When To See A Doctor For Ear Pain

Ear Pain: Causes And Treatments

When you have a sharp or even a dull pain in your ear it can cause you quite a bit of discomfort. You might find it hard to move on with your daily activities. The ear is something we often take for granted, but it is actually a very complicated part of our body with several sensitive tissues and small bones that come together to allow us to hear. The ear is also connected to the nose and throat so there are many different conditions that can cause discomfort. Ear pain, especially when it’s very sharp and severe, can be hard to deal with. There are multiple causes of ear pain, some of which may not be obvious.

Outer Ear Infections

An infection in the outer ear can be a very uncomfortable and painful experience. The outer ear is made up of two parts: the part you can see and the ear canal which you can’t see. It is the ear canal that is most susceptible to infection. Water exposure puts people – especially kids – at risk for an outer ear infection commonly referred to as Swimmers Ear. Other causes of an ear canal infection include scratching your ear with your fingernail, q-tip or other objects. Even a minor abrasion to the canal skin can result in a painful bacterial infection.

Middle Ear Infections

The part of the ear that contains the hearing bones is called the middle ear. It is the part of the ear that is behind the eardrum. When this part of the ear gets infected it can be very painful. Kids are at risk for this kind of infection in part because their natural ear drainage pathways, called Eustachian tubes, are not as developed as they are in an adult.  Something as simple as the common cold or a sinus infection can trigger an ear infection as well.  The fluid that builds up in the middle ear space can cause pressure and pain and can also cause a temporary drop in hearing.

Surfer’s Ear

Also known as exostosis, surfer’s ear occurs when the ear canal is narrowed because of small bony growths. The growths can then trap water inside the ear causing muffled hearing, pain, or even an infection. It is extremely important to get surfer’s ear treated in a timely manner because if left untreated for too long the ear canal can become completely closed off.

Referred Pain

The nerves that travel between the brain and the ear are complex. As a result, problems in other areas of the head and neck can be experienced as ear pain. Sources of “referred pain” include throat lesions and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). TMJD typically causes pain in both ears and may be accompanied by ringing and a plugging sensation.

Visit The Breathe Clear Institute

If you have unbearable ear pain or minor pain that isn’t going away on its own, it is best to visit the professionals at the Breathe Clear Institute for fast relief. We’ll examine your ears and give you a diagnosis along with the proper treatment so you can move on with your daily life. Contact us today for an appointment.