An earache does not always mean an ear infection. You could get an earache due to a cold, which can be mild or severe, with a burning sensation. Fluid pressure that builds up in the ear even when it is not infected also causes the ear to throb and swell.
You may also get an earache if you are running a fever. In most cases, earaches are the first symptom of an infection. If your ear is giving you trouble, see a doctor to get a thorough examination and diagnosis.
Causes of Earaches
As mentioned earlier, there can be many things that can make your earache. Here are a few causes that can result in an earache, including ear infections.
Presence of fluid in the ear, resulting from an ear infection or block in the Eustachian tube
Ruptured eardrum, resulting from loud sounds
Barotraumas, resulting from sudden changes in atmospheric pressure like while travelling by airplane, driving up the hills, or scuba diving
Perichronditis, resulting from ear trauma like piercings
Outer, middle, and inner ear infections
Earache or Ear Infection?
Since an earache is a sign of an ear infection, it would be safe to say that earaches come after your ear has already been infected. However, earaches are not always caused only by ear infections. Hence, it would be wise to get yourself checked and find out what is causing the pain.
Symptoms of Earache
If you have an earache due to any of the following reasons, these are some of the accompanying symptoms that you might experience. Depending on what your symptoms are, your doctor will be able to identify the exact cause.
In some cases, you may get a fever, which can sometimes get very high.
Loss of appetite may also be experienced. This is more common in children who suffer from an earache as the pressure changes when the child swallows while eating and this can be painful.
You may notice fluids other than ear wax, which could be brown, white or yellow in color, draining out of the ear. This is invariably an indication that the eardrum has ruptured.
Uneasiness and pain caused by the ear may prevent you from sleeping. You may also experience irritability due to the discomfort felt in the ear.
Some people also experience vertigo when they have an earache.
Ringing in the ears is also often accompanied with an earache.
The build up of fluid in the middle ear hinders the eardrum from working properly. The ear is then incapable of transmitting sound to the bones of the middle ear, which, in turn, transmits them to the brain. You may experience trouble hearing when you have an earache.
Trapped fluid inside the ear may also cause temporary and mild hearing loss.
While it would be wise for you to visit your doctor if your ear is hurting, there are some natural remedies for earaches that people find helpful. Commonly used ingredients in these home remedies are garlic juice, onions, olive oil, fresh ginger juice, peppermint juice, and sesame oil with bishop’s weed oil.
Garlic juice, warm olive oil, peppermint juice, warm bishop’s weed oil mixed with three parts sesame oil, and ginger juice can all be used as ear drops for relief. Onions can be chopped and cooked and then applied over the ear for relief.
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