We’ve all experienced pain or pressure in the ear at some point in our lives. If you are currently experiencing discomfort in your ear, read ahead about a few of the more common causes, as well as what treatment may be necessary.
Middle Ear Infections
Ear infections are much more common in children than adults. This is because the size and shape of children’s Eustachian tubes make it much more likely that fluid will get trapped and cause an infection. However, you can develop the condition as an adult as well.
In addition to ear pain, if you have an infection, you may experience fever, ear drainage and in some cases, muffled hearing or temporary hearing loss. While most ear infections clear up on their own, contact your doctor if you have symptoms to see if antibiotics or other treatment is necessary.
Swimmer’s ear is a different type of ear infection caused by water getting trapped in the ear canal. As the name suggests, it often happens after swimming, though it can happen after bathing as well.
If you often swim laps at the pool in Secrest Recreation Center, make sure to fully dry your ears afterward to reduce your chance of infection.
If you do develop an infection, symptoms include ear pain, swelling of the ear canal and fluid discharge. The good news is that your doctor can prescribe antibiotic drops that are very effective. Research has shown that approximately 65-90% of swimmer’s ear cases will resolve in 7-10 days of topical antibiotic use.
Too Much Earwax
While our ears actually do a good job self-cleaning and maintaining an optimal level of earwax, a buildup can sometimes occur and cause ear pain. Interestingly enough, one of the more common causes of earwax buildup is attempting to clean your ear with a cotton swab. Unfortunately, inserting something into your ear can push wax back further, causing problems.
You may also be more likely to have earwax buildup if you wear hearing aids, as an object in the ear makes it harder for the wax to slough off naturally.
If you suspect that buildup is causing your ear pain, make an appointment with an ENT for safe earwax removal.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts to discuss your ear pain, call Advantage ENT & Audiology today.