What to do with ear pain: causes of discomfort and first aid
Jun 01, 2018
Ear pain is a common syndrome that can indicate the development of a variety of diseases.Conditionally this syndrome is divided into three types: pain in the ears against the background of ear diseases;Ear pain in a healthy person;Pain in the ears against the background of pathologies of other organs and systems.Depending on what triggered the pain syndrome, its character will change - the pain can be pulsating and aching, sharp / acute and with gradual build-up.In addition, in many cases, the ear pain is accompanied by other uncomfortable sensations - some combinations can facilitate the process of diagnosis, so the doctor is important to fully describe his condition, describe all the unpleasant sensations.Contents: Possible causes of pain in the ears What to do with ear pain: first aid
Possible causes of ear pain
Often, pain in the ears arises suddenly, against a background of general health. And in this case the cause of this phenomenon may be:
- No pressure equalization through the hearing tube.This long name means a simple mechanism of pressure failure in the tympanum - this phenomenon is often encountered by fans of scuba diving and flying in the sky.In very sensitive people, pain in the ears can occur even with a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure.You can help yourself in this case - during the flight you need to chew or swallow( an excellent option will be acid lollipops), when submerged under water - breathe out with your nose, while holding his fingers.
- High sensitivity to cold .In this case, the receptors of the auditory canal simply inadequately react to an external stimulus( in this case, low air temperature).There are no methods of treating such a hypersensitivity, unfortunately, and the only thing that doctors can recommend is to avoid the influence of low temperatures on the ears( in the cold season wear a hat, beware of drafts and wind directed to the ears).
The most common syndrome concerns a person with the condition of an already existing ear disease:
- Otitis externa .This is an inflammatory process that occurs on the skin of the ear canal.It develops more often after water enters the ear - for example, against the background of swimming in a pond.With external otitis, the skin of the ear canal swells and turns red.
- Average otitis media .It is an inflammation that is localized in the tympanum.Pain is caused by an incredible amount of nerve endings on the mucous membrane of the tympanic cavity - the slightest irritation and provokes the syndrome under consideration.According to statistics, the average otitis is very often diagnosed in childhood, and pain will be present only in the case of the development of the acute phase of the disease.
Note: if a person with a history of otitis media is chronic and complains of ear pain, then immediately seek qualified medical attention!Most likely, a dangerous complication of the disease develops, which can lead to a complete hearing loss.
- Mastoidite .So called the inflammatory process, which progresses in the mastoid process of the temporal bone - it is considered one of the components of the middle ear.Such a disease is always accompanied by intense earache, but you should know that mastoiditis is rarely found as an independent pathology - this is one of the complications of otitis media.
- Ear injury .Naturally, with an impact in the ear, a person will experience pain syndrome.But do not forget that an ear trauma can be associated with the ingress of a foreign body into it, or by perforating the tympanic membrane.
- Neoplasms in the ear .In general, malignant and benign ear tumors are diagnosed extremely rarely, but if they already exist, the pain syndrome will be present, and, moreover, differ in intensity.
It often happens that a patient complains of a doctor for severe ear pain, but the examination does not reveal any pathological changes.In this case, we are talking about a painful syndrome in the ears, which is provoked by diseases of other organs and systems.
The extra-ear diseases that cause the considered pain syndrome:
- Diseases of the teeth .Even banal caries can provoke the appearance of an intense pain syndrome in the ears.This same condition can develop and against the background of using improperly made / installed dentures.
- Pathology of the temporomandibular joint .This joint, like all the rest in the body, can undergo arthrosis, arthritis and dislocations.And such conditions cause severe pain in the ears - patients go to see an otolaryngologist, but only the dentist will help them.
- Diseases of the cervical spine .Between the ears and the neck there is a common nervous "message", so diseases such as osteochondrosis, neck injuries, myofascial syndrome often manifest with an earache.
- Pathology of the pharynx .We are talking about inflammatory diseases of this organ - pharyngitis, tonsillitis, tonsillitis of various kinds, abscess of throat.A characteristic sign of pain in the ears against the background of pharynx disease will be an increase in unpleasant sensations when swallowing.
