Impairment in hearing can be devastating and one must visit an ENT specialist when the first symptoms appear. We may often find ourselves not following up with a doctor for an ear pain with the hopes it may go away. However, if ear pain is ignored and left unattended you are doing your body a disservice – potentially leading to hearing impairment that could have been avoided through a timely visit to an ENT specialist. Impairment in hearing can be sudden, but many times it is a gradual process where one may have ignored the initial symptoms like tinnitus (noise in the ear), ear ache and vertigo (spinning dizziness).
Impaired hearing can certainly reduce your self-confidence levels, induce depression and make you withdraw yourself from your social circle. This will impact your quality of life negatively, reducing your self-esteem and happiness. The faster your ear trouble is detected, the less damage it can cause through treatment.
What are the symptoms during an ear pain?
The diagnosis for ear-pain can be broad. An ear ache may occur due to a direct cause or a secondary cause. Primary ear pain is when there is pain arising from inside the ear, mainly due to an ear infection or an inflammatory condition. On the other hand, secondary causes of ear pain, include dental infection in the upper rear teeth or a dysfunction at the jaw joint.
The signs and symptoms which are linked to an ear pain includes a redness or inflammation in the outer ear, jaw pain, sore throat, ringing in the ears, sore throat and fever. An ENT specialist can help you in identifying the driver behind your ear pain.
Who can have an ear pain?
Ear pain can occur in both infants and adults. However, it is more prevalent in children below 2 years and parents might need to identify it as early as possible. It is also observed that at least 1 in 4 children will have an acute ear infection before they are10 years old mainly due to an infection in the middle ear. The occurrence of a primary ear pain due to an infection is more common in children than adults.
What are some of the common causes of ear pain?
- Ear Wax: The waxy yellow substance produced by the ear canal can be problematic if there is an excessive build-up. Although ear wax has a protective function in protecting the ear against microbes and water, its excessive build up can block the ear canal- causing discomfort and a loss in hearing if left untreated.
- Ear Pressure: The pressure is balanced generally on either side of the ear drum, but when travelling at high altitudes in a short span of time, like in a plane, this balance can be disturbed leading to an aching ear.
- Swimmer’s Ear: Swimming can cause water to get trapped in the ear canal. This could lead to an outer ear infection causing a swollen ear and ear pain. An ENT specialist can prescribe the right antibiotic ear drops to clear up the infection.
- Middle Ear Infection: Fluid build-up in the middle ear can cause a middle ear infection which is possible to be infected with bacteria causing ear pain. This condition which is medically called otitis media should be reviewed by an ENT specialist to prevent the spread of infection and possible hearing loss.
Neglecting ear pain can result in chronic conditions leading to a loss in hearing. An experienced ENT specialist conducting a thorough examination with additional diagnostic tests can reveal the actual cause behind your ear pain helping to find you a lasting relief. Our advice is to visit a trusted local ENT clinic promptly.