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What Causes Pain In The Ear And Neck

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Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Ear And Down The Neck

How To Treat Ear And Neck Pain

Pain down the neck and behind the ear is not a condition in itself. Ear and neck pain are usually symptomatic of other health issues and will usually be accompanied by other symptoms. For example, an ear infection can cause neck pain behind the ear on one side of your head and could be accompanied by swelling or discharge from your right or left ear.

Associated symptoms of pain behind the ear and neck can include:

  • Throbbing pain in the neck and on one side of your head
  • Shock-like pains at the top of your neck and behind your ear
  • Redness of the ear or behind the ear that is sore to touch
  • Soreness when turning your head from side to side
  • Intense pain from your jaw that extends behind one ear
  • An aching toothache that radiates pain to your ear
  • Increased sensitivity to light along with a thumping headache

Ear Ache Headache Pain Or Discomfort And Stiff Neck

Reviewed on 6/15/2020

A bad ear infection can cause pain as well as swollen glands in your neck. This may cause your neck to feel stiff. If you have a stiff neck and a bad headache or fever, it could be something much more serious like meningitis.

While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

Pain Behind Base Of Skull

Occipital neuralgia is a condition in which the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp, called the occipital nerves, are inflamed or injured. You might feel pain in the back of your head or the base of your skull if you have this problem.Most people can confuse this condition with a migraine or other types of headaches, because the symptoms can be similar. But treatments for those conditions are very different, so its important to see your doctor to get the right diagnosis.SymptomsThese can range from intense pain that feels like a sharp, jabbing, electric shock in the back of the head and neck. Other symptoms include:

  • Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp
  • Pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Pain behind the eye
  • Pain when you move your neckBottom of Form

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Should I Go To The Er For Pain Behind The Ear

You should go to the emergency department if you have any of these signs of a more serious problem.

  • Youve had an impact injury to your head, such as a car accident
  • Excruciating pain
  • Changes to your vision, light sensitivity, or worsening headaches
  • Any swelling around or behind your ear
  • Redness or a rash with swelling

Other Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection

TMD Archives

The symptoms of a sinus infection often resemble those of a bad cold. These can include a runny nose, headache, facial pain, and nasal congestion. In addition to typical cold symptoms, a sinus infection may cause yellow- or green-tinged mucus. You may also experience post-nasal drip and a sore throat, along with puffiness and soreness around the face and sinuses. You may also have a dry, unproductive cough and a fever. Fatigue and bad breath are also symptoms of sinus infections.

Different sinuses also present different types of pain if infected. For example, infection of the sinuses around your eyes may result in red, puffy eyes that look like an allergic flare-up, while infection of the sinuses in your cheeks may cause excessive bad breath and pain in your teeth.

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Enlarged Lymph Nodes In The Neck

Enlarged lymph nodes occur when the node becomes larger as it fills with inflammatory cells. This often is a result of an infection but can occur without a known cause.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: neck bump, movable neck lump

Symptoms that always occur with enlarged lymph nodes in the neck: neck bump

Symptoms that never occur with enlarged lymph nodes in the neck: unintentional weight loss, fever, hard neck lump

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

How Is Swimmers Ear Diagnosed

Swimmers ear may be diagnosed with a complete medical history and physical exam. Your health care provider may use an otoscope, a lighted instrument that helps to examine the ear and to aid in the diagnosis of ear disorders. This will help your provider know if there is also an infection in the middle ear. Although this infection usually does not occur with swimmers ear, some people may have both types of infections.

Your health care provider may also take a culture of the drainage from the ear to help determine proper treatment.

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How Is An Ear Infection Treated

Treatment of ear infections depends on age, severity of the infection, the nature of the infection and if fluid remains in the middle ear for a long period of time.

Your healthcare provider will recommend medications to relieve you or your childs pain and fever. If the ear infection is mild, depending on the age of the child, your healthcare provider may choose to wait a few days to see if the infection goes away on its own before prescribing an antibiotic.


Antibiotics may be prescribed if bacteria are thought to be the cause of the ear infection. Your healthcare provider may want to wait up to three days before prescribing antibiotics to see if a mild infection clears up on its own when the child is older. If your or your childs ear infection is severe, antibiotics might be started right away.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended when to prescribe antibiotics and when to consider waiting before prescribing based on your childs age, severity of their infection, and your childs temperature. Their recommendations are shown in the table below.

American Academy of Pediatrics Treatment Guide for Acute Otitis Media

Childs Age
in one or both earsMild for < 48 hours and temp < 102.2° FTreat with antibiotic OR observe. If observe, start antibiotics if child worsens or doesnt improve within 48 to 72 hours of start of symptoms

Pain-relieving medications

Ear tubes

The Connection Between Ear And Neck Pain

Ear pain, ear fullness, sound sensitivity and more caused by cervical instability

Do you ever have neck pain? Ringing in ears?

It turns out that neck pain, ear pressure, and inflammation are often be closely related. The ear is innervated by the vestibulocochlear nerve, also known as the 8th cranial nerve.

