What Does Pain in My Ear Mean?

It’s safe to say that you’re aware of how common earaches are among children, but that doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from ear pain! You don’t have to have an infection, or even anything wrong with your ears, to have ear pain.

Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia shares some helpful info on some common causes of ear pain.

What’s Causing My Ear Pain?

When we think of ear pain, we likely think of an ear infection as the cause of it, but that’s not always the case. While an ear infection is a common cause of ear pain, there are other, less serious causes of ear pain as well.

Earwax is one of the most common causes of ear pain. Your ear makes and gets rid of wax all the time. When the process doesn’t work well, wax builds up and hardens, blocking your ear canal and causing pain. Your doctor will call this impacted wax. We’ve listed some other common causes of ear pain below.

Other Ear Pain Causes

  • Air pressure. Most of the time, your ear’s Eustachian tubes do a great job of keeping pressure equal on both sides of your eardrum. However, quick changes, like when you’re on an airplane or in an elevator, can throw off the balance and cause discomfort.
  • Toothache. Because the nerves in your face and neck pass very close to your inner ear, tooth pain can affect your ear as well.
  • Swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear is an outer ear infection that happens when the water trapped in your ear canal begins to breed germs. It’s very treatable and not contagious.

What About an Ear Infection?

Middle ear infections are common causes of ear pain.

An ear infection is caused by a bacterium or virus in the middle ear. This infection often results from a previous cold-related illness that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat and Eustachian tubes. We’ve listed some common symptoms of an ear infection below.

Common Symptoms of Ear Infections Among Adults

  • Ear pain
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Trouble hearing
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Nausea

If you are experiencing ear pain, don’t wait to get the relief you need! Visit us at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia today.