Right- or left-sided earache is a symptom that especially infants and toddlers under 3 years of age complain, but it also occurs in adults.
Anatomy of the ear
The ear is divided into:
It is the outer and visible part of the ear formed by:
- external auditory canal,
The sound reaches the auricle and is directed inwards into the ear canal.
The middle ear is formed by:
- eardrum, a membrane that vibrates when reached by a sound;
- bone chain of: hammer, anvil and stirrups that move inside a small air chamber, which amplify the vibration from the tympanic membrane and are connected to the inner ear;
- The Eustachian tube connects the inner ear to the back of the nose: this channel opens and closes when swallowing or yawning, thus helping to compensate for possible pressure differences between the middle ear and the external environment.
The inner ear is formed by:
- Cochlea, a canal in the shape of a fluid-filled snail. It is the organ of hearing connected to the auditory nerve, which transmits the sound signals to the brain;
- Vestibular system: this is a system that sends information about posture and movements to the brain and allows it to maintain balance.
Pain in the outer ear
As a rule, this type of pain is caused by:
- A trauma to the ear,
- an external ear infection,
- An external ear infection and narrowing of the ear canal.
Trauma to the ear
A wound or trauma to the outer ear often causes severe pain, such as:
- A bruise,
- A cut,
- A piercing.
The habit of using hairpins and cotton swabs to remove earwax or scratching in the ear leads to skin injuries. From these wounds can develop an infection and even an abscess.
Also, a broken jaw causes a sharp pain in the ear.
Narrowing of the ear canal
A blocked ear canal causes pain in the outer ear: usually caused by:
- A plug of earwax,
- An insect,
- Accidentally invaded foreign bodies, often in children.
Other symptoms of a blocked ear canal may include:
What to do to remove an insect from the ear
- tilt the head to the opposite side of the aching ear,
- Drizzle a teaspoon of heated oil (temperature of about 40°) into the ear canal, the eardrum has a temperature of 37° and cold oil could cause pain.
- Wait two minutes, the insect can not survive in the oil,
- tilt the head to the side of the treated ear,
- Wait for the oil and insect to come out of the ear.
Ear canal inflammation or diving tube
The main cause of an external ear infection is the growth of bacteria and, more rarely, fungi in the ear canal.
Otitis is most common in patients who:
- use hearing aids;
- suffer from skin diseases such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis;
- Swimming in the sea or polluted stagnant waters, lakes and rivers, but also in the swimming pool.
- Sometimes when swimming, a small amount of water enters the ear and stays there for a whole day: it promotes the growth of fungi and bacteria, which is why this disease is also known as swimmer’s ear.
Otitis can be acute or chronic.
The most common symptoms of the diving tube
- The patient has pain when touching the auricle (for example, when talking on the phone),
- In many cases, the earache begins after itching in the ear canal,
- The outer ear swells and turns red,
- The regional lymph nodes enlarge on the ear,
- Partial hearing loss on the diseased ear,
- Yellow-greenish pus fluid may leak from the ear,
- In some cases, fever occurs.
Prevention of ear canal inflammation
- The diving tube can be avoided by thoroughly drying the ears after swimming.
- If water remains in the ear, drizzle a small amount of ethyl alcohol and vinegar in equal proportions into each ear.
- It is important to consult a doctor before using the ear drops to prevent or treat the dip tube.
- Alcohol is used to dry the ear canal, vinegar creates a slightly acidic pH in the ear canal and prevents the growth and multiplication of bacteria or fungi.
- A patient who already has severe earache should avoid the use of alcohol or alcohol products, because they aggravate the pain.
- One can use earplugs for swimmers, even if they are not very effective against pain. In addition, you should consistently avoid swimming in polluted waters.
How long does the disease last? Prognosis
With the appropriate therapy, the patient can recover in about a week, but complications (malignant or necrotizing otitis to the outer ear) take longer and there is a risk of serious damage to the nerves and paralysis of the face and head.
Pain in the inner ear
Within the structures of the ear, nose and throat, there are complex mechanisms that react with each other and cause the person:
- emits sounds,
- keeps balance,
It is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by an infection.
Otoscopic examination – The image on the right shows the eardrum of a patient who has a middle ear infection:
The infection may result from blockage of the trumpet or Eustachian tube, caused by:
This is the most common cause of earache.
Symptoms of otitis media include:
Earache and otitis media accompany or follow a cold, especially in children.
The ear examination with the otoscope can be useful for the diagnosis of otitis media, you can see a swollen eardrum from the outside.
Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland.
This gland is located at the front of the neck and produces various hormones.
Symptoms of subacute thyroid inflammation
Subacute thyroid inflammation causes severe pain in the thyroid gland.
In some cases, this pain may expand:
- On other areas of the neck,
- To the ears,
- In the jaw.
The thyroid gland may be swollen and sensitive to touch.
Other symptoms of subacute thyroid inflammation include:
Some causes of earache can include:
- cellulitis, a skin infection that may be caused by piercing.
Ear and headache
There are different causes of ear and headaches, moreover, a person may have these two symptoms for different reasons.
We describe here two diseases that can cause ear headaches and headaches together.
1) Acoustic neuroma
Neurinoma of the acoustic nerve is a benign tumor that forms on the nerve that connects the brain and ear.
This tumor mass can grow until it damages important nerves.
Symptoms of acoustic neuroma
Symptoms occur only when the tumor becomes large and presses on the surrounding nerves.
One of the most common symptoms is increasing hearing loss in one ear, but it can also occur suddenly.
Other symptoms include:
Less common symptoms include:
- Visual impairment
- pain in the ear and face,
The mastoid process is a lateral bony elevation found behind the auricle. These bone cells are connected to the inner ear.
In a middle ear infection, the infection can extend to the mastoid, i.e. cause inflammation of the mastoid bone.
Symptoms on the affected ear include:
Other mastoiditis symptoms include:
Home remedies for earache
Garlic and olive oil
A mixture is prepared:
- A peeled and finely crushed clove of garlic,
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- First, the oil is filtered through a fine-meshed sieve,
- Heat the mixture slowly,
- allow to cool,
- You can drizzle 3-4 drops of this mixture into the ear in the morning, at noon and in the evening.
Fresh peppermint juice
Another natural remedy for earache is fresh peppermint juice:
- You have to crush ten peppermint leaves to get the juice,
- Put the juice on a cotton ball,
- Then pour into the aching ear.
Drizzle two or three drops of boron water into the ear, after a few minutes the patient rinses his ear: this prevents the accumulation of earwax in the ears.
White wine vinegar and water
- Prepare a solution with equal parts white wine vinegar and water,
- Drizzle a few drops into the aching ear,
- Then carefully dry the ear with an absorbent paper or towel on the outside.
This mixture brings relief and reduces inflammation.
Tea tree oil
The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil can quickly bring relief from earache.
For the treatment of otitis media:
- Three drops of tea tree oil,
- Two tablespoons of olive oil,
- A teaspoon of colloidal silver,
- a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar,
- Heat the mixture slowly.
- Lay on your side with your head on a pillow.
- Drizzle the mixture into the ear with a pipette,
- Wait about five minutes.
- Then place on the other side and let the mixture run out of the ear.
Repeat two or three times a day for two days.
The onion can be useful in an ear infection.
- Cut an onion into small pieces,
- Place in a bowl,
- Heat in the stove or microwave for one to two minutes,
- allow to cool,
- Drain the onion juice.
- Put two or three drops of the juice into the infected ear,
- wait 5 minutes,
- Turn your head to allow it to exit the ear.
These remedies can also be used during pregnancy.
Do not use ice for earache.
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