An earache can be a sharp, dull, or burning pain in one or both ears. The pain may be temporary or constant.
Otitis media Swimmer's ear Malignant otitis externa
Otalgia; Pain - ear; Ear pain
The symptoms of an ear infection may include:
- Ear pain
- Increased crying
Many children will have temporary and minor hearing loss during, and right after, an ear infection. Permanent hearing loss is rare, but the risk increases with the number of infections.
The eustachian tube runs from the middle part of each ear to the back of the throat. This tube drains fluid that is normally made in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up. This may lead to pressure behind the eardrum or an
Ear pain in adults is less likely to be from an ear infection. What you think is ear pain may actually be coming from another location, such as your temporomandibular joint, your teeth, throat, or other location. This is called "referred" pain.
Causes of ear pain may include:
Arthritisof the jaw Acute ear infection Chronic ear infection
Ear injury from pressure changes(from high altitudes and other causes)
Object stuck in the earor severely impacted ear wax Ruptured or perforated eardrum Sinus infection
- Sore throat with referred pain to the ears
Temporomandibular joint syndrome(TMJ) Tooth infection
Ear pain in a child or infant may be due to infection, or the following causes:
- Ear canal irritation from cotton-tipped swabs
- Soap or shampoo staying in the ear
Review Date: 05/01/2011
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.