Pain felt on the outer ear portion can be felt in various levels, from the mild form to the severe type. It is helpful to determine outer ear pain causes to encourage people to provide better care for their ears. Most common causes of the outer ear pain include ear canal infection, injury or impact to external area of ear and ear canal blockage.
Causes Of Pain In The Outer Ear
Doctors find three common underlying causes of pain in the outer ear.
- Swimmer’s Ear – This condition, also known as Otitis Externa, of the ear canal changes when bacteria or fungus infects the ear canal’s lining. As the name implies, Swimmer’s Ear occurs due to excessive moisture from prolonged immersion of the body in the swimming pool. Excessive moisture can cause bacteria to thrive.
- Impact or Trauma – When trauma to the external area of the ear happens, it can be painful. Pointed objects like hairpins and cotton swabs may touch and leave bruises on the external ear, which may lead to formation of abscess and eventually infection.
- Blockage – Ear canals get blocked by accumulation of excess ear wax or cerumen that can also result to painful outer ear. Ear wax can be gently flushed with water to remove it. Foreign objects can also be inserted into the canal by accident. If this happens, seek a doctor’s help for removal.
Outer ear pain after sleeping
- If there is pain in the outer ear after sleeping, the pressure may have left a nerve compression.
- Avoid sleeping on one side of the head to prevent added pressure to the ears when the body is at rest.
Home Remedies For Outer Ear Pain
Popular homemade remedies for outer ear pain include some of the following.
- Simple solutions made from olive oil, vinegar and garlic are used as ear drops to ease the pain and swelling.
- Another mixture used as drops consists of sesame oil and garlic.
- Juice extracted from boiling mango leaves also works in the same capacity as ear drops.
- If the ear pain is caused by motion discomfort or extreme pressure from riding an airplane, then chewing gum may help alleviate the discomfort.
Treatment For Ear Pain
- Antibiotic ear drops are usually prescribed by doctors to kill the bacteria that have caused the infection.
- Fungal infections of the outer ear are treated accordingly with anti-fungal medicines.
- Another effective remedy would be applying heat with a heating pad as a relief from the pain.
- If the pain is too much to bear, anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers can be taken under medical advice.
Hardened earwax can be loosened with mineral oil. In some cases, it is wise to have a doctor manually clean the ears to take out the earwax.