Sharp Pain behind Ear: Meaning, Causes Treatment

Do you experience a sharp pain behind ear?  In this article we discuss the possible causes, meaning and treatment options on how to deal with this kind of pain. Also found below is a list of common and effective home remedies to ease the pain and relieve the symptoms.

Pain behind ear can mean a lot of things and at time indicate an underlying infection. If the cause of the pain is not external, that is, the pain is not inflicted by things such as an insect bite or painful scratch, then it could indicate an underlying medical complication. Ceruminosis or too much ear wax can be problematic and cause a lot of pain. The other possible cause could be vascular headache or swollen lymph glands around ear.

Causes and Treatments of Sharp Pain behind Ear
Causes and Treatments of Sharp Pain behind Ear

The above causes can be serious and could result in problems such as hearing loss and ear drainage. You need to visit your health care provider as soon as possible so that you are diagnosed and the cause of the pain is treated to avoid all this future complications.

By the simple proximity between the brain and the ear, this kind of infections should cause you to panic, you need to seek immediate medical attention where treatment and medication will be dependent on the cause of the pain. This will be established after though diagnosis of the symptoms and detailed blood tests.   Read through to find more about the cause and available treatment options available.

Sharp pain behind ear meaning?

A sharp pain behind ear is a clear sign of an underlying medical condition. This is common when the cause of the pain is not from the external environment, for example, a bug bite or through rough scratching of the skin around the back of ear. This is a serious condition and it should be treated as such. In most cases the pain will be felt on one ear, either left or right but in rare cases both at once.

The pain maybe dull or sharp constant or at times come and goes. If the pain comes and goes, it is possible for you to feel the pain when you perform activities such as yawning, or chewing hard food particles that require a lot of force to grind.

Most of ear pain problems will resolve on their own depending on how severe and serious the cause is. But for severe cases, the pain maybe persistent and fail to go away, it is also possible for other symptoms to appear which will mean the condition is getting out of hands, if you notice any of the symptoms, you need to see you doctor as soon as possible.

  • Ear drainage
  • Increased Pain in head and around ear
  • The pains Spreads to other adjacent parts of the face.
  • Swollen lymph nodes around ear
  • High fever

Sharp pain behind left ear causes?

1. Otitis media

This is an inflammation and buildup of fluid behind the eardrum due to an infection in the middle ear. The condition is also associated with swelling and redness around ear. The condition is common to infant and children below ten years. But take note anyone can be infected with this condition. There are different subtype of otitis media, they are Acute OM, OM with effusion, chronic suppurative OM and adhesive OM.

The cause of the infection in the middle ear is when an infection such as cold leads to build up of mucus/ear wax build up in the middle ear causing the Eustachian tube to become swollen or blocked. The result is the wax cannot drain away properly, making it easy for an infection to spread into the middle ear.

The common symptoms among this type of otitis media are headaches, irritability, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, lack of body energy, slight hearing loss and earache. When this symptoms persist and do not show signs of improvement please visit your health care provider.

Majority of the cases of otitis media resolve on their own without antibiotics. To reduce the adverse use of antibiotics, pain medication and home remedies are encourage for otitis media. At home you can use an eardrop to revel the pain. You can also simply apply a moist wash cloth over the infected ear to sooth it and reduce the swelling.

2. Mastoiditis

This is an infection caused by bacteria and affects the mastoid bone-it has a honeycomb structure that contains air spaces called mastoid cells that help in maintaining the air space in the middle ear. Mastoiditis is common in children but adult can also get infected with the disease. In most cases mastoiditis occurs due to unresolved issues with ear infection most commonly otitis media.

Observable symptoms of mastoiditis include;

  • Tenderness and sharp pain behind ear
  • Temporal hearing loss
  • Severe headache
  • High fever and general tiredness
  • Fluid discharge from the affected ear.

Mastoiditis is a serious infection, once diagnosed it should be treated as soon as possible. The best way to do so is have your doctor prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and avoid it spreading to other parts. In some rare cases, surgery (myringotomy) may be needed to drain your middle ear or to remove part of the mastoid bone (mastoidectomy)

3. Vascular headache

A medical research, vascular headache is a form of severe headache believed to be caused by the swelling of blood vessels and hyperemia. However, according to the International headache society, vascular headache is no longer a recognized term and it is not mentioned in the headache classification. It is however still used by some physicians and included in other medical classification system.

This type of headache is thought to involve abnormal functioning of the brain blood vessels. It causes severe pain on both side of the head, disturbed vision and at times sharp pain behind ear.

The most common used medication used for treatment of vascular headache will include, ponstel oral, cafergot oral and prodrin oral, this can be available over-the-counter or have the doctor prescribe them for you.

4. Ceruminosis (excess ear wax)

Excess buildup of wax also called Ceruminosis can also be