3 Causes of Earache

3 Causes of Earache - 3 Causes of Earache

It goes without saying that our ears are very important. Between hearing and balance, there is a lot that our ears contribute to that can easily be taken for granted. When pain is experienced in the ear, it can negatively impact quality of life very quickly. This can make routine activities like talking and eating uncomfortable and unpleasant. While there are several things that can cause earaches, there are three causes that tend to be the most common.

TMJ Syndrome
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Syndrome is a condition in which the patient experiences ear pain when moving the jaw during regular activities like talking or chewing. The pain caused by TMJ Syndrome can be severe, even radiating into the neck. It is also common for the jaw to lock or pop. This condition is often caused by teeth grinding and stress and can be treated with a warm compress, anti-inflammatory medicine, a bite guard, and a soft diet. In more severe cases, a dentist or oral surgeon specializing in TMJ Syndrome can provide more advanced interventions.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Nasal allergies, chronic sinusitis, and throat irritation can sometimes cause the middle ear to not pressurize properly, pulling the eardrum inward in a way that can result in pressure or pain. Eustachian Tube Dysfunction can lead to tinnitus, vertigo, or hearing loss if left untreated, so seeking treatment as soon as possible is crucial. Depending on the underlying cause, Eustachian Tube Dysfunction can be treated with anti-acid medication, nasal steroid sprays or antibiotics that will usually reduce the swelling around the eustachian tube and thus restore its function. In more serious cases, tubes or balloon dilation may be required to provide relief.

Pain in the Throat
Because of related nerve connections between the ear and throat, pain in the back of the throat can be misinterpreted by the brain as earache. The most effective solution is treating the underlying cause of throat irritation, which can include tonsil and throat infections, rheumatoid arthritis, acid reflux, or voice box cancers.

If you are experiencing ear pain and are located in the Athens or North Georgia area, call Ashford Clinic at
706-248-6860 to make an appointment and get relief!