What causes a stabbing pain in the ear?

Answer

According to WebMD, a stabbing pain in the ear is a common symptom of an ear infection. Additional symptoms include fluid drainage, nausea, muffled hearing and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Stiff neck, fever and lethargy indicate a serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.

MedlinePlus explains that ear pain is a symptom of a variety of conditions that include arthritis of the jaw, ear injury caused by air pressure changes, ear wax buildup, sinus infection, tooth infection and middle ear infection. Home treatments for ear pain include cold packs, resting in an upright position, non-prescription ear drops and pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. It is important to consult with a health professional if additional symptoms include dizziness, swelling of the ear or weakened face muscles. Additionally, severe ear pain that stops suddenly often indicates a perforated eardrum, and it is important to seek immediate medical assistance to ensure prompt treatment.

According to Mayo Clinic, ear infections tend to be extremely painful due to a combination of inflammation and fluid buildup in the middle ear. Ear infections tend to resolve on their own, but infant ear infections and severe bacterial ear infections require antibiotic treatment. Individuals who experience chronic ear infections are at risk for hearing problems and complications.

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