Why does my ear hurt

Ear pain, itchy ears, ear pressure

Earache are a very common complaint, especially in childhood, which are usually based on colds, otitis media or tonsillitis. In adults, other causes are more prominent, especially ear canal inflammation and problems in the temporomandibular joint. The pain-conducting nerve fibers from the ear run together with the nerve fibers from the face and neck regions to the pain centers in the brain. They often cannot tell exactly where the pain originated. So it happens that diseases outside of the ear, e.g. B. in the area of ​​the teeth, paranasal sinuses, the neck or temporomandibular joint, are often felt in the ear.

A common clinical picture is oromandibular dysfunction. It manifests itself in various complaints caused by a disturbed function of the temporomandibular joint. Those affected suffer z. B. pain in and in front of the ear, cracking noises when chewing, teeth grinding, restricted or jerky jaw movements. Headache or neck pain and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) also occur. The cheek muscles are often very sensitive to pressure. Oromandibular dysfunction is considered a somatoform disorder that z. B. is triggered by stress or psychological stress. Accordingly, relaxation processes play a major role in therapy. Facial massages and, if necessary, orthodontic measures complement the treatment.

A Occipital neuralgia manifests itself in attacks of stabbing nerve pain (neuralgia, neuropathic pain), felt on the back of the head and / or in the ears. Usually there are also sensory disorders and hypersensitivity to touch in this area. The cause is functional disorders of the occipital nerve, e.g. B. due to previous shingles or a disease of the cervical spine. The symptoms can be eliminated by injecting a local anesthetic near the irritated nerve.

A local inflammation at the upper edge of the auricle often shows up in one painful ear nodules. The cause is unknown; some scientists suspect that frostbite from the past may play an important role. Cortisone creams make the inflammation go away in about 25% of cases. In the remaining cases, the ear nodule is usually removed surgically, scratched out or treated with a laser.

Symptoms, their causes, measures and self-help

  • Violent stabbing, throbbing, or pounding earache; mostly fever; often runny nose; possible discharge of secretion

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  • Sharp ear and sore throat, v. a. when swallowing, with fever; strong feeling of illness; swollen lymph nodes in the corner of the jaw; seldom shortness of breath

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  • Ear pressure and (mostly) light ear piercing with hearing loss when affected by a flue; stuffy nose; Cracking in the ear when swallowing

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  • Permanent pressure in the ears with hearing loss; often mouth breathing, snoring; Cracking in the ear when swallowing

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  • Drawing or stabbing pain in the ears and pressure in the ears with dull hearing impression; often sore upper throat; sometimes bloody or crusty discharge from the throat

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  • Painful, bilateral ear pressure with hearing loss due to pressure differences, z. B. in an airplane or while diving; short-term relief from swallowing

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  • Itching, feeling of pressure and / or mild ear pain with "hearing like through cotton wool"; often frequent ear cleaning actions due to increased ear wax; possibly ringing in the ears, dizziness

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  • Sudden, stabbing pain in the ear with difficulty of hearing; hollow feeling or numbness in the ear; often ringing in the ears, dizziness; some blood may leak out of the ear canal

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  • Sudden runny ears after severe pain, associated with pain relief and a drop in fever

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  • Pressure in the ears with slimy-yellowish, sometimes foul-smelling discharge; recurring or permanent; often increasing hearing loss; Usually starts in childhood

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  • Pain and itching in the ear, often with greasy, foul-smelling discharge; Pain increases when pulling on the earlobe; Swelling and crusts in the external ear canal; often after cleaning the ear or after swimming

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  • Itching in the ear canal

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  • Scaly or oozing, demarcated redness of the auricle; Itching, less often burning; possibly similar complaints in other areas of the skin

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  • Extremely painful swelling and reddening of the auricle; strong pressure sensitivity; Earlobe not included; no fever; mostly after injuries or insect bites

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  • Painful swelling and sharply defined reddening of the auricle; Ear lobes and facial skin often involved; Fever, feeling sick

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  • Rice to bean-sized, skin-colored or gray Nodules on the upper edge of the auricle; extremely painful to the touch; often encrusted

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  • Painful swelling and redness of the ear canal opening

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  • Strong, burning or pulling Pain, redness, and small vesicles on the auricle; often equilateral facial paralysis; possibly dizziness, hearing loss

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  • Pain in front of and in the ear; often reinforced by chewing or grinding your teeth

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  • Pain in front of and in the ear with swelling of the cheek; possibly fever

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  • One-sided, severe pain in ear and face, shooting in like a flash; often triggered by chewing, talking, or yawning; Duration a few seconds up to 2 minutes

