My son is experiencing partial ear ache similar to swimmer's
Possible otitis externa
Hello and welcome,
Is your son 29,or are you the 29 yr old and you son is a child?
Pain in the ear canal and pain when the ear is tugged on is usually due to otitis externa, or outer ear infection. Swimmer's ear is an otitis externa.
The good thing about the ear is that it is easy to look at and into, and so it is easy to diagnose an external ear infection. Usually the canal is involved and can swell up. We treat this with antibiotic drops that also contain a steroid to decrease swelling.
However, it's possible that a nerve that goes to this region is affected and this can also be checked out by assessing numbness in the distribution of different nerves.
So, as this doesn't seem to be going away, I recommend he go in to be seen either by his own doctor if he can get in to see him/her soon, or go to urgent care. If he goes to urgent care, be sure to request a real physician as many are staffed with PAs and NPs now, and his problem may need a more thorough evaluation than they are trained to offer.
Thoughts on this
The numbness can be due to a problem with a sensory nerve from some type of blow or irritation to it. But it can also be related to infection as I described above.
Less commonly, numbness can be from more remote things such as poorly controlled diabetes, Meniere's disease (but then there is usually hearing loss and other symptoms), and taking too much aspirin or certain antibiotics. In older people, or those at risk due to other causes, a stroke can cause numbness in the ear but that doesn't seem like it applies here.
So - the thing to start with would be an exam of the ear with an otoscope, and a test of the sensory nerves of the region, which the doctor can do with a light brush.
The User accepted the expert's answer
Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties
- Suggest treatment for chronic hip/pelvic pain
- What causes coughing, sneezing, headaches and watery eyes?
- Suggest treatment for post nasal drainage and runny nose
- What causes foul body odor and overactive bladder while taking Trospium?
- What causes pain near the navel area?
- What causes joints pain with welts and teeth problems?
- Suggest remedy for drainage at back of throat and vomiting sensation
- Suggest treatment for pain under the clavicle
- Suggest medication for ADHD
- Suggest medication for bloating in a person with history of colitis