A Deeper Look At Ear Pain And Ear Conditions

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Any pain in the body can make life miserable and pain in the ears is certainly no exception. Ear pain or ear aches can occur from a variety of different causes; and, it is important to determine the particular cause of an ear complaint to properly treat it. For instance, the root issue could be tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing sound in the ear. Another example could be problems related to the temporomandibular joints (the “hinges” that connect the jaw to the skull). You may also experience discomfort after swimming if water becomes trapped in the inner ear.

In order to receive proper treatment, you need to receive a proper diagnosis. To that end, let’s take a deeper look at some the causes of ear pain. We’ll begin with one of the rarest ear conditions: ear pain associated with sounds. The following post explains this in detail:

When even soft noises feel like a knife to the eardrums

A jovial laugh, to Tom Maholchic, feels like a knife stabbing his eardrums. So do all sorts of routine sounds — the sizzle of bacon, the ring of a phone, the rush of running water.

“I feel like I have a year-round sunburn deep inside my ears,” said Maholchic, 27.

Researchers have known for years about a condition called hyperacusis, where ordinary sounds seem uncomfortably loud. But they’re just starting to understand that some patients experience a more severe form, where noise is not just heard — but is actually felt, as physical pain. Read more at Stat News…

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Hyperacusis requires that the patient wear ear muffs to prevent the constant pain. Of course, sound can actually cause a lot of discomfort — and permanent damage at high volume — in the ears even when it is not a chronic condition. You need to always protect your ears from loud sounds.

Another ear condition we want to discuss is caused by changes in pressure in the ears. Tis complaint is known as ear barotrauma. The following post explains more about it, including how you can get relief:

Ear barotrauma is a condition that causes ear discomfort due to pressure changes.

In each ear there is a tube that connects the middle of your ear to your throat and nose. It also helps regulate ear pressure. This tube is called the Eustachian tube. When the tube is blocked, you may experience ear barotrauma.

Occasional ear barotrauma is common, especially in environments where the altitude changes. While the condition isn’t harmful in some people, frequent cases may cause further complications. It’s important to understand the differences between acute (occasional) and chronic (recurring) cases so you know when to seek medical treatment. Read more at Healthline.com…

As the post above explains, you need to know when barotrauma is beginning so you can receive early treatment. Be aware when changes in pressure are possible and remain alert to the problem.

As we stated, ear pain can be caused by many different factors. The following post goes into detail about the wide range of possible causes:

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Causes of the Mystery Ear Pain (Otalgia)

There are many possible causes of pain in or around the ear although most patients and even physicians can think of only a few causes. Those causes being allergies, earwax, or ear infection, whether it be a middle ear infection (otitis media) or Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa). A few may even think of Eustachian tube dysfunction as a possible cause of ear pain. As such, patients are often put on repeated doses of antibiotics, anti-histamines, nasal decongestants, and nasal sprays. In a certain percentage of patients, these medications do NOTHING to help with their ear pain/discomfort. Even tube placement in the ears fails to help. Out of desperation some patients resort to unproven homeopathic medications listed here. Read more at FauquierENT…

TMJ-related earaches and ear pain

The last potential cause of chronic ear pain or earaches we want to focus on is TMJ-related pain. We mentioned this possibility earlier, now let’s take a closer look.

TMJ dysfunction can affect nerves, muscles and tissues in close proximity to the joint — this includes the components of the ears. Statistics show approximately half of individuals suffering from TMJ problems experience significant ear pain. The problem is this pain is often misdiagnosed as a typical earache and treated with antibiotics. Obviously, this does not correct the problem with the TMJ so the pain continues unabated.

If you are experiencing earache pain and cannot find any solution from your doctor, it’s time to visit a specially-trained dentist who can treat the root cause of your problem. Patients are often shocked to find out once their jaw is functioning properly, their chronic headaches, migraines, earaches, neck pain and shoulder pain disappear.

If you are tired of living with ear pain, it’s time to try something new. Book an assessment exam with Dr. Jared Ward at Fort Collins Headache Center to see if his cutting-edge TMJ treatment is right for you. If you are a candidate for treatment, Dr. Ward will develop a customized plan to have you pain-free in no time. Best of all, the therapy is drug-free, pain-free and completely non-invasive. To schedule your evaluation appointment, call us at 970-672-8517 or use the contact form here on the website. We look forward to hearing from you.


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