Most people have had an earache or infection at some point in their life. However, in some cases, this issue can become chronic. But why?
Dr. Vandana Kumra has the skill and experience to diagnose and treat ear conditions in patients of all ages, from children to adults. If you or someone you love has recurring earaches, here’s what could be to blame and why you shouldn’t ignore it.
Understanding ear pain
We spend a lot of time focused on the outside of an ear, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg with these complex parts of anatomy. Instead, you can have ear pain that originates on the visible portion of the ear or symptoms that occur far below the surface.
In most cases, your symptoms can provide clues into where your pain originates. For example, ear infections involving the inner or outer ear often cause additional issues, such as:
- Problems hearing
- Pressure or fullness in the ear
- Itchiness, irritation, or drainage from the ear
- Low energy
However, pain because of a sinus infection typically comes with pain or pressure in the face or forehead. Similarly, temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can also cause ear pain but often involves symptoms associated with the jaw, like clicking, popping, or grinding noises.
If you have acute or recurring ear pain, an accurate diagnosis can help you avoid potentially serious complications, like hearing loss, ruptured eardrum, impaired balance, and facial inflammation or paralysis.
Dr. Kumra can determine what’s to blame for your ear pain by discussing your symptoms and performing a comprehensive exam. In many cases, this involves checking the affected ear with an otoscope, which enables Dr. Kumra to examine your ear canal and eardrum.
One of the primary causes of recurring earaches involves infection. When you have an ear infection, fluid can build up behind your eardrum, leading to pressure, pain, fever, and temporary hearing loss. These infections can become ongoing problems for several reasons, such as:
- Bacterial infection
- Holes in the eardrum
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Allergies and chronic sinusitis
If Dr. Kumra suspects infections are behind your recurring earaches, she could also perform a culture to determine whether it’s bacterial, viral, or fungal. Depending on your symptoms, she might order a CT scan to evaluate the extent of the infection and whether it spread to other parts of your head.
Once Dr. Kumra gets to the bottom of your recurring earaches, she creates a personalized treatment strategy. Addressing chronic problems associated with the ear varies based on their cause. However, Dr. Kumra might recommend anything from oral, ear, or nasal antibiotics to treat infections to surgery to correct structural issues or drainage problems.
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t ignore chronic earaches. If you have pain, your body is trying to tell you something — it’s time to see an expert.
Do you have recurring earaches? Find comprehensive solutions by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Vandana Kumra at her private practice in New York City today.