Ear pain is present in both adults and children. It is one of the most common reasons why parents bring their children to a doctor. Otalgia can be manifested in one ear or both, be of different character (sharp, blunt, burning pain) and of varying intensity (from mild to intolerable severe pain).

Reasons for otalgia

Otalgia is usually caused by an injury, infection or irritation in the ear, but in some cases it can be radial pain. Radial pain is the result of an injury or infection of structures near the ear, such as teeth or jaw, which extends to the ear and simulates otalgia.

The most common causes of otalgia:
  • Acute or chronic otitis (inflammation of the ear);
  • Injuries to the ear due to pressure changes;
  • Presence of cerumen (ear wax);
  • A foreign body in the ear;
  • Inflammation of the throat;
  • Sinusitis;
  • Shampoo or water in the ear.

Rare causes of otalgia:

  • Perforation of the ear bud;
  • Arthritis that affects the temporomandibular joint;
  • Tooth infection;
  • Tooth injury;
  • Trigeminal neuralgia;

What to do at home?

  • Laying a cold compress on the ear shell for a period of 15-20 minutes;
  • Protecting the ear from getting water in;
  • Using ear drops (this procedure does not apply if there is a rupture of the ear drum);
  • Taking painkillers;
  • Chewing gum decreases the pressure, and hence the pain caused by infection of the ear;
  • A vertical position of the body can reduce the pressure in the middle ear.
When should you visit the doctor?
  • Body temperature is above 38 ° C;
  • There are symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, swelling around the ear, weak facial muscles;
  • An abrupt stop of a previously strong otalgia occurs, which usually alludes to perforation of the ear bud;
  • Blood or pus from the ear;
  • Symptoms like pain, fever or irritability do not improve within 24-48 hours.