The Ultimate Guide to Ear Pain
Whether you're the one experiencing it, or if your little one woke you up in the middle of the night because their ear hurts, ear pain is no fun. There are many causes of ear pain; surprisingly, ear pain doesn't always mean something is wrong with your ear and can also mean something is wrong with your ear. Chances are if you clicked on this blog post, you or someone you know is dealing with ear pain. This article will discuss the most common causes of ear pain and how you can treat them.
Some common causes of ear pain:
Gone for a swim recently, or did you get water in your ear during your shower? If you're experiencing ear pain after getting water in your ear, there's a possibility that it could be swimmer's ear. Swimmer's ear happens when water gets trapped in your ear canal, and germs begin to breed. Symptoms of swimmer's ear include redness, swelling, irritation, or infection of your outer ear canal. Fortunately, swimmer's ear isn't contagious, can't spread from person to person, and is relatively easy to treat.
To avoid swimmer's ear, keep your ears dry during and after swimming & showering to avoid developing swimmer's ear. Fortunately, it is typically easy to treat at home if you catch it on time. To get over-the-counter relief and dry your ears out, try our Ear Pain Drops to speed up the process. The drops contain alcohol, which helps dry out the ear canal, Echinacea to relieve the pain you're experiencing, Pulsatilla to soothe the ear canal, and Goldenseal to help cleanse the ear. If you are still experiencing symptoms after 48 hours, go to your doctor to get medicated ear drops.
One of the main reasons people get ear pain is their ears aren't properly getting rid of ear wax. Usually, our ears produce and clean earwax buildup naturally, but sometimes the process doesn't go as planned, and the wax builds up and hardens over time, so your ear canal gets blocked and impacted. Avoid using q-tips in your ears to avoid a blockage, as they are the main culprit of impacted ear wax.
Impacted wax can cause pain and throbbing in the ear; you'll often need ear wax softening drops to remove the wax. To give your ears relief from the pain of impacted ear wax, you can also try our Ear Oil. The ear oil soothes discomfort and calms sensitive ears. If the ear wax drops and ear oil fail to help, you'll need to head to the doctor for an ear cleaning because they'll be able to get the wax out without damaging your ears.
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to a doctor. While adults can also get earaches and ear infections, they are far more common in kids. Children get ear infections more often than adults because they have a shorter, narrower, and somewhat horizontal eustachian tube, making them prone to fluid accumulation, infection, and a blocked tube. The eustachian tube is a tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat that controls pressure in the ear.
Simply put, a shorter eustachian tube means easier access and less travel time for microbes to "set up shop" within the ear. In addition, the awkward (more horizontal) positioning of children's eustachian tubes and middle and inner ears still developing increases the likelihood of fluid getting trapped in the ear, leading to infection.
To read more about ear infections, click here.
Flying is one of man's greatest inventions and a culprit for ear pain. If you've ever flown on a plane, you've likely noticed all sorts of issues it can cause with your ears. From your ears getting blocked during takeoff and landing to noticing some effects long after the flight, quick air pressure changes are the leading cause of ear problems when flying.
Riding on elevators, driving in mountainous regions, mountain climbing, etc., can all lead to ear pain due to air pressure changes. The reason for ear pain due to air pressure
changes is that a narrow passage called the eustachian tube regulates air pressure in your ear. When a plane ascends or descends, the rapid changes in air pressure can make it hard for the eustachian tube to react quickly.
Avoiding Airplane Ear Pain
Some common ways to combat ear pain on airplanes are:
- Chewing gum, yawning, or swallowing when the plane is taking off and landing
- Using earplugs
- Staying awake during takeoff and landing
Is your head feeling stuffy, or are you having facial pain? It sounds like you might be experiencing a sinus infection. In addition to feeling stuffy and having face pain, sinus infections can cause several other symptoms. Some symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Runny nose
- Facial pressure and pain
- Post nasal drip
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
- Pain in your jaw and teeth
Most viral sinus infections go away without the need to go to the doctor, but if your sinus infection isn't resolving on its own, go to your doctor to get checked out.
Some ways to alleviate a sinus infection are:
- Sleep with a humidifier
- If you don't have a humidifier, boil some water, pour it into a heat-proof bowl, get a towel, drape it on the back of your head, and inhale the steam for relief. You can also take a hot shower to help ease your sinus infection.
- Over-the-counter medication, nasal sprays, and sinus relief medication can help ease symptoms temporarily.
- Nasal irrigation will clear your sinuses and help alleviate the pressure and pain you may be experiencing. Many people find nasal irrigation gross, but it can make you feel amazing afterward. If you're going to try nasal irrigation, be sure to use a product such as a Neti Pot with distilled water and saline. It's essential to use distilled water to ensure the water you are using is free of contaminants.
- A product such as Marie Originals Sinus Relief Spray is another way to soothe sinus pressure and ease congestion.
Other Causes For Ear Pain
Have you ruled out all the above causes of ear pain? Unfortunately, there are a variety of other culprits that cause ear pain. Lucky you, right? Sometimes, pain in the ear is referral pain and a symptom of something else. Since the pain could be referral pain, go to your doctor and explain your symptoms.
Referral pain can be caused by many reasons ranging from tooth pain to allergies, so it is best to go to your doctor for a thorough check-up. We hope you feel better soon!