Lifestyle / Wellness

Common Causes of ear Aches and how to Address Them

Common Causes Of Ear Aches

Today we want to discuss common causes of ear aches and how to address them. Perfect hearing is a typically underrated ability until something goes wrong with your ears. Sadly, perfect hearing is a myth for many Americans, with research indicating that about 37.5 million American adults aged at least 18 have some trouble hearing. If you suffer temporal hearing loss at some point in life, an ear ache will likely be the cause. Ear ache specifically refers to inflammation or pain in the inner and outer ear that may affect your hearing ability. Children usually experience ear aches, but adults contend with them from time to time as well. Below are some of the most popular causes of ear aches.

  • Earwax

Earwax is normal since your ear produces and gets rid of it all the time. However, a buildup occurs whenever this process doesn’t work well. This buildup can harden so much that your ear canal can get blocked, a condition ENT doctors call impacted wax. Earwax buildup can affect anyone; it is estimated to be present in 5% and 10% of healthy adults and children, respectively. Impacted wax can cause a lot of pain, but it is not advisable to use cotton swabs and other objects to dislodge it. This is because you can push the wax further into your ear canal and make it more difficult to get rid of. Instead, try treating mildly impacted ears with over-the-counter ear drops to make the wax softer. Alternatively, many urgent care centers offer convenient medical services that include ear ache treatment, so keep this in mind.

  • Swimmer’s ear

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an outer ear canal infection that runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. If you experience ear pain when you tug on your earlobe or the small flap that closes it, you likely have swimmer’s ear. It occurs due to water retention in the ear after swimming or bathing because the moisture provides an ideal breeding ground for germs. Your ear might swell, itch, leak pus, and redden in addition to aching. If left untreated, a swimmer’s ear can cause transient hearing loss. Therefore, use pre antibiotic ear drops to treat swimmer’s ear immediately after it pops up.

  • Middle ear infections

Common Causes Of Ear AchesA middle ear infection occurs when inflamed tissue and fluids build up in your middle ear space. You may experience mild to severe aching pain deep inside your ear when you have otitis media. In addition, you may suffer several days of nasal congestion and a cough before the ear pain. It isn’t uncommon for a fever to also occur. The good news is that many middle ear infections clear up on their own, so you may not need to see a doctor for antibiotics if it isn’t severe.

  • Ear skin problems

Ear aches sometimes directly originate from your ear’s skin. For example, dermatitis of the ear, which leads to swelling, flaking, and itching of the ear canal’s skin, can occur due to an allergic reaction or underlying skin problem. Periauricular cellulitis (infected skin on the ear) also causes a painful, red, and tender ear, alongside a slight fever.

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