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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What could cause persistent earache and jaw pain despite any infection and how can it be treated?

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Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1917 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 6 Dec 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: hello im reaching out to you/this site in hopes of getting an idea of what's going on. Let me start with about three weeks ago now i went to the doctor because i was having some right ear pain, mostly a dull ache but sometimes sharp and stabby, well the doctor checked it out looked inside and said it was not infected and that the pain was most likely due to sinuses since i had a cold at the time. I was not giving any meds/antibiotics. Here i am three weeks later cold has cleared up for a while now and my ear still hurts and now my left one hurts a little as well. I also have some jaw pain here and there on the right side as well. Still mostly my right ear and still a dull ache with occasional sharp pains. I plan on going to the doctor this tuesday and was hoping i can get an idea of what this may be so i can bring it up to the doctor to avoid walking out with no answers. Thank you in advance!
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Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Serous otitis media seems to be the case- advises given

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I carefully read your question and understand your concern with the symptoms going for almost 3 weeks now.

By what you explain it seems very likely you have blocked Eustachian tubes.

These connect the space in the ear with the throat to help the ears drain and balance pressures when these tubes are blocked pressure builds in the ear and gives the dull pain you have and also sometimes sharp pains as well.

Medically this condition is called otitis media with effusion or serous otitis media.

It might take weeks for the tube oedema to settle and it's function to be restored.

Sometimes treatment with antihistamines can be tried like Loratadine or Cetirizine (Benadryl can be tried also but causes sleepiness so you have to be cautious).

These can be tried but literature does not find them very effective in some patients.

Also, nasal steroids drops or spray can be tried as through the nasal passages they can go to the eustachian tube and possibly reduce oedema there and help relieve the symptoms but still the effect is very scarce in the literature.

If your nose feels blocked saline solution nasal lavage is very recommended to remove any secretions that might be blocking.

Drink plenty and do the manoeuvres that open the tubes (holding the nose and blowing them while you hold them).

Taking Naproxen twice a day after food (as it can be hard on the stomach) can help with the symptoms.

The symptoms might get a total of 6 weeks and in a few cases even longer.

If the doctor has not seen an infection in the ear canal and the tympanic membrane is clear that the chances of infection are almost absent.

It is good you are seeing your doctor again so he can confirm how the ear canals and the tympanic membranes look.

If they still have no redness or secretions than there is no bacterial infection and antibiotics will not help.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, MD
General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 49 minutes later
yes this helps tremendously and makes prefect sense! Thank you for an answer in such detail, much appreciated.
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Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:

It's a pleasure

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

It's a pleasure to be able to help you,

Please feel free to let us know if any more concerns related to this.

I wish you will be well soon.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care.

Regards,

Dr Zotaj Antoneta
General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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