Why Do I Have Ear Pain? How It Is Triggered, Caused, Diagnosed, Treated, And Prevented

Earache (earache) usually occurs in children, but can also occur. Ear Pain that starts inside the ear is called primary otitis, while pain that originates outside the ear is called secondary otitis.

Ear pain can develop gradually or suddenly. Pain can be dull, sharp or burning and temporary or constant. The pain usually originates in only one ear, but sometimes it can appear in both ears.

Ear pain signs and symptoms

Symptoms accompanying ear pain include:

  • fever
  • Drainage from the ear
  • deafness
  • headache
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Jaw pain
  • Click or pop
  • Agitation and irritability (in children)
  • Increased crying (in infants)
  • Anorexia (in children) Up arrow

Ear pain causes and risk factors

Ear pain is usually caused by a blockage in the Eustachian tube, which is the passageway from the middle ear to the nasal cavity and back of the larynx. When the Eustachian tube is blocked, air and fluid cannot flow through the passage, causing increased pressure and pain.

Especially in children, ear infections are common causes of ear pain. A middle ear infection, called otitis media, occurs when fluid builds up in the tubes inside the middle ear.

Children are more prone to ear infections because their Eustachian tubes are short and straight, making it difficult for fluid to drain. Due to the fact that their immune systems are still developing, they are more susceptible to infections.

Swimmer’s ear – also known as otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal) – can get stuck in the outer ear canal after swimming in unclean water, creating an ideal environment for infection-causing bacteria.

Ear pain is caused by scratching inside the ear with a finger, cotton swab or something else.

Other possible causes of ear pain include: Right arrow

  • allergy
  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throat
  • Tooth infection
  • Construction of earwax
  • A ruptured eardrum
  • Altitude pressure changes (barotrauma)
  • It is caused by problems with your jaw joint at the side of your head, called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
  • Arthritis of the jaw

Ear infections are not usually the main cause of ear pain. Alternatively, the pain may be caused by a problem such as a straight arrow in the TMJ

How is ear pain diagnosed?

Doctors can diagnose ear pain based on symptoms and medical history. They will examine your ears, nose, and throat with an otoscope (an instrument with a light) to check for redness and other symptoms to find the cause of your.

To diagnose an ear infection, a doctor may use an otoscope to blow air against the eardrum to see if it moves normally.

Diagnosis of ear pain

The prognosis for ear pain depends on the cause. For example, ear infections clear up on their own within a week or two. Even a ruptured eardrum heals on its own within a few months. The prognosis is good; Rarely, symptoms such as long-term hearing loss and dizziness and vertigo may occur

Duration of ear pain

An earache will go away on its own within a few days, and your doctor may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Once you start taking antibiotics for the infection, you should notice improvement within two to three days

Treatment and medication options for ear pain

Treatment for ear pain largely depends on the cause of the problem. Common treatments include medication, surgery, and home remedies.

Medication options

To reduce ear pain, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter ear drops to relieve pain, but they should never be used if there is a possibility that your eardrum has ruptured.

Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for ear infections, but in many cases they are not necessary. In children, antibiotics such as amoxicillin may be used to treat ear infections that are severe or last more than a few days.

Accumulation of earwax in the ear canal can lead to earache. However, don’t stick anything in your ear – including a cotton swab, which pushes the wax deeper instead of removing it. A healthcare professional should diagnose and treat ear infections.

Home remedies and alternative and complementary therapies

Many people experience tinnitus and mild hearing loss due to sudden changes in air pressure when traveling in an airplane, taking an elevator, or diving to the bottom of a pool. When this happens, frequent swallowing — for example, chewing gum or sucking on hard candy — can help clear your ears. Arrow erect (this type of earache is usually temporary and rarely leads to permanent problems).

Cold compresses help relieve. Place a cold pack or wet cloth on the affected ear for 20 minutes. Instead of lying flat, try resting your head up. 

A review of studies published in February 2016 in the Journal of Medicine looked at several complementary and alternative treatments for otitis media in children, including homeopathy, phytotherapy, xylitol (a sugar alcohol), vitamin D supplementation, and probiotics. Researchers have found that these treatments have some benefits, but the evidence is limited and more research is needed.

Surgical options

Children who develop earaches due to ear infections may need a surgical procedure in which a small tube is inserted into the eardrum to prevent fluid buildup. Short-term tubes usually fall out on their own after 6 to 9 months

Long span tubes are larger and held in place

Prevention of ear pain

Ear pain is not always preventable, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of ear infections and ear infections.

Keep all foreign objects away from your ears and always dry your ears after swimming, bathing or showering. You can wear a shower cap, earplugs, or use custom swim molds while swimming

If you smoke, stop smoking; Likewise, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Which has been linked to ear infections in children

Getting a flu shot every year is a great step toward staying healthy. Children with vertigo should receive the pneumococcal vaccine, as a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause middle ear infections.

Complications of ear pain

Ear infections such as swimmer’s ear can lead to infections that spread to the areas around the ear; This condition, called destructive otitis media, can be serious and require high doses of antibiotics and emergency medical care.

A ruptured eardrum, especially if it does not heal completely, can cause problems such as hearing loss or dizziness. If infection occurs, it can spread to the bones behind the ear (mastoiditis) and require urgent medical attention.

In children, frequent ear infections or fluid accumulation in the middle ear can lead to hearing loss, behavior or speech problems, or poor school performance. However, ear tubes can help reduce the risk of ear infections and can correct any chronic hearing loss.

Research and Statistics: Who Suffers from Ear Pain?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, five out of every six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their children to the doctor’s office. Each year, more than 500,000 pediatric. Children who undergo this surgery are usually 3 years old or younger

Related conditions and causes of ear pain

Ear infections often cause ear pain, including middle ear infections (otitis media) and swimmer’s ear (otitis externa). Children are more likely to get ear infections than, although they can occur in people of all ages.

Resources we love

NIDCD is a research agency and part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since its founding in 1988, its funding and support has led to research that has helped millions of people with hearing, speech and language disorders.

This website, maintained by the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, provides information about a number of conditions that affect the ears. It explains what an ENT specialist does and why you may need to see one about your ear pain.
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Alfie Theo
Alfie Theo
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