Until ear pain hits you, it’s likely you thought of earaches as a children’s problem, associated with the frequent infections so many children suffer because of their developing anatomy. Adults get earaches too, but infections are one of many causes. Chances are good it’s not the reason behind your ear pain.
Persistent earache is a problem that’s more common in adults. This is a pain that’s long-lasting, suggesting that, whatever the cause, it’s not resolving on its own. In some cases, ear pain is a symptom, and the origin of the problem has nothing to do with the ear itself.
Regardless of the cause, you shouldn’t ignore a lasting earache, even if you can tolerate the sensation. Make an appointment to visit the ear care specialists at Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat for an examination and diagnosis.
Though middle ear infections are more common in children, it’s still possible for adults to have them. Ear infections, though, are usually short-lived, but again, it’s possible to have a long-lasting ear infection.
People who are prone to chronic sinusitis may also suffer from chronic ear infections. Any time that drainage of the middle ear gets compromised, conditions are good for infections. These can spread easily if you already have an active sinus infection.
Middle ear infections usually have no outward signs. If you see redness in the ear canal, you may have an outer ear condition like swimmer’s ear. The redness is likely accompanied by tenderness or pain. If the infection persists, so will your discomfort.
There’s a lot going on in your head in anatomical terms, so a problem with one system can cause issues with other systems too. Nowhere is this more clear than with your teeth and jaw.
Infected teeth, even if you have no discomfort at the tooth site, can radiate pain you feel in your ears. Impacted wisdom teeth can also create earaches, given their close proximity to your ears.
In addition, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the pivot that gives your lower jaw movement, can develop issues that may cause pain in your ears. Inflammation and arthritis can affect the TMJ, causing the jaw to generate pain or lock. Once again, a problem here is very close to your ears, so resulting pain may be mistaken for an earache.
Anything blocking the ear canal can compromise your hearing and, if wedged in firmly, create discomfort or pain. If you regularly use cotton swabs to clean your ear canals, you may be pushing ear wax deeper into the canal.
Shedding wax may not be escaping your ears normally, instead building up and hardening. Anything else that’s stuck in the ear canal can also create the pressure that results in lasting earache.
Make an appointment with Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat to investigate any issue with ear pain. Contact the office online or by telephone to schedule a time to come in, or set up a telehealth appointment. Book your session today.