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Pain behind the ear can often be caused by infection, like Swimmer's ear, dental complications, or swollen lymph nodes behind the ear. Sharp pain behind the ear can also be associated with headaches, jaw pain, or pain located in the back of the neck.
When the lymph nodes behind the ear become swollen, it can cause pain behind the ear. Lymph nodes are little bean-shaped glands that are located in different parts of the body. These nodes are part of the lymphatic system that carries lymph fluid, nutrients and waste materials between the blood stream and body tissues.
Pain behind ear is generally caused by an infection in the inner, outer, or middle ear but there can also be other causes. Otitis media — this is an infection of your middle ear and is one of the more common causes of pain behind ear.
Bacterial infections in the ear can cause pain. Such infections can also cause fever or swelling in and around the ears affecting the space behind the eardrums causing accumulation of inflammatory fluids. Conditions like otitis media and other ear infections commonly cause pain behind the ear and down the neck.
Mastoiditis. Mastoiditis can cause pain behind the ear and down the neck. MedlinePlus states that mastoiditis is an infection of the mastoid bone of the skull, which is located directly behind the pinna or the outside portion of the ear. The most common cause of mastoiditis is a middle ear infection, also known as acute otitis media.
There are different causes of could block the Eustachian tube and result in a sharp pain behind the ears. Flu, cold, sinus problems, allergies and other factors all affect Eustachian tube and could cause a blockade.