Earaches can be very painful. They can feel like a sharp or burning pain to a dull pain that comes and goes. Temporary hearing loss can be a detrimental side effect from an earache if the symptoms are ignored for too long.
Earaches are more common in children, but they can affect adults, too. They will generally only affect one ear at a time, but they can also occur in both ears at once. Sometimes other problems, like toothaches or jaw pain, can make it seem like you are suffering from an earache as well.
Although an earache can be caused by a variety of problems, there are several that are more common than others.
1. Ear infection
Most people automatically assume that if you have pain in the ear, then you probably have an ear infection. Although ear infections are common culprits, this is definitely not the only reason you might have an earache.
Ear infections generally occur inside the ear. An ear infection will usually be accompanied by fever, nasal congestion, and generally feeling unwell. Sinus infections can also result in earaches.
2. Fluid buildup in the eardrum
This type of problem is generally more common in children because children’s ears do not drain as well as adults’ ears. However, it can still occasionally be a problem for adults too. Soap or water can become trapped in the ear, causing ear pain and sometimes difficulty hearing.
You may feel or hear popping, ringing, or pressure in the ear if fluid buildup is the cause of your earache. This buildup could ultimately cause an infection, so it a good idea to address the problem as soon as possible. It is best to call a doctor or specialist for more help if you think you may potentially have a fluid buildup issue with your ears.
3. Blockages in the ear
If something enters your ear, it can be very painful if it becomes stuck. These blockages can also be the result of earwax buildup. You may also feel itching, pressure, and temporary hearing loss if something is blocking your ear. An experienced ear, nose, and throat doctor can remove blockages in the ear with a relatively simple procedure.
4. Damage to the ear or eardrum
Your ear and eardrum are somewhat sensitive. If you poke your eardrum with a cotton swab or other object too hard, it can be very painful. This is generally known as a ruptured eardrum. It can lead to hearing loss and infection if it is not addressed immediately. Surgery may be required to repair the damaged eardrum in more serious cases.
Schedule an appointment with an ENT Specialist
If you notice ringing in your ears, have relatives with hearing loss, have been exposed to loud noises on a frequent basis, etc. Schedule an appointment with Joshua P. Light MD today by calling 561-737-8584 now.