Even though earaches are more common among children, it can also afflict adults, resulting in sleepless nights.
The burning pain can stem from issues like wax build-up inside the ear canal, infection, as an accompanying symptom of tooth abscesses, etc. Doctors claim the answer to whether the pain poses a serious threat to overall health or is indicative of other health hazards is revealed by its intensity.
In the event of ear pain, many think just clearing the gunk would help, but that’s not always the case. The longstanding and stabbing pain can signal far more serious issues that warrant a clinic visit.
Getting a complete understanding of the pain’s origin and fallouts is important. So, here is a list of reasons that may be behind the discomfort in your ears.
A twinge in the ear that develops into unbearable pain can hint at something serious. Ear pains often result from high-grade inflammation that is caused by some kind of bacterial infection.
“An ear infection causes severe inflammation, swelling and drainage of the ear, which can cause severe pain,” Dr. Omid Mehdzizadeh, MD, otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Livestrong. “Anecdotally, I have had a couple of female patients tell me their middle ear infection is as painful as unmedicated childbirth.”
Ear infections commonly occur due to viruses and bacteria collecting inside, bringing the onset of colds and allergies. The bacterial infection could lead to itchiness and discomfort in the ears, according to the Mayo Clinic.
2. Sinus infection
Sinus infection happens when the tissue lining them becomes blocked and filled with fluid. The condition, otherwise known as sinusitis, can cause pain and swelling around the nose, nasal congestion or runny nose, bad breath, or tiredness, according to Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Mehdzizadeh told Livestrong that the pain can often travel to the ears.
3. Soreness in the jaw
Temporomandibular disorder or TMD, which strikes the jaw muscles, can in turn cause ear pain and headache. At its onset, pain occurs around the eyes or face before it makes its way to the ears. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the problem can occur due to clenching and grinding of the teeth without realizing it.
4. Nerve issues
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder that involves electric shock-like pain in the facial muscles. It primarily affects the trigeminal nerve, or the fifth cranial nerve, due to a nerve injury, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. When the issue occurs, one is likely to feel a shocking zap of pain in the ears.
5. A foreign object
If a foreign object enters the ear cavity without one’s knowledge and sits there for quite a while, it’s sure to let its presence known by causing pain. Some other symptoms like bleeding and drainage of the puss can also crop up. One should ideally seek medical help in such a situation without poking or prodding or using tweezers.