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If your earache comes with a severe sore throat, it could be an infection like tonsillitis or pharyngitis. In fact, ear pain is often be the worst symptom of one of these conditions. Tooth abscesses, cavities, and impacted molars also can cause ear pain.
Common causes of earaches and ear pain include: Ear infection. Changes in air pressure, such as when flying on a plane. Earwax buildup. A foreign object in the ear. Strep throat. Sinus infection. Shampoo or water trapped in the ear. Use of cotton swabs in the ear.
Ear infections. Ear infections are a common cause of earaches or ear pain. Ear infections can occur in the outer, middle, and inner ear. Outer ear infection can be caused by swimming, wearing hearing aids or headphones that damage the skin inside the ear canal, or putting cotton swabs or fingers in the ear canal.
Causes of Sharp Ear Pain Due to Ear Conditions Outer ear infection (otitis externa). Middle ear infection (otitis media). Inner ear infection (otitis interna). Earwax buildup. Barotrauma. Mastoiditis. Ruptured eardrum. Cholesteatoma. Foreign object in ear.
Otitis media is the medical term for a middle ear infection. The condition can cause significant ear pain which may get worse when lying down. Otitis media occurs when the auditory tube becomes blocked and is unable to drain. This may occur following a cold or congestion caused by allergies. Otitis media is more common in children because of the size and angle of their auditory tube but can also occur in adults.
Possible Causes for Sharp Pain Behind the Ear It is important to accurately diagnose and treat pain behind the ear as it can progress to something more severe and dangerous if left untreated. Here is a list of the ten most common causes of pain behind the ear and their treatments.
Hyperacusis (or hyperacousis) is a highly debilitating hearing disorder characterized by an increased sensitivity to certain frequencies and volume ranges of sound (a collapsed tolerance to usual environmental sound). A person with severe hyperacusis has difficulty tolerating everyday sounds, which become painful or loud.Hyperacusis is often coincident with tinnitus. Both conditions have a prevalence of about 10–15% and hearing loss as a major risk factor. However, there also appear to be important differences between the mechanisms involved in tinnitus and hyperacusis.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves anywhere along the route through the outer ear, tympanic membrane (eardrum), or middle ear (ossicles). This type of hearing loss may occur in conjunction with sensorineural hearing loss (mixed hearing loss) or alone.
Ear pain, also known as earache, is pain in the ear. Primary ear pain is pain that originates from the ear. Secondary ear pain is a type of referred pain, meaning that the source of the pain differs from the location where the pain is felt. Most causes of ear pain are non-life threatening. Primary ear pain is more common than secondary ear pain, and it is often due to infection or injury. The conditions that cause secondary (referred) ear pain are broad and range from temporomandibular joint syndrome to inflammation of the throat. In general, the reason for ear pain can be discovered by taking a thorough history of all symptoms and performing a physical examination, without need for imaging tools like a CT scan. However, further testing may be needed if red flags are present like hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ear or unexpected weight loss. Management of ear pain depends on the cause. If there is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are sometimes recommended and over the counter pain medications can help control discomfort. Some causes of ear pain require a procedure or surgery. 83 percent of children have at least one episode of a middle ear infection by three years of age.