There are many issues that could potentially cause pain behind your ear. Some are ear-related, while others might be caused by dental issues or even compressed nerves in the back of your head and neck. Let’s examine some infections that cause pain behind the ear.
Middle Ear Infection
The middle ear is located between the eardrum and the inner ear. This area can become inflamed and eventually infected. Viral respiratory tract issues like colds and flus often trigger middle ear infections.
Symptoms may include:
- Mild to severe earache or pain
- Muffled/decreased hearing
- Children with a middle ear infection may be fussy and pull at their ear.
Sometimes the eardrum can rupture due to the pressure buildup in the middle ear. If this happens to you, you may feel a relief in pain and notice pus-like drainage from your ear.
Swimmer’s ear (known as otitis externa) occurs when the ear canal becomes inflamed. Symptoms can include:
- Tenderness of the outer ear
- Itchy ear
- Hearing loss.
- Ear discharge.
Swimmer’s ear can sometimes be caused by allergy or infection. However, there are also certain risk factors that make you more prone to the condition.
Risk Factors for Swimmer’s Ear
- Frequently cleaning ear canal with a cotton swab
- Going for regular swims at Warner Robins Parks & Recreation or other pool.
- Wearing hearing aids
- Regular use of earplugs
Both middle ear infections and swimmer’s ear can be treated with antibiotics. These are usually in the form of ear drops or pills. It’s important to seek medical attention and get proper treatment, so that your condition doesn’t worsen and become more serious.
Treat Ear Infections to Avoid Mastoiditis
Mastoiditis is a rare infection of the mastoid bone, located behind and below your ear. It is usually caused by an untreated ear infection. It can occur at any age but is most often seen in children under two. Symptoms include severe pain behind the ear, fever, and headache. If left untreated, mastoiditis can lead to serious conditions including:
- Blood clots
- Hearing loss
- Facial nerve paralysis
Mastoiditis often requires intravenous antibiotics and surgically draining the fluid. If you or your child has symptoms of mastoiditis it is vital that you seek medical care immediately.
If you have pain behind your ear, reach out to your doctor. Make sure to inform them of any symptoms you are experiencing apart from the pain. They can make an accurate diagnosis and start you on a treatment plan for whatever issue is causing you problems. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Georgia Hearing Institute today.