow the same practice with other related expressions, such as “experience an earache”, “get an earache”, “treat an earache”, etc.

The patient experienced an earache along with other respiratory symptoms.

How can I treat my earache at home?

You can use the plural form to mention a specific group or collection of earaches. In this context, add a determiner (some, several, all, those, many, two, three, etc.) before "earache" to identify or quantify the noun.

Many earaches are caused by a virus.

Not all earaches are infections.

But drop the determiner when talking about earaches in general.

Earaches can be uncomfortable.

Most symptom names require a/an. More examples can be found below:

2. Earache in British English

In British English, the word earache can be both countable and uncountable; therefore, you can say:

She has earache.

She has an earache.

Follow the same convention with other verbs to say, for example, “experience earache”, “treat earache”, “cause earache”, etc.

Have you experienced earache in the past?

As an uncountable noun, the singular form (earache) can be used in a general sense.

Earache isn’t always serious and can be treated by a pharmacist, who may recommend that you contact your doctor.

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