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Violent stabbing, throbbing, or pounding earache; mostly fever; often runny nose; possible discharge of secretion

Causes:

  • Acute otitis media
  • Rare: mastoiditis (inflammation of the mastoid process behind the ear as a complication of acute otitis media)

Activities:

  • If you have severe headaches, redness and swelling behind the ear, or if symptoms have worsened, go to the general practitioner or ENT doctor immediately
  • Otherwise to the doctor on the same day

Self help:


Sharp ear and sore throat, v. a. when swallowing, with fever; strong feeling of illness; swollen lymph nodes in the corner of the jaw; seldom shortness of breath

Causes:

Activities:

  • Call an emergency doctor if the sound of breath is seething or shortness of breath
  • Otherwise, go to the pediatrician or family doctor on the same day

Self-help with angina:

  • Onion wrap
  • Gargle with commercial supplements, sage or chamomile tea
  • Pain relieving lozenges

Ear pressure and (mostly) light ear piercing with hearing loss when affected by a flue; stuffy nose; Cracking in the ear when swallowing

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On the same day to the house doctor or ENT doctor if severe pain or fever> 39 ° C occurs

Self help:

  • Inhalations with salt or chamomile solution
  • Saline nasal sprays, decongestant nasal drops (maximum 5 days)

Permanent pressure in the ears with hearing loss; often mouth breathing, snoring; Cracking in the ear when swallowing

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the pediatrician, family doctor or ENT doctor

Drawing or stabbing pain in the ears and pressure in the ears with dull hearing impression; often sore upper throat; sometimes bloody or crusty discharge from the throat

Causes:

  • Sore throat, v. a. in the upper part of the throat
  • Rare: tumors in the nose or throat

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the house doctor or ENT doctor if bloody secretions are noticed or the symptoms persist for more than a week

Painful, bilateral ear pressure with hearing loss due to pressure differences, z. B. in an airplane or while diving; short-term relief from swallowing

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On the same day to the family doctor or ENT doctor if the symptoms persist for more than 5 hours after the event

Self help:

  • Swallow hard, yawn, suck candy, chew gum

Itching, feeling of pressure and / or mild ear pain with "hearing like through cotton wool"; often frequent ear cleaning actions due to increased ear wax; possibly ringing in the ears, dizziness

Root cause:

Closure of the ear canal through

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the ENT doctor

Self help:

  • Under no circumstances should you try to remove objects from the ear canal yourself with tweezers

Sudden, stabbing pain in the ear with difficulty of hearing; hollow feeling or numbness in the ear; often ringing in the ears, dizziness; some blood may leak out of the ear canal

Root cause:

Eardrum injury

  • Direct injury, e.g. B. when drilling in the ear
  • Strong pressure fluctuations (barotrauma), e.g. B. slaps, explosions, diving

Measure:


Sudden runny ears after severe pain, associated with pain relief and a drop in fever

Root cause:

Measure:

  • The worst is over - still to the house doctor or ENT doctor the same or next day

Pressure in the ears with slimy-yellowish, sometimes foul-smelling discharge; recurring or permanent; often increasing hearing loss; Usually starts in childhood

Root cause:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the pediatrician, family doctor or ENT doctor

Pain and itching in the ear, often with greasy, foul-smelling discharge; Pain increases when pulling on the earlobe; Swelling and crusts in the external ear canal; often after cleaning the ear or after swimming

Root cause:

Measure:

  • The next day to the ENT doctor

Self help:

  • Do not try to clean the ear canal with cotton swabs
  • Avoid chlorinated and unclean bath water
  • Cool compresses for itching, warmth for pain (e.g. red light)

Itching in the ear canal

Root cause:

Auditory canal eczema, e.g. B. at

Activities:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor in case of severe complaints
  • Otherwise in the next few weeks if the complaints persist

Scaly or oozing, demarcated redness of the auricle; Itching, less often burning; possibly similar complaints in other areas of the skin

Root cause:

Auricular eczema

Measure:

  • To the family doctor or dermatologist if self-help measures are insufficient

Self help:

  • Avoid anything that could cause allergic reactions

Extremely painful swelling and reddening of the auricle; strong pressure sensitivity; Earlobe not included; no fever; mostly after injuries or insect bites

Root cause:

  • Perichondritis (acute bacterial inflammation of the ear cartilage)

Measure:

  • On the same day to the house doctor or ENT doctor in the event of severe pain, otherwise in the next few days

Painful swelling and sharply defined reddening of the auricle; Ear lobes and facial skin often involved; Fever, feeling sick

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On the same day to the general practitioner or ENT doctor

Rice to bean-sized, skin-colored or gray Nodules on the upper edge of the auricle; extremely painful to the touch; often encrusted

