Earache or pain in the ear is very common, particularly in children. However, it is also very common in adults. While you can manage certain earaches at home, others can be very severe, hence requiring you to visit an ENT clinic so that the ENT specialist can diagnose the cause of your earache and offer treatment.
Earache can be caused by a number of factors. For instance, it can be a problem originating from the inside of your ear or a problem outside the ear. Your ear is a very important part of your body as it is involved in your hearing and balance.
In this piece, we are going to explore some of the major causes of earache and when is the right time to see an ENT. Let’s get started!
Causes of ear pain
As mentioned above, there are several of causes of earache. They are classified into primary and secondary causes. Primary causes are problems that originate within the ear, while secondary causes are problems that originate from outside the year.
- Primary causes
Primary causes include:
- Otitis Media
This is a very common cause of ear pain in children. It can occur in adults too, but very uncommon. Otitis Media occurs after the common flu. Patients with Otitis media report a painful ear accompanied by high temperatures. They may also report a few days of cough and nasal congestion. While Otitis media can get better on its own, it is still a good idea to visit an ENT specialist and get it treated.
- Otitis externa
This is an infection of the outer part of the ear. It is very common in regular swimmers and people with skin conditions, such as eczema around the ear. Some of the symptoms of this condition include discharge coming from the ear, itchy ear, and even difficulty hearing.
The ears often produce a waxy substance to help protect the ear canals. The wax usually gets out of the ear on its own. However, sometimes too much wax can accumulate, causing the ear canal to block. When this happens, you may feel deaf on one or both of your ears. An ENT has special tools that enable him or her to remove the wax causing the blockage.
- Secondary factors
It refers to the infection of the sinuses. It can also cause ear pain. Sinuses are empty spaces found behind the nose, within the forehead, and between the eyes.
- Dental problems
Dental problems such as toothache, a decayed tooth, and a cracked tooth can also cause earache.
When to see an ENT
You need to see an ENT when the ear pain lasts for more than two days and is accompanied by high fevers. You should also see an ENT immediately you notice that your ear is producing discharge or you cannot hear the way you usually do.