Haven’t you all experienced Ear pain at some point in your life?
Ear pain is a very common condition that most people suffer often. This is more likely to affect young kids as their ear canal is straight. Ear pain or ache is a dull, sharp, or burning pain that may be constant or fluctuating. It may affect one or both ears, usually more in one ear.
The pain can feel unbearable, and hampers the sleep, toughen food intake, or disturb the normal activities.
Ear infections are the most common reason for ear pain. Due to the infection, inflammation happens and buildup of pressure results in intense pain.
People with ear infections often have other symptoms, such as sinusitis or a sore throat. An ear infection can also be an independent condition. Most ear infections are bacterial, not viral.
Accumulation of ear wax is also a contributing factor that leads to ear pain.
However, earaches are not always caused by an ear infection. Some other conditions also cause pain in the ear. Those includes:
• Referred pain: Any infections or inflammation elsewhere in the body. For example, a toothache might lead to aching pain in the ear.
• Chronic conditions: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, Eustachian tube blockage, Otitis media (a middle ear infection), External otitis (Swimmer’s ear)
• Skin infections: Any infections in or around the ear.
• Allergic reactions: Allergic reaction due to soap, shampoo or an earing
• Water: Pain will be present if water is trapped in the ear.
• Pressure difference: Change in altitude can affect pressure in the ears. This usually resolves on its own, often associated with nausea or vomiting.
When to See a Doctor?
• It is very important to approach a doctor when the pain persists for more than a day.
• When Symptoms are present in a child less than 6 months of age, consultation with the doctor should be done immediately.
• Ear pain is severe.
• A child or infant is sleepless or irritable after a cold or other upper respiratory infection.
• Any discharge of fluid, pus or blood from the ear.
• An adult with ear pain or discharge should see a doctor as soon as possible.
The onset of signs and symptoms of ear infection is usually quick.
Symptoms in Children
Ear pain, especially when lying down
Tugging or pulling at an ear
Crying more than usual
Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
Loss of balance
Fever of 100℉ or more
Drainage of fluid from the ear
Loss of appetite
Symptoms in Adults
• Ear pain
• Drainage of fluid from the ear
• Diminished hearing
• Loss of balance