Root cause:

  • Painful ear lump

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the house doctor, dermatologist or ENT doctor to differentiate the ear nodules from less harmless diseases (e.g. skin cancer)

Painful swelling and redness of the ear canal opening

Root cause:

  • Boils (inflammation of the hair follicle) in the ear canal

Measure:

  • On the same day to the general practitioner or ENT doctor

Self help:

  • Leave alone, never push or prick

Strong, burning or pulling Pain, redness, and small vesicles on the auricle; often equilateral facial paralysis; possibly dizziness, hearing loss

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On the same day to the family doctor

Pain in front of and in the ear; often reinforced by chewing or grinding your teeth

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the dentist

Pain in front of and in the ear with swelling of the cheek; possibly fever

Root cause:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the house doctor or ENT doctor

One-sided, severe pain in ear and face, shooting in like a flash; often triggered by chewing, talking, or yawning; Duration a few seconds up to 2 minutes

Root cause:

Nerve pain (neuropathic pain), e.g. B.

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor or neurologist

Your pharmacy recommends

Onion sachets.

A tried and tested home remedy for earache is the onion. Its ingredients have anti-inflammatory and healing effects. Small onion bags are ideal for use on the ear (also called onion wraps). To do this, a raw onion is cut into small cubes and these are wrapped in a cotton handkerchief. So that the juice comes out, you roll the bag with a rolling pin and squeeze it as hard as possible. In the last step, the onion sachet is heated in the microwave, in the oven or on the heater and then attached to the ear with a scarf or cloth. The onion sachet remains on the ear for 1–2 hours. The effect is increased if the patient places the affected side of the head on a hot water bottle.

Self-medication.

For angina or ear pain associated with a sore throat, sucking throat lozenges or tablets will provide relief. Numerous drugs are available in different compositions. In addition to disinfecting herbal additives such as sage or aniseed, numbing and pain-relieving agents (e.g. lidocaine, fluriprofen) are also suitable.

Throat lozenges or tablets work best if they are sucked slowly after or between meals. Added sugars are very unfavorable: they clog the teeth by promoting the growth of caries centers in the oral cavity.

Improve ventilation of the middle ear.

The ear trumpet is a narrow tubular connection between the middle ear and the nasopharynx. Their function is to ventilate the middle ear and to equalize pressure with the environment. If the ear trumpet is narrowed or relocated, a ventilation disorder occurs. This is often the case with colds, e.g. B. through the swollen mucous membrane. Then the pressure equalization between the middle ear and the environment is restricted. The person concerned notices a feeling of pressure, may be in pain and hear less. When the swelling goes down, the middle ear will be properly ventilated again and the symptoms will go away.

Inhalations and nasal rinsing with saline or chamomile solution are suitable to support the swelling of the mucous membrane. Decongestant nasal drops and sprays also provide relief. However, because of the risk of getting used to them, they can only be used for a maximum of one week.

Pressure in the ear

is not always due to illness, but also arises from external pressure differences. Almost everyone knows this phenomenon. B. from driving through a tunnel, in the mountains or from taking off from an airplane. You can feel an uncomfortably dull, slightly painful feeling in your ear. The pressure can be quickly equalized in a healthy ear:

  • Often enough yawning, swallowing or chewing gum is enough.
  • Blowing your nose is also a good idea, except when the nose is absolutely dry.
  • Alternatively, the person concerned can hold their nose and at the same time exhale forcefully into their nose with their mouth closed.

If the feeling of pressure persists for days, a medical examination should clarify whether there is a disease in the middle ear or a permanent blockage of the ear trumpet.

Ear care.

The ear canal has a kind of self-cleaning system: dirt, dust particles and dead skin are transported to the outside with the wax. It is therefore completely sufficient to regularly clean the auricle with a damp washcloth or cotton pad. Some experts also recommend rinsing the ear canal with clear, warm water, e.g. B. when showering. However, only a few people find this pleasant - and it is also not necessary.

Doctors strongly advise against using cotton swabs: the eardrum threatens to be injured and when it comes to removing wax, it is often only pushed further towards the eardrum. A wax plug is therefore better to be removed by the doctor. This also applies to all foreign bodies in the ear canal such as cotton residue or dead insects. If no doctor is available, e.g. B. when traveling, a partner or a pharmacist on site can remove the foreign body with as blunt tweezers as possible. A wax plug needs to be softened with a few drops of olive oil for 15 minutes beforehand. In a pinch, warm water can do the trick - however, hold your head in such a way that the water does not run out again immediately.

Authors

Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; Section "Your pharmacy recommends": Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Miriam Knauer | last changed on at 17:23


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy.The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.