While earache or pain is more common in children, adults can also experience this condition. It may be caused by close to twenty ailments including ear infection, pressure changes in the ear, the entry of a foreign object in the ear, excessive wax build up, strep throat, shampoo trapped in the ear, and even due to the use of cotton buds.
HOW IS EAR PAIN DIAGNOSED?
A physical inspection of the ear is done to check for signs of pus or even swelling. In some cases, if the ENT suspects rupture or acute issues, other clinical and pathological testes may be given.
HOW IS EAR PAIN TREATED?
Treatments depend on the diagnosis of the problem. In most cases, ear pain happens because of infection which is treated via antibiotic ear drops. In some cases, antibiotics may be given to combat or hasten the action of the drugs.
DID YOU KNOW?
An infected tooth and eczema are other conditions that can cause ear pain.
Ear pain or ear ache is either primary or referred. The reasons for primary ear pain lie inside the ear, in the external, middle of inner sections of the ear. Referred ear pain develops because of an infection or inflammation in another body part which has neural connections with the ear.
The most common ear pain causes include the following:
• Otitis externa: Also called “swimmer’s ear”, otitis externa is an ear infection affecting the tube connecting the ear opening to the ear drum. Continuous exposure to moisture or a rupture of the thin layer of skin that lines the outer ear because of excessive headphone or cotton swab use are responsible for this. Swimmer’s ear is one of the main causes for ear pain in kids.
• Otitis media: It is a kind of ear infection affecting the middle ear as a result of viral or bacterial infection, mostly in winter and spring seasons. One of the major causes of ear pain in kids, it may be accompanied by fever and temporary loss of hearing.
• Foreign bodies: Pain in ear also results from the deliberate or accidental lodging of foreign objects like pencils, erasers, crayon, toys or even food in the ear, nose, eyes or throat. The blockage often leads to pain, choking and breathing problems and may often develop ear infections if not immediately removed.
• Mastoiditis: A serious condition that develops from an untreated middle-ear infection which causes the mastoid bone to disintegrate, mastoiditis symptoms resemble those of ear infection. It includes pain in ear, fever, headache, hearing loss and inflammation of the ear.
• Chronic Ear Infection: Occurring in the middle ear and the area behind the eardrum, chronic ear infection is a recurrent ear infection that does not heal. Ear infection symptoms are a feeling of pressure in the ear, mild ear pain, drainage of fluid from the ear, fever and hearing trouble. If left untreated, chronic ear infection can cause the eardrum to rupture.
• Eardrum rupture: It is a small tear or hole in the eardrum or the tympanic membrane that divides the middle ear from the outer ear because of ear infection, injury and/or pressure changes. It leads to pain, temporary or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus and/or dizziness.
• Earwax blockage: It occurs when there is excessive accumulation of earwax in the ear canal. Causing fullness, ache, ringing or buzzing sounds in one ear, earwax can be cleaned at home though medical help may sometimes be required.
Tonsillitis inflammation and sinusitis also cause in ear pain in children and adults.
The first step in the treatment of ear diseases is proper diagnosis. Doctors achieve it through physical examination, diagnostic tests like X RAY, MRI, CT Scan and sample testing. Often antibiotics and OTC painkillers are prescribed. In case the ear disease is severe, surgery may also be prescribed.
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