Common causes for earache
Earache can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences a person can have. They are especially common among young children, although they can arise as a result of a number of issues. Earache can have great variation in terms of severity and lasting consequences. So it is important to be able to recognise causes and their implications when you feel symptoms.
In children, middle ear infections are very common. In a healthy individual, the Eustachian tube clears away unwanted substances from the middle ear. This mechanism allows the ear to transfer these substances to the throat, which can deal with them more effectively. Sometimes, however, the tube becomes clogged and is unable to drain. When this occurs, bacteria may build up in the ear, leading to infection.
Sometimes, swimming (or exposure to water in general) can increase the risk for developing an earache. Swimming can cause water to be trapped in the outer part of the ear, bringing bacteria with it. This bacteria can develop into swimmer’s ear, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain in the ear and head, liquid draining from the ear and itchiness. Infection can spread if the condition is untreated, although it almost always responds well to treatment.
Other Common Causes of Earache
Another very common cause of earache is fluid entering the middle ear. While swimmer’s ear involves the entrance of bacteria with water into the outer ear, fluid accumulating in the middle ear leads to an earache when the Eustachian tubes are unable to clear the fluid. Liquid can build up and clog the tubes, allowing bacteria to grow. This can develop as a result of a number of conditions, including nasal congestion and a swollen adenoid pad. To treat this, doctors generally recommend a procedure where tubes are inserted into the ear drum to allow for better ventilation.
Some earache may indicate more severe problems. Barotrauma, for example, occurs due to a significant change in pressure. This may occur during flying or scuba diving. The change in pressure can cause a rupture in the eardrum, leading to ear pain in addition to hearing loss in extreme cases. Perforated eardrums can also occur as a result of foreign objects entering the ears, or with infection. When infection can’t drain, the additional pressure against the eardrum may cause it to tear. For smaller ruptures, keeping the ear clean and dry is typically sufficient for treatment, although more severe problems require specialist treatment.
If you have questions or concerns about earache contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see an Ear Nose Throat Specialist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your condition.