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Getting sharp pain in ear. Cause and cure?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2291 Questions
I've had pain in my right ear for two months now. It feels like it is plugged and I get intermittent sharp pains in it. I can't get it to pop, either. Could you tell me what this might be?
Posted Wed, 19 Dec 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 59 minutes later

Thanks for the query

The symptoms of earache in both the ears could be due to the blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear).

During an attack of flu or nasal allergy, or presence of anatomical nasal block, there will be development of congestion around the nasal opening of the Eustachian tube. The congestion leads to blockage of the opening of the tube and thus causing negative pressure in the middle ear and pain.

Due to Eustachian tube block there will be collection of secretions in the middle ear giving rise to pain, fullness and sensation of water logged in the ear. This is what has happened in your situation, I doubt any infection at this stage.

My advice to you is:
1.     Drink plenty of warm water to keep the nose and the throat hydrated.
2.     Use steroid nasal spray to reduce the swelling around the Eustachian tube.
3.     Also, use saline nasal spray, followed by steam inhalation 2-3 times a day, this helps in reducing the nasal congestion, clearing of the mucus and reducing the earache.
4.     Avoid coffee/chilled beverages/alcohol/passive smoking.
5.     Try taking mucolytic (such as ambroxol or bromhexine) to reduce the viscosity of the mucus.

With the above measures your symptoms will definitely improve. If it does not improve within a week, please consult an apt ENT specialist for a complete examination and management.

Hope I have answered your query: I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting sharp pain in ear. Cause and cure? 37 hours later
Thank you, Dr. I greatly appreciate your help! My only other question is this: I am currently pregnant. Is nasal spray safe to take while pregnant?
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 17 hours later

Welcome back

I sincerely apologize for the delay in answering your question.

Saline nasal spray is absolutely safe in pregnancy, but the steroid nasal spray is not recommended during this period. It is recommended only when the nasal problem outweighs the risk of pregnancy.

Hope this answers your query; I wish you good health.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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