While in school I was taught that ears help to maintain the balance of our body. Is that so? What we know from our experience is that without ears we will be deaf and unable to hear out people. Ears that are counted as one of our five sense organs are a very important part of our body. Therefore, suffering from any type of earache can be terrible. It can disrupt your whole life leaving you with an intolerable sensation and pain in your ear that will ultimately leave you with no other reason other than to visit an E.N.T. specialist.
Here we are going to tell you 7 possible reasons for your ear pain and whether you should try ear drops for pain or not.
Common Causes of an Earache
Here are 7 possible reasons for your ear pain:
1. Ear Wax: Over a period of time, there is a build-up of wax in our ears. When this earwax gets accumulated to extreme levels it may cause earaches. Children who try to remove this earwax end up making the condition worse and suffer from ear pains. Instead of getting ear drops for pain, for this reason, try getting ear drops that will soften the earwax and remove it naturally through ear irrigation. Sometimes, your physician may suggest removing it in clinical ways too.
2. Tonsillitis or Throat Infections: Second possible reason for your ear pain could be throat infections like tonsillitis and quinsy. These painful conditions, where you find it difficult to swallow food due to a sore throat and throat infection, may lead to pain in the ear. It is better to consult your doctor to get the treatment for these throat infections to get rid of the ear pain too.
3. Otitis Media or Middle Ear Infection: Otitis refers to inflammation, while media means middle, this refers to a common infection in the middle ear. As the name suggests, it happens due to inflammation caused mainly in the throat due to the common cold and flu. Since, we know that ears, nose, and throat or E.N.T. are closely linked organs of our body, it takes hardly any time for the infection from the nose and throat to reach the middle ear and inflate it.
4. Acute Otitis: When there is excessive fluid or mucus accumulation in the middle ear, you may experience a heavy eardrum. This happens due to perforation of the eardrum along with the drainage of the pus or purulent material in the middle ear. This condition may also result in fever.
5. Chronic Otitis: When there is a persistent inflammation in the middle ear it leads to chronic otitis. This condition may last for about 3 months and is caused when the fluid remains behind the eardrum. You may suffer pain behind the ear in this condition along with pressure in the ear for several months. At worst, it may lead to loss of hearing too.
6. Dental Abscess: All the organs and parts in our face are co-related, so if there is a problem in one part, it may lead to pain in another part. Such is the case with an earache too. The dental abscess from an affected tooth may lead to pain and discomfort in your ear and may also sometimes lead to pain behind the ear.
7. Swimmer’s Ear or Outer Ear Infection: Those water babies, who spend most of their time swimming in the water are at a greater risk to suffer from an ear infection called swimmer’s ear, also known as an outer ear infection. The reason for this ache is simple and that is when water accumulates in their ear canal due to swimming or bathing in an inappropriate manner.
Also Read: 11 Home Remedies to Treat an Earache
When to Consult a Doctor?
Now, that you are aware of all the 7 possible reasons for your ear pain, it is quite obvious for you to be curious to know when should you consult a doctor? If you are experiencing minor earache symptoms, then the ear infection may go away on its own within a few days.
However, if the ache is acute and the condition is not improving, then see your doctor immediately. Moreover, if you notice any kind of discharge from your ear, you must consult your doctor.
What are the Treatments Available for Ear Pain?
Ear pain is not a rare health issue, so naturally, there are some treatments available to deal with it. To choose the right treatment, you need to first identify the symptoms of your earache and its main causes.
Some of the treatments available for earache are:
- Antibiotics: Depending on the severity of your ear pain, your doctor may prescribe you some antibiotics to overcome the bacterial infection in your ear.
- Over-The-Counter Medicines: There are several OTC medicines available to get relief from ear aches like Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Sudafed, and Benadryl. In other words, you can try decongestants, acetaminophen, and antihistamines to get relief from earache.
- Ear Drops: For very mild ear infections, you may try ear drops that can be bought even without a prescription. However, make sure not to use ear drops if you are facing the issue of discharge from your ear.
- Warm Compress: Besides, to get instant relief from ear pain, you can try a warm compress for 15-20 minutes on your affected ear.
The Bottom Line
Once you identify your cause from the above-mentioned 7 possible reasons for your ear pain, you must not neglect it anymore. There are several ear drops for pain available at pharmaceutical stores. Make sure to consult a doctor before purchasing any of those ear drops and get your earache cured.