What Causes Pain Behind Ear: Ear Pain In Adults

Have you ever been sitting around watching TV or outside working in your garage and felt a sharp pain in ear? If so, you are most likely suffering from an earache. A dull, sharp, or burning ear pain unilaterally or bilaterally is symptoms that are linked to the common earache (otitis media).

What Causes Ear Pain

Low-grade fever (adult body temps lower than 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is another common sign that is linked to an earache. There are two different types of fluids, endolymph and perilymph, which are produced in the inner ear. When the Eustachian tubes becomes blocked, the fluids build up inside of the inner ear and lead to otitis media.

Otitis infection is less common in adults than children, the sharp pain behind ear that you are experiencing may be linked to other underlying factors.

Throbbing Pain Behind Ear

Other conditions that may be linked to head pain behind the ear are as follows:

  • Trauma of the ear caused by pressure changes
  • Ear wax buildup
  • Hole in eardrum
  • Sinusitis
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Sore throat
  • Foreign object logged in the ear canal
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome)
  • Short and long-term otitis media
  • Arthritis in the temporomandibular (jaw) join

Shooting Pain Behind Ear

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)  may be followed by a middle ear infection, upper respiratory infection, rhinitis, and swimming (water gets lodged in the ear canal). If the ear canal or outer ear becomes irritated by these factors, then bacteria will invade the ear causing infection. This can lead to swimmer’s ear, which causes the following symptoms:

  • Pus-like drainage (yellow, yellowish/greenish, foul odor)
  • Ear pain and itching deep inside of the ear canal
  • Hearing loss in affected ear

What Causes Pain Behind Ear

Ear pain in adults is slightly different than children, because most cases of child otitis media are asymptomatic (no symptoms present). Malignant otitis externa follows a bout of otitis externa, where the infection spreads throughout the ear and to the base of the skull and will cause major damage.

The bacterium, pseudomonas is often linked to this type of ear infection. It can be difficult to treat and may require long-term and extensive treatment. Symptoms of malignant otitis externa include:

  • Long-term pus drainage
  • Loss of hearing
  • Fever
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Facial muscle weakness
  • Itching and pain deep in the ear canal

Antibiotics and surgical debridement may be required to eradicate the bacterial infection.

Sharp Pain In Ear When Chewing

TMJ or temporomandibular muscle join disorder involves the connective tissue  that connects the lower jaw and the skull. These bilateral (both sides of the face)joints are located in front of the ear and often endure a lot of physical stress. Extreme stress, grinding of teeth, bad bite, arthritis, jaw fractures or dislocation, poor diet and posture (holding head is position for extended period of time), and insomnia.

Many victims of TMJ may have trigger points, which can refer pain to other areas such as the jaw, head, and neck. Symptoms include the following:

  • Difficulty chewing with mild discomfort
  • Grating/popping sound when opening/closing mouth
  • Jaw may lock at times
  • Headache
  • Pain in the jaw and ear
  • Opening/closing mouth may become difficult

Ear Drops For Pain

If you are looking for some type of ear pain relief, you should definitely utilize a heating pad or hot water bottle. Cold packs also work well, but can sometimes trigger more pain. Avoid putting stress on your facial area, learn how to reduce stress, and never chew gum.

Hyland’s Earache Drops is a natural homeopathic remedy that will alleviate ear pain and throbbing. It does not contain any Tylenol or aspirin ingredients.

Nutribiotics Ear Drops is another great natural earache treatment, which contains grapefruit seed extract and tea tree oil. It can also loosen wax, stop itching, and soothe irritation.

If you want to discover more information about ear infections and swimmers ear, please check out this article.