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Ear Aches - Know Reasons Behind It!

Reviewed by
Dr. Anil Safaya 87% (41 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Otorhinolaryngology
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  36 years experience
Ear Aches - Know Reasons Behind It!

Earaches are a very painful condition which tends to affect mostly children. However, adults can be affected by earaches as well which can disrupt their routines and be quite painful. Let's have a look at some of the aspects of earaches in adults.

Causes of Ear aches in adults

There are many causes for ear aches in adults and it may vary from one person to another. However, some general causes of earaches in adults are listed below:

a. Infections within the body - If you have a throat infection or cold, it could trigger an earache as a side effect. Treating the underlying problems will thus reduce the earache or it will go on its own when the symptoms of the cold subside. 
b. Ear canal injury - Adults are most often guilty of putting in sharp objects to clean their ear canal which may result in an injury and also lead to infections. These injuries can also be infected and cause fluid discharge and earaches.
c. Blockages caused by the regular use of earbuds - Using earbuds or other sharp objects to clean the ear will only result in pushing the ear wax further into the ear. This will result in blockages of the ear canal and cause earaches.
d. Dental problems - Certain dental problems such as wisdom tooth growth can result in problems. Even gum disorders have been known to create earaches in adults.
e. Jaw pain and facial pain - Jaw pain and even facial nerve pain have been known to affect ears and cause aches as well.

Symptoms that may accompany earaches

Depending on what the causes of the ear aches are, the symptoms may vary. Still, let's have a look at some of the known common symptoms of earaches in adults:

a.  Irritability and lack of focus - Ear aches may initially manifest as a headache and make the person irritable 
b. Poor sleep - Fluids may build up within the body and thus cause issues while sleeping as the fluids may shift from one area to another.
c. Ear drainage - If in case fluids build up, they may drain from your ear which could vary anywhere within yellow to a dark brown colour. This may even indicate that your eardrum is ruptured.
d. Hearing problems - Fluid buildup or other underlying causes may also cause hearing difficulties.
e. Fever - Sometimes, fever may run as high as 104C due to the very infections which may be causing the earaches.

Whatever may be the cause, if you have ear aches for sustained periods without underlying reasons, you should visit your doctor immediately to get it checked out, so that appropriate treatment can start quickly.

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