Ear pain can be complex to diagnose and be caused by damage or inflammation in other parts of the body. It could be the result of swimming, ear infection, allergies, sinus infections, wax build up, foreign objects, or a plethora of other causes.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of five common causes to help shed some light on your ear pain.

ear pain

1. Otitis Media (Ear Infection)

This diagnosis is mostly found in young children. Ear infections are caused by a buildup of fluid in the ear. The fluids can then become infected by bacteria or even a virus.

This type of ear pain can be cured with antibiotics prescribed by your primary care provider. After finishing the prescription, there should be no more infection or pain.

2. Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear)

This is the most common cause of ear pain found in adults and children. This is caused by dirty water becoming trapped in the external part of the ear and ear canal. That water can then cause an infection from bacteria, causing pain and discomfort.

There are some ear drops available over the counter to treat swimmer’s ear. However, a doctor’s visit is still advisable to ensure there are no complications.

3. Ear Wax Build Up

Our bodies produce ear wax in order to protect us from bacteria and other foreign particles. However, if you have a build up of ear wax, it can put pressure against your ear drum and canal. This can cause pain and inflammation.

Don’t be tempted to clean it with a cotton swab, though. This can make the wax impact together and make the pain worse or even cause damage.

Ear wax can be safely removed by placing a few warm drops of baby oil or sweet oil in your ear. This will loosen the wax enough for a steady stream of warm water to remove it.

4. TMJ Pain

The temporomandibular joint sits between your skull and jaw. It’s what lets you move your jaw in any direction. Believe it or not, this joint can contribute to ear pain.

Many patients have noted they hear a slight popping noise when chewing or even tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Click here to learn more about this kind of ear pain.

5. Sinus Infection

A sinus infection is highly inconvenient and can cause all sorts of problems, including ear discomfort. The build up in your sinus creates pressure against the inner ear. Besides pain, this can also cause clogging in the ear, and even hearing loss in some cases.

More On Ear Pain

Ear pain can come in many forms and from many causes. If you are experiencing ear pain for an extended amount of time, you should pay a visit to your doctor. Never put anything in your ears unless instructed by a licensed physician, especially if hearing aid accessories are needed.

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