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Ear Pain (Otalgia)

What is Ear Pain (Otalgia)?

Ear pain can be straightforward to deal with, or a sign of a serious problem. Find out more here.

What is the cause of Ear Pain?

Pain in the ear can be caused by problems in the ear, jaw joint, neck, and even the throat. Common causes include:

  • The most common causes of ear pain coming from the ear include ear infections (acute otitis media), ‘swimmer’s ear’ (otitis externa), abnormal pressure in the ear, and rarely tumours growing in the ear.
  • The jaw joint – called the TemperoMandibular Joint (TMJ) is one of the most common causes of ear pain. The bony part of the joint is just in front of the ear, and the cartilage and connective tissues that also form the joint go all around the outside of the ear. When the joint isn’t working properly (which can be associated with things like teeth grinding at night), it can cause persistent pain around the ear.
  • Problems in the neck, or problems with the way the nerves around the ear work, can also cause persistent ear pain.
  • Infections in the throat like tonsillitis are a common cause of ear pain, but very severe persistent pain is sometimes a sign of throat cancer. This can be easily checked.

What treatment is available?

  • Examination of the ear to look for infections and growths
  • Examination of the jaw joint to find signs of a problem
  • Examination of the throat, including flexible nasal endoscopy (using a camera to look all around the throat carefully)
  • Tests of the hearing and pressure in the ear
  • Sometimes, we recommend scans of the area

Get in touch

To speak with a specialist about Ear Pain or Itching, contact our team today.
We are available from Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm.

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