- Neoplasms of the larynx and pharynx .Ear pain in this case may in general be the only symptom, there are no other deviations from the norm.Against the background of a progressive tumor of the larynx or pharynx, pain will be present only in one ear, and on examination the otolaryngologist will note the absolute health of the tympanic membrane.
- Neuralgia. Rarely, but cases have a place to be - pain in the ear appears against the background of neuralgia.It is an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve or glossopharyngeal.
- Sinusitis .Constant nasal congestion leads to the accumulation of mucous secretions in the ear canal - they exert pressure, which provokes the pain syndrome.In this case, pain in the ears will be accompanied by other symptoms of sinusitis - headache, difficulty breathing, general weakness.
- Parotite .It is an inflammatory process that takes place in the salivary gland.Ear pain in this case will be non-intensive, it is easy to differentiate and identify the cause of the appearance - the symptoms of mumps are always pronounced.
- Acoustic neurinoma .This is a benign tumor of the auditory nerve in the brain( it is classified as intracranial neoplasm).Pain in the ears against such a pathological process appears in the late stages of development.
- Tumors of the parotid gland .They provoke the periodic occurrence of ear pain of a non-intensive nature.
Please note: in order to determine the exact cause of pain in the ears and undergo competent treatment, it is necessary to seek medical help from a doctor for an otolaryngologist.
What to do with ear pain: first aid
The best decision is to go to a doctor to see an otolaryngologist, get a checkup and get appointments / recommendations.But after all, there is not always an opportunity to immediately go to a medical institution, so it will not be out of place to know the rules of first aid.
Take pain medication
This is the easiest way to solve the problem, but for some reason people forget about it and start using ear drops immediately.Meanwhile, a pill of Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can relieve ear pain( or significantly reduce its intensity).Moreover, the latter drug is preferable - Ibuprofen has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, which will provide a quick relief from pain.
Drip drops into the nose
An excellent first aid option for ear pain is to drip into the nose a drug with vasoconstrictive effect.This procedure almost immediately relieve the pain in the ears, if it arose against the background of the common cold.Vasodilating nasal drops include Naphthysine, Galazoline.
Drip drops into the sore ear
This solution is ambiguous! Ear drops should never be used in case of perforation( rupture) of the tympanic membrane, therefore it is impossible to use even the most effective ear drops in case of pain syndrome without knowing the cause.
It is worth to be attentive and, for example, if a child complains of ear pain in the background of a catarrhal disease, then he can drip Otipax, Otinum.But if the day before the child swam in a pond, then ear drops can no longer be used without prior consultation with an otolaryngologist.Also, you can not bury ear drops for the purpose of anesthetizing with an injury to the ear or head.
Local application of dry heat will be advisable in case of acutely arisen pain.You can warm your ear in the first 2-3 hours of pain, then the same procedure becomes inappropriate and even dangerous in some cases.For example, if there is a purulent inflammation of the auditory canal, then the thermal procedures will only exacerbate the situation.
The term "dry heat" refers to the salt or sand in the frying pan, a blue light bulb.
If you combine all the above recommendations, then you can distinguish the algorithm of human actions for pain in the ears:
- if the pain has only appeared, and 2-3 hours have not passed since its appearance, then a warmer orAny dry heat;
- immediately need to take any pain medication, but in priority Ibuprofen;
- if there is a runny nose, then it's worth siping the vasoconstrictor drops;
- if you are sure of the diagnosis( for example, in an anamnesis of chronic otitis media and the period of its exacerbation has simply come), then it is possible to drip into the ear anesthetizing / anti-inflammatory drops.
Please note: in any case, even if the pain in the ears after the actions taken has disappeared, you need to seek qualified medical help!Pain is not a pathology, it's just a symptom of her presence - you need to diagnose the disease and conduct a competent course of therapy.
Tinnitus is always a symptom of any disorder / pathology( with rare exceptions).Therefore, to hope that everything itself will pass, to drip into the ear vegetable oil or some herbal teas will be at least unreasonable, but as a maximum - it is dangerous.Yes, first aid can be provided and needed - ear pain is very intense, exhausting and requires immediate intervention.But the final verdict about the cause of the syndrome and the methods of solving the problem should be made by the otolaryngologist.
Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category