Earache (Pain in The Ear)


Pain in the ear is one of the most disturbing of human experiences .Mostly it is due to problem in the ear itself and diagnosis is simple after accurate history and thorough examination of ear, nose and throat.

Sometimes earache may be referred from pathology of remote areas (known as referred earache). Nerves supplying sensation to ear also supplies to other areas and because of some unexplainable reasons brain gets confused and perceives as earache when in fact problem may be in another part of the body. To find out the cause then is a challenge to E.N.T. specialist.

In children sometimes it may be just a reason to escape from school.

Causes of Earache


  • Trauma

  • Infection

  • Swelling

  • Frost-bite

  • Sunburn


  • Otitis externa

  • Impacted Wax

  • Furuncle (boil)

  • Herpes Zoster

  • Tumor

Middle ear

  • Acute otitis media

  • Eustachian tube

  • Blockage

  • Glue Ear

  • Aero-otitis Media

Causes in the Outside Ear

Via IX nerve(Glossopharyngeal)

  • Lesions of base of tongue-ulcer/tuberculosis/ malignancy

  • Lesions of oropharynx-Pharyngitis/tonsillitis. Abscess of spaces around tonsil area Ulcer.After tonsillectomy surgery

  • Elongated styloid process stretching IX nerve

Via 5th nerve (Trigeminal nerve)

  • Lesion from teeth and jaw- carious tooth, impacted wisdom tooth

  • Temporo-Mandibular joint disorder

  • Oral cavity and tongue-ulcers

  • Nose and sinuses

  • Nasopharynx- ulcer/infection/after adenoids surgery

  • Lesions in the salivary glands-mumps/ parotitis

Via X nerve (Vagus nerve)

  • Lesions in the laryngopharynx -t.b/malignancy

  • Lesions in the larynx-laryngitis

  • Lesions in the oesophagus-F.B./tumor

Via Cervical 2nd and 3rd nerve

  • Cervical disc lesions

  • Cervical spine arthritis

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