ZocdocAnswersFor almost a month, I am having ear pain. What could be causing it?

Question

For almost a month, I am having ear pain. What could be causing it?

I had a blow to the head which caused immediate pain and very loud ringing in my ear followed by a few days of hearing loss in my ear. This happened almost a month ago and while my hearing is ok now, I am still having pain in my ear canal. If I pull on my ear lobe or touch my ear canal there is a lot of pain. I'm just getting very tired of the ear pain and not knowing what is causing it. I have already been to the doctor about a week or so after the blow to the head for a bad cough and ear pain. There was no ear infection when I went and my doctor did not mention a ruptured ear drum, which I've had before. I was put on antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection and completed the full cycle, but the ear pain has not gotten any better. What could be the cause of this and should it be a serious concern?

Answer

Thanks for your question, and this does seem like something that you should have reviewed by the right kind of doctor. An ear nose and throat surgeon would likely be best suited to fully answer this question, as he or she will have the right kind of training to fully evaluate why you are still having symptoms this long after your trauma. There are a number of nuances that can cause serious long term problems if they are not treated correctly. For example, this sort of trauma can allow different types of growths to take root in the middle ear that can lead to delayed, but quite severe problems. If you are still having problems, you may need to be evaluated further and perhaps have more imaging of the ear to make sure that there is not a deep seated problem that needs more help. If available in your area, an otologist (which is a sub-specialty of otolaryngology AKA ENT) can best be able to help you due to his or her very specialized expertise. Regardless, please speak with your doctor about this question and get the help or referral that you need to help you get back to your baseline.

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