An earache is just as it sounds, aches or pain in the ear. It is common in both children and adults and is caused by a problem with the ear or structures close to the ear.

There are many possible causes for earaches, including:

  • Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)
  • Middle ear infection (acute otitis media)
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Inflammation of the outer ear (Chondritis)
  • Throat infection
  • Cotton swab use
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction or jaw joint pain
  • Foreign object in ear
  • Excess buildup of earwax
  • Throat cancer (This is uncommon)

Symptoms That Come With Earache:

  • Pain
  • Hearing problems
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Full or “stuffy” sensation in ear
  • Ear drainage
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Fever

Ear pain is most common in children, however you can be any age to experience earaches.

Treatment options depend on the cause of the earache. It is important to find the cause and treat earaches. An ear infection can possibly lead to permanent hearing loss and more severe infections. If symptoms last for 24 to 48 hours without dissipating, or instead worsen, then it is important to see an ENT specialist. An ENT specialist, like Dr. Russell here at National Allergy & ENT, may prescribe medications depending on the underlying issue. Children may have ventilation tubes, also called pressure-equalization (PE) tubes, inserted in the ear. This occurs when the child is experiencing an abundance of earaches and pain.

Earaches and pains bothering you? Schedule an appointment with our ENT specialist, Dr. Russell, by calling (843) 576-3302 or by contacting us online.


Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery