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What is Earache?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 19, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

What is Earache

Earache is recognised as a sharp or dull pain or burning sensation experienced in either in one ear or both ears. Earaches are more common in children than in adults. Earaches can be caused for a variety of different reasons and hence the kind of pain and symptoms experienced will differ based on the cause.

Causes

The Eustachian tube present in the middle of the ear connecting up to the back of the throat is responsible for draining of fluids that are produced in the middle ear. When this Eustachian tube is blocked and cannot drain the fluid, it results in a fluid build-up causing the ear to hurt. The fluid build-up causes a pressure rise behind the eardrum which is responsible for the pain that is experienced. Earaches affect people in different ways, this is because sometimes the ear itself is affected and at other times the areas surrounding and connected to the ear are affected. Some of the causes of earaches are:

  • Glue Ear – When the fluid build-up in the ear causes the pain. This condition is mostly seen in children.
  • Otitis Externa – When the ear canal is infected outside of the eardrum causing an infection
  • When a hair follicle is damaged inside of the ear giving rise to a boil or infection
  • Seborrhoeic Dermatitis – when there is Eczema or a skin irritation in the ear canal
  • Injury caused in the ear canal due to poking of foreign objects in the ear, causing an infection
  • Blockages – When foreign objects get stuck in the ear causing a blockage resulting in earache
  • Tonsillitis – When throat infections and colds resulting in earaches
  • Temperomandibular Joint Pain – When the join in the jaw is affected it causes the ear to ache as a referred pain.
  • Tooth Ache – Another referred pain which causes the ear to ache when there is an infection related to the teeth.
  • Facial Nerve Pain – In this condition the area close to the ear is affected hence causing the ear to ache.
  • Barotrauma – Earache is caused by the sudden drastic changes in the atmospheric pressure. This is usually experienced while flying in an aeroplane or driving around steep and hilly areas.

 

 

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