What causes ear pain (otalgia)? – kiss. dr. ayfer ulcay

Ear pain is a complaint that can be caused by diseases of the ear itself, as well as by diseases of other organs. The pain that occurs in the auricle, external ear canal, eardrum, middle ear and inner ear diseases is called primary ear pain. The pain that occurs in diseases of other organs is called secondary or reflected ear pain.

How is the diagnosis of the disease causing ear pain made?
When the patient comes to the examination, first of all, a detailed inquiry should be made. It should be learned when the pain started, whether it is a throbbing or burning pain, whether it is continuous or intermittent, whether there are factors that increase or decrease the pain, and other accompanying symptoms should be investigated thoroughly.

In the examination, first of all, the auricle and the skin around it are examined. Subsequently, the external ear canal and eardrum are examined by otoscopic examination. Today, endoscopic ear examination is frequently performed instead of otoscopic examination. Primary causes of ear pain are usually detected at this stage. A full Head and Neck examination is then performed. Intra-nasal, nasal region, mouth, teeth and gums, throat, larynx and jaw joint are examined and diseases causing pain are investigated.

Diseases that cause primary ear pain include;
auricle

  • Trauma
  • Blood collection (hematoma)
  • Inflammation of the cartilage (perichondritis)
  • Burn and freeze
  • tumors

external ear canal

  • inflammation
  • foreign body
  • ear wax
  • shingles
  • Trauma
  • tumors

eardrum and middle ear

  • eardrum ruptures
  • middle ear infection
  • Fluid collection in the middle ear
  • Inflammation of the air spaces behind the ear (mastoiditis)
  • Eustachian tube obstruction

Diseases that cause secondary –reflected ear pain are as follows:

  • Jaw joint diseases
  • Mouth and throat infections
  • Dental diseases
  • Tonsil infection and abscess
  • Pharyngitis
  • mouth sores
  • Tonsil and adenoid surgery
  • tumors
  • throat cancer
  • Foreign body in the esophagus
  • Esophageal tumors
  • stomach hernia
  • Lung infections and tumors

As you can see, there are many reasons for ear pain, including cancer. For this reason, patients with ear pain should definitely apply to an otolaryngologist and have a full head and neck examination.

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