Any inflammation of these nerves, its many branches, or the tissues surrounding them can lead to ear pathology.

Here are some signs of ear problems that could be related to a neck injury.

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When To See A Doctor For Neck Pain

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, you should seek medical care if your neck pain is:

  • continuous
  • accompanied by pain that radiates down your legs or arms
  • accompanied by headaches, tingling, numbness, or weakness

In general, its a good idea to see a doctor if youre worried about your neck pain, or if the pain is affecting your quality of life.

Sharp Pain In Ear: Causes Treatments And When To See A Doctor

Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

Experiencing a sharp pain in the ear can be very worrying and cause you a lot of discomfort. If you suffer from severe earache, you may find it difficult to concentrate, get on with your daily activities, and even keep your balance.

The ear is a complex sensory organ that contains sensitive tissue and small bones that help us hear. Because the ear is connected to the nose and is close to the jaw and facial muscles, many different conditions can cause a painful ear. The sharp shooting ear pain could originate in the outer or middle ear if you have a bacterial or viral infection there. Or, the painful stabbing sensation could originate in the inner ear if there is inflammation.

Most of the time sharp pain in one or both ears is due to an infection in your respiratory system that also affects your ears. So, if you have had a cold or the flu, you will often have mild to severe ear pain. However, the pain in your ear can come from problems with your jaw, toothache, blocked sinuses, or even arthritis. You could also have a painful ear when on an airplane or after swimming.

This article looks at the symptoms and causes of having a sharp pain in your ear. You will also find helpful natural home remedies to soothe a painful earache and treat the underlying cause of pain in your ear.

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When To Call The Doctor

Its important to monitor your symptoms and to see a doctor. Even minor infections can get worse. A doctor can also rule out any tumor or growth that may be causing the pain. Call your doctor in these situations:

  • Pain doesnt go away or gets worse
  • Youre having trouble hearing
  • You have bloody or foul-smelling discharge from the ear
  • You also have throat pain or difficulty swallowing
  • You also have any type of neck lump or mass

Pro Tip

If you have any other medical conditions, discuss these with your doctor when diagnosing your ear pain. If you have diabetes or high blood sugar and ear pain, it could be a more dangerous type of infection. If you have eczema or psoriasis and ear pain, it could be the skin of your ear canal that is causing the pain. Dr. Lee

The Start Of The Chase For The Root Cause Of The Problem The Connection Between The Vagus Nerve And The Trigeminal Nerve And Sinus Drainage

Pin on Health

The vagus nerve, as illustrated below, travels through the cervical spine. It travels especially close to the C1, C2, C3 vertebrae. Cervical spine instability in these regions can cause herniation or pinching of the vagus nerve, which can lead to a disruption of normal nerve communication between the vagus nerve and the trigeminal nerve and trigeminal ganglion. This disruption or herniation of the nerve can cause among the many symptoms of cluster headaches.

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Is An Ear Infection The Same As An Ear Infection

There is no single medical diagnosis or treatment for the common symptoms associated with an ear infection. An ear infection can affect your neck, neck muscles, head or neck pain, headaches, earaches, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. While all of these symptoms can be unpleasant, it is generally important for you to take the time to visit your doctor so that you can get the necessary medical care.

What Happens When You Have Tmd

TMD happens when the jaw becomes misaligned. Also, when there is a strain on the muscles or tendons that control the jaw movement. The temporomandibular joint functions as a hinge that connects the lower jaw to the skull. Frequently, its quite tricky to verify how a person develops TMD. However, here are the common reasons why people may have TMD:

  • Misalignment of the jaw or teeth
  • Injury to the teeth or jaw
  • Too much stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

If you continue to ignore your ear, jaw, and neck pain, in due time, they can be worse. Thus, it would cause more damage to your jaw joint, jaw. Dont let your jaw pain hinder you from doing your daily routines. You dont even have to endure that pain and allow a minimal jaw movement.

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How To Get Rid Of Throbbing Pain Behind Ear

  • Increase your Vitamin C intake as it helps in building your immune system and to fight infections off better. Include vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and other citrus fruits in your diet.
  • You can use some oils like mustard and olive oil that help with soothing the pain and to soften the wax, but be careful when using these oils as ear drops.
  • A warm pack of water placed over your ear could give you some much needed relief.
  • Ginger and garlic juice are also known to be good pain relievers.
  • If you are unsure of the safety of home remedies consult your doctor who will recommend what is suitable for your ear.

More references

What Is The Medical Term For Pain In The Ear

Constant ear pain, jaw pain, neck pain resolved with Neuromuscular Functional Orthodontics

medical term for ear painear painearearEar infectionsear painSafe ways to remove earwax

  • Ask your doctor to remove the wax in their office.
  • Clean the outside of your ear with a damp cloth.
  • If you choose to use cotton swabs, don’t insert them into the ear canal.
  • You can use earwax softener to soften earwax for easier removal.
  • You can use a syringe to irrigate your ears.
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    When Should I Contact My Gp

    It’s not always necessary to see your GP if you or your child have earache. Your local pharmacist is always on hand to offer help and advice on how you can manage the problem. The pain will often improve in a few days and there are things you can do to help in the meantime.

    You should contact your GP or local out-of-hours service if:

    • you or your child also have other symptoms, such as a high temperature , vomiting, a severe sore throat, hearing loss, swelling around the ear, or discharge from the ear
    • there is something stuck in your or your child’s ear
    • the earache doesn’t improve within a few days

    To assess your condition at home use our earache self-help guide.

    Throat And Ear Pain While Swallowing

    The ear and throat are connected by the auditory tube , which opens and closes when you swallow. Therefore, you might have pain in your throat and ear when you swallow if you have tonsillitis and infections like mono or strep throat.

    These infections can also cause problems in the auditory tube, including inflammation, infection, and mucus collection.

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    Vestibular Dizziness Of Menieres Disease Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo And Cervicogenic Dizziness May Be A Spectrum Of The Same Disease

    Our common theme is that a myriad of neurological-like, cardiovascular-like, and hearing-related symptoms and conditions are connected, in many people, by an underlying cervical spine instability that causes compression and herniation of arteries, veins, and nerves throughout the neck. In the case of ear fullness, this compression would also prevent the proper drainage of the ears and associated symptoms.

    Now lets move forward to a 2021 study that builds on information presented in the 1998 paper. Here are the observations of this research team suggesting a similar connection to problems in the neck.

    Vertigo and dizziness are one of the most common and least understood symptoms. Vestibular vertigo of Menieres disease and Benign Paroxysmal positional vertigo and cervicogenic dizziness are classified as separate entities. Cervicogenic dizziness is not considered the domain of Otolaryngologists, as it is mainly related to neck proprioceptors . Headache and neck pain, have been found to be associated with both Menieres disease and Benign Paroxysmal positional vertigo, so is cervicogenic dizziness.

    • Most of the Menieres Disease patients , Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and cervicogenic dizziness had associated symptoms of neck pain or headache and were found to be positive for neck tightness and/or asymmetry of the shoulder.
    • Headache was more common in patients with Menieres Disease.

    Pain Behind Ear And Down Neck

    Pain Behind the Ear: Causes and Treatments

    A number of conditions can cause pain behind the ear and down the neck. According researchers, neck pain can travel to other parts of the body, such as the shoulder, arm and head. In some cases, pain in various head structures can send pain to the neck. Pain behind the ear is often associated with neck pain, as the tendons of many neck muscles insert into the mastoid process, a prominent bony bump just behind the ear.

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    A Tooth Infection Or Abscess

    This is a pocket of pus at the tip of the tooths root. It is caused by a bacterial infection and can cause severe pain that radiates from your ear and jaw on the same side. You may also find that your neck or throat becomes swollen and tender, and that you have trouble chewing. You may even experience a fever in severe cases.

    Other Possible Complications Of Your Ear Infection Include

    Pain, bleeding or numbness in your head, neck or jaw.

    How to reduce your risk of an ear infection?

    To lessen your risk of having an infection:

    Try to avoid doing things that aggravate the symptoms of your ear infection. You may feel pain from the neck to your chin, or from the back of your head to your feet, if the head is compressed.

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    Sore Throat And Ear Pain: Whats Causing The Discomfort

    Sore throat and ear pain can bring your day to a grinding halt. The discomfort can become unbearable quickly. Because of that, figuring out whats causing those conditions and getting them treated fast is a must.

    Some of the underlying causes of sore throat and ear pain can be very serious, but others can be treated from home. Thats why its important to be able to realize when you can deal with it and when you need to get to the doctors office.

    Risk Factors For A Serious Diagnosis In Patients With Otalgia

    Neck Pain Left Side Base Of Skull – What Causes Pain on the Left Side of the Neck?

    There are some characteristics that make a serious diagnosis more likely in patients with otalgia. Treatment is most effective when there is minimal delay after diagnosis. Patients who are 50 years or older, have coronary artery disease, have diabetes, or are immunocompromised are at higher risk. In addition, patients who smoke, drink alcohol, or lose weight unintentionally should undergo more scrutiny. Consumption of 50 g or more of alcohol per day increases the risk of head, neck, and esophageal cancers by two to three times compared with nondrinkers smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk compared with alcohol use alone.21 In addition, unilateral hearing loss warrants further investigation if an obvious cause is not apparent.5

    This article updates a previous article on this topic by Ely, et al.4

    Data Sources: A PubMed search for evaluation and diagnosis of ear pain or otogenic otalgia or primary otalgia or secondary otalgia or otalgia was performed. The search was further limited by English only, human studies, and over the past five years. In addition to this search, we used articles from the reference list of the 2008 AFP article on ear pain,5 as well as reference lists of articles selected from our PubMed search. Search dates: July 27, 2016, and April 10, 2017.

    Read the full article.

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