ZocdocAnswersWhy did I wake up with ear pain?

Question

Why did I wake up with ear pain?

Woke up with some random ear pain yesterday. Feels like it is on the inside of my left ear but I'm pretty sure it isn't an infection or anything like that. What else would cause me pain on the inside of my ear when I woke up randomly?

Answer

Pain in the ear usually comes from either a problem in the middle ear or in the ear canal. Problems in the middle ear causes pain that makes the ear feel clogged up. Sometimes pain coming from this region is described as pressure. The causes of this type of pain is usually an infection of the middle ear or fluid build up in this area. Since you don't feel like you have an infection, the fluid build up is the more likely possibility. This type of problem usually just resolves on its own. Problems in the ear canal are usually due to inflammation or infection. This causes more severe ear pain without causing the feeling of fullness or being clogged up. Movement of the outside of the ear is typically very painful. This type of ear problem is fixed with antibiotic or steroid ear drops to calm down the inflammation or treat any infection. In order to tease out why you are having ear pain, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine your ears and figure out what is causing your pain. If your pain is severe, and your primary care doctor cannot find the cause, then you may warrant referral to an ear nose and throat specialist. Good luck.

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