Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
189 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

Having severe ear pain. Cannot touch the ear. Remedy?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2589 Questions

Posted on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi Doctor, I have severe right ear pain, it comes on like a mild labour pain and within 3 minutes it's so bad that I'm almost crying, it may stay for 10mins or 1 to 2 hrs, it will then start to disappear same way it came, whilst I have it I cannot even touch my ear in front or behind it as pain is so intense, I've been getting this for a few years, when the pain goes away its like it was never there. Thank you XXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get your ears examined and get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiometry) and an Impedance Audiometry (Tympanometry) done.

2. If the ear examination, hearing levels and middle ear pressures are normal, the this is probably a Neuralgia.

3. Sensation to the ear is supplied by many nerves, including the
Trigeminal (Fifth Cranial Nerve), the Vagus (Tenth Cranial Nerve) and the Cervical plexus (C1, C2, C3).

4. These nerves supply many other structure and areas in the head, neck, chest and even the abdomen. Hence this may be a local or referred pain from any of the regions supplied by these nerves.

5. Get a dental check-up and neurology opinion. The cause of occasional severe deep ear pain is unknown. However, since you get a tender pinna, this is most probably a neuralgia or a migraine variant. Pain killers for cranial neuralgias include other types of drugs. You may request your physician for a trial with amitriptyline, carbamazepine or gabapentin.

6. An MRI & CT Scan may be done, however most scans are expected to be normal in long-standing cases such as yours. Occasionally a blood vessel is seen compressing a nerve root.

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


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,   ,  
Drug/Medication ,  
Lab Tests ,   ,  
Medical Topics ,   ,  

Recent questions on  Cranial neuralgias

doctor1 MD

hi I have been suffering from Sinusitis for the past 15 years . Currently I am located @ Bangalore where the climate is pretty cold . After I have...

doctor1 MD

I was born with hydrocephalus in 1980. Had several shunt placements and other issues. Shunt was taken out in 2001 and said that i would not need it...

doctor1 MD

hi im new to the forum i hope ull help me my mother aged 59 is suffering with diffuse cerebral atrophy since one month.her symptoms are severe...