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About the Cause of Ear Pain

van-Gogh-earache

Are you interested in all the possible causes of earache? Have a look at my summary about the cause of ear pain.



MIDDLE EAR

  1. Middle ear (cavity between the eardrum and the inner ear) inflammation is generally caused by an infection of bacteria or viruses. These spread via the Eustachian tubes to infect the middle ear. (The Eustachian tube links the back of the throat to the middle ear) It mainly affects young children and is accompanied by fever and intense pain. Often it accompanies cold, sore throat and cough.
  2. Less common cause for middle ear inflammation are allergies (hay fever or nutritional allergies).
    ear anatomy

EXTERNAL (OUTER) EAR

  1. Inflammation of outer ear canal is often a result of an infection by bacteria, viruses or fungus. It is quite common among swimmers as moisture in the ear can encourage infection (swimmer's ear). The lining of the ear canal is very thin and easily damaged and infected by scratching or cleaning (by cotton bud) overenthusiastically. Rarely a herpes simplex infection (cold sores) or shingles (herpes zoster) can cause blisters with persisting pain.
  2. Dermatological problems like boil or neurodermitis (eczema) of the outer ear may cause pain, itching and discharging. 
  3. Blockage of ear wax can cause a feeling of blockage, itchiness, mild inflammation and pain, sometimes hearing loss.
  4. Injury

REFERRED PAIN (Radiation)

(A mostly intermittent earache may hail from a disorder in a nearby structure)
  1. Dental problems: teething, tooth decay, caries etc.
  2. Tonsillitis
  3. Temporomandibular joint disorder
  4. Tumors (e.g. throat cancer)
  5. Neck muscle ache
  6. Trigeminal neuralgia
To set up the correct diagnosis is the task of a medical specialist.




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