What are the Causes of Otalgia / earache

Earache is a common complain and can be due to trauma to the ear or surrounding tissue, or due to some other reason like infections.

Primary vs Referred Otalgia

Primary otalgia is when the pain originates inside the ear. If the pain originates from outside the ear it’s called referred otalgia.

Causes of Earache / Otalgia

Otalgia (earache/pain in the ear) has various causes which can be listed as follows:

Otological causes

  • Acute otitis externa
  • Furunculosis
  • Viral infection – myringitis bullosa
  • Perichondritis
  • Acute otitis media
  • Acute barotrauma
  • Herpes zoster (Ramsay Hunt Syndrome)
  • Malignant otitis externa
  • Neoplasia

Non-Otological causes

  • Tonsillitis
  • Dental disease
  • Temporomandibular joint pathology (Costen’s syndrome)
  • Cervical spine disease
  • Carcinoma in the upper air and food¬† passages

Treatment of ear pain / otalgia

The treatment of the otalgia (other than analgesics) depends on the underlying cause.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *