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Getting headache and felt swelling in outer ear. Is this the cause of concern?

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grandson complaining that his helix (top part of outer ear) feels like it is big or bit by a bug and now has a headache. Ears are not big or swollen.
Posted Wed, 6 Feb 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get his pinna, ear canal and ear drum checked by an ENT Specialist, especially since he has a headache.

2. Pain in the upper pinna and helix without any signs of inflammation may be a referred pain. The ear is innervated by multiple nerves which supply a large area of the head, neck, chest and abdomen. Hence a search must be made in these regions.

3. Specifically, in his case, the regions supplied by the greater auricular nerve Cervical Spine C2, C3) and the auriculo-temporal nerve (Trigeminal Cranial Nerve V).

4. Sometimes sleeping only on one ear causing pinching of the ear cartilage may cause a similar pain with no signs of inflammation.

5. If all examinations are normal, you may give him a trial of a pain killer, anti-inflammatory medication for a couple of days.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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