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Pain in area deep within the ear. Nasal column and throat is affected only on left side. Any infection in ear?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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Hi,
I am not sure if I have developed an ear infection, as there does appear to be some pain in the area sometimes and it feels quite deep within the ear.
The nasal column and throat could also be affected.
I suspect that perhaps using the ear thermometer without the plastic cover might possibly have contributed to the problem (perhaps dirty ear thermometer). It was used about a week ago. Would it be possible for such an infection to develop and then affect even the throat and nasal cavity. They both appear to both be affected only on the left side.
Could a doctor tell an outer or middle ear infection just by simple exam and how could an inner ear infection be determined, if it is likely given my history?
Posted Fri, 8 Nov 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
An ENT examination will settle the issue.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. A simple ear examination with an otoscope will help differentiate an outer ear infection from a middle ear infection.

2. Hearing tests such as PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) and an Impedance Audiogram (Tympanometry) will also help guide the treatment.

3. The ear canal is very delicate and it is possible that the ear thermometer may have lead to this as t seems to be one sided. Throat infections are more likely to ultimately lead to symptoms on both sides even if they initially are one sided.

4. A throat and nose exam will help observe whether this is a common Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI). If the nose and throat is normal, this may be referred pain for discomfort rom the ear due to common nerve supply.

5. Deep pain in the ear may also be a referred pain from the throat and may also be due to infection deep in the outer ear canal or pressure changes in the middle ear.

6. An early infection is easily treated. Hence get the ENT examination done soon.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Pain in area deep within the ear. Nasal column and throat is affected only on left side. Any infection in ear? 21 hours later
Thanks for the detailed information Dr. Bhatti,

Would it be ok for the GP to get the ear exam done or must it be done with the special instruments from an ENT?


Thanks and regards.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
As below:

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. An ENT Specialist can give you an immediate accurate assessment.

2. It takes many years of observing the ear with the magnification of the otoscope or an endoscope to decipher the minute changes in the appearance of the ear.

3. The Audiometry tests and the rest of the ENT examination can also be done at the same time.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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