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Ear is painful and itchy and even ear lobe hurts. It pops and crackles when blow nose or swallow

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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I have a ear problem. Its very painful and itchy on the inside and even when i touch my ear lobe or around it on the outside it hurts. When i blow my nose it pops and crackles and also when i swallow on occasions. It has very dark wax. Any ideas?
Im also a little off balance somtimes
Posted Sun, 14 Jul 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 3 hours later

Thanks for posting the query

The earache could be due to two reasons:
1. Impacted wax pressing over the canal skin inducing inflammation and pain.
2. Inflammation of the middle ear - otitis media

Impacted wax usually swells up when it comes in contact with water or any sort of liquids. This exerts pressure over the surrounding skin of the external auditory meatus thus inducing inflammation and pain. This can worsen during jaw movements and swallowing.

Secondly, any inflammation of the middle ear secondary to blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting the nose and the ear) can cause earache. The opening & closing of the Eustachian tube creates the crackling sensation during swallowing and blowing of the nose.

Without examining the ear it is difficult to pin point the exact cause of your problem. My suggestion to you is to take the pain killers (such as ibuprofen) which are available over the counter. Avoid using any sort of ear drops and consult your doctor for a complete evaluation and management.

The dizziness could be due to either constant opening and closing of the inflamed Eustachian tube or the impacted wax touching the ear drum during the jaw movements.

Hope this answers your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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