Causes of Mystery Ear Pain and Proper Management

Posted by:gulf onJanuary 23, 2018

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Image source: verywell

Ear pain, otherwise known as earache or otalgia, may be caused by a wide number of factors, such as allergies, inflammation, and ear infection, described as the most common cause of ear pain. Signs and symptoms of otalgia vary, which may include ear fullness, stiff jaw, difficulty to open the mouth, dizziness, difficulty in hearing, and imbalance.

However, individuals suffering from ear pain may also be related to non-ear issues. These include TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which may be attributed to dental disorders and the grinding or clenching of teeth, arthritis in the joint, stress, tonsillitis, Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD), manifested by a feeling of fullness in the ears, throat problems, and cervical spine disease.

The good news is otalgia may be successfully treated provided that the exact cause is correctly identified. Some of the medications doctors recommend for referred otalgia may be any one of the following:

  • Antibiotics for tonsillitis, pharyngitis, or sinusitis
  • Antivirals for viral cases such as those associated with herpes zoster or shingles (characterized by painful skin rashes with blisters)
  • Antifungals if the pain is caused by a fungus, such as oral thrush and candidiasis (develops on the mucous membranes of the mouth)
  • For esophagitis (happens when the lining of your esophagus is inflamed) or other related disease, antiulcer or antacid medications
  • NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for cases of suspected myalgias (muscle pain) and neuralgias (nerve pain)

If you are suffering from mystery ear pain, see an ENT specialist so a thorough exam of both ears can be made. Depending on the gravity of the situation, there might be a need to conduct an MRI of your neck and sinuses to find out the root cause of the problem. A dentist should also be able to make a proper diagnosis if your doctor suspects that the pain is caused by TMJ or deep gum infection.

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