Acute Ear Pain: Acute ear pain or otalgia is probably one of the worst pains to have. As the sensory nerve supply of the ear is the same as that of that side of the face, painful conditions of the ear may radiate to other regions of the face. Similarly, one may present with ear pain when the disease is not located within the ear but elsewhere in the head and neck. This type of ear pain is called “Referred Otalgia”. Some of the common causes of Acute Ear Pain where the pathology is within the ear are:

  1. Acute Otitis Externa
  2. Furuncle of the ear canal (abscess)
  3. Herpes Oticus ( Herpes Zoster/Shingles)
  4. Foreign body in the ear
  5. Impacted ear wax
  6. Fungal infection of the ear (Otomycosis)
  7. Keratosis obuterans
  8. Trauma
  9. Polyp in the ear canal
  10. Bullous Myringitis
  11. Acute Otitis Media
  12. Infected Cholesteatoma
  13. Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media
  14. Mastoiditis (Infection of the bone behind the ear)
  15. Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
  16. Barotrauma

Some of the causes of Referred Otalgia are:

  1. Acute Tonsillitis
  2. Post-tonsillectomy
  3. TMJ Syndrome
  4. Dental Infections