Causes and Symptoms

Earache or Otalgia can be caused by a large range of conditions. Perhaps more common in children due to recurrent infections, this symptoms can be extremely debilitating and considered one of the worst types of pain to endure. Features of earache to discuss with your Doctor include, the rate of onset, severity, whether intermittent or constant, nature or type of pain such as a throbbing pain, preciptating and relieving factors, associated hearing loss, presence of vertigo, tinnitus, or discharge.

A detailed history oftens leads to a diagnosis but occasionally other diagnostic tests are required especially if referred earache is suspected.

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    Other causes for earache include sinus infection, dental cause, scalp condition, referred pain from the jaw joint, and neck spine arthritis.

    Physiotherapy is the initial therapy with anti-inflammatories for pain control.

    Dental Causes

    Any cause of dental disease such as abscess in the root of the tooth can cause referred earache particularly when affecting the upper molars. Treatment usually requires a visit to a Dentist.

    Arthritis Involving the Cervical Spine

    The nerves which supply the ear originate from the neck area and any arthritic condition in the neck can give rise to compression of the nerves thereby mimicking ear pain. This usually occurs in the slightly older population with a history of neck ache and arthritis.

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