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Pain in skull, hurts while breathing. What is it?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 189 Questions
Sudden pain in skull behind left ear, havent done anything strenuous. Hurts more when I take a deep breath. I do have a cracked tooth on my left side but this feels so far back & not like any tooth pain! Started as a dull throb but esculated within aminute to hurting when i breathe in. it feels about an inch & 1/2 behind my the bottom of my ear. I had some tightening feelings in my left face but not sure if that is relevant.
Posted Fri, 26 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sathyadharan Panneer 2 hours later

Thanks for writing in,

Did you have any recent episodes of sore throat or nasal block or exposure to cold weather? Did you go for swimming or high altitude region within this week?

Your symptoms are suggestive of middle or inner ear inflammation. Pain behind your ear is due to mastoiditis.

Waiting for your response.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pain in skull, hurts while breathing. What is it? 4 hours later
No sore throat, nasal blckages or swimming. I do live in the mountains, about 1200ft above sea water. I did have some very big sneezing attacks a few weeks back. have just woken up & the pain is still there, not so bad on intake of breath. Pain has extended down from ear area to the nape of my neck toward my left shoulder blade. No pain on swallowing.
Answered by Dr. Sathyadharan Panneer 12 hours later
I would suggest you to consult an ENT specialist and get yourself examined. You can take some NSAID's along with Anti-histamines which will decrease your pain and inflammation. You might need a course of antibiotics also, but we need to examine your ear, nose and throat before starting antibiotics.

Try to do Valsalva maneuver, which will equalize the pressure between middle ear and external atmosphere. Regular salt water gargling can prevent infection from setting in.

Get well soon.
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