Outer Ear Pain
The ear is generally described in three parts: outer, middle and inner. Different conditions can affect each of these separately or can progressively involve all parts of the ear bone and its surrounding structures. Pain , especially constant or worsening pain about the ear, is a serious symptom and must be carefully assessed to exclude potentially very dangerous conditions.
Otalgia may be primary (from the ear structures themselves) or referred (from other, generally nearby, structures)
Primary causes of otalgia involving the Outer Ear are described below:
Infection = Otitis Externa
Acute: Also called swimmers ear or tropical ear.
Presents with hearing loss, ear discharge, and pain in the ear radiating to surrounding scalp, jaw and neck
Treated with suction cleaning under direct vision and antibiotic and anti-inflammatory ear drops, keeping ear dry, pain killers.
Chronic: Similar symptoms to above. Often secondary to untreated or poorly treated acute otitis externa
Often associated with unnecessary self instrumentation (cotton buds, hair clips, etc – the ear canals are self cleaning and do not require cleaning in majority of individuals), underlying skin disease, dermatitis or psoriasis
Similar treatment to acute condition but generally more prolonged recovery time
Trauma:Laceration and fractures, ear drum perforation
Foreign body:Seeds, insects, toy parts, metal fragments (endless list !!)
Benign and malignant tumours:Rare and treated with surgery and radiotherapy
Ear, Nose and Throat Problems may contribute to Headaches and Migraines so it is important to have them professionally addressed. It is also important to investigate for other potential causes, as many cases of Headaches and Migraines have more than one ingredient.
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Key words: pains, ear, earpain, otitis media, otitis, otitis externa, ear pain, inner ear pain, ear infections, ear nose and throat surgeon, maxillofacial specialist, ear surgeon, ent specialist
Mr Anthony Guiney MBBS .FRACS
Profession: EAR NOSE THROAT, HEAD & NECK SURGEON
Address: Essendon ENT, Head and Neck Clinic
62 Buckley Street Essendon 3040
Phone: 03 9375 2099
Also consulting in Blackburn
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