How long can I wait with ear pain to see if it goes away without seeing a doctor?

Worsening pain. If your pain is lessening each day, you may not need to see doc..Because sometimes ear infections do go away w/o medications...But if it is getting worse, you should see doc sooner. Eardrum can rupture with severe inner ear infection, which often will heal nicely with treatment etc...External ear infection (swimmer's ear) can be very painful..Often requires treatment. Consult your doc. Good luck.