Sharp pain in the ear, or both ears, is one of the worst types of pain a human being can experience. Highly discomforting and extremely painful, this phenomenon can be a sign of serious health issues. Medically referred to as otalgia, the pain may be blunt, sharp or even burning. Moreover, the pain can be constant or temporary. Primary otalgia is the pain originating from the inside of the ear while pain stemming from the earlobe is called referred otalgia.
Reasons behind Ear Pain
This kind of pain does not necessarily have to be caused by an underlying disease. Namely, fluids inside the ear may over-accumulate, leading to blockage of the Eustachian tube, leading to stuffiness, pain and potential ear infections. Also, soap from bathing and washing may end up in your ears, or your ear canal may get irritated. Common cold can also result in ear pain.
In cases of referred otalgia, the pain may come from a throat or a tooth infection, leading to pain during chewing or swallowing as well. Therefore, impacted teeth, jaw arthritis, ear infections, sore throat or throat infections or even migraine auras may all lead to pain in one or both of your ears.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The main purpose of diagnosis, when it comes to sharp ear pain, is ruling out cancer. People who are alcoholics or drug abusers belong to the highest risk group for developing these kinds of cancers. In order for the ear to be properly examined, the ear, the nose, mastoid and the throat need to be carefully observed and analyzed altogether. If the pain is caused by an infection in the area, treatment is fairly simple. However, if the cause is something more serious, the treatment itself may vary.
Over-the-counter medications may help you deal with the sharp pain and are commonly recommended in cases of referred otalgia. More serious cases of pain may require antibiotics treatment, once the patient’s medical history has been taken into consideration.
Alternatively, Aspirin may help when the pain does not escalate, which is during the first stages of these ear problems. If these medications fail to help, you are advised to seek medical attention.
Home Remedies for Ear Pain
As far as home remedies are concerned, basil leaf or peppermint leaf juice can help, when poured in the troublesome ear. Also, lukewarm oil can be help you get rid of sharp pain in ears. Finally, chewing bubble gum may stimulate movements in the Eustachian tube area, expelling the ear wax or other materials which are causing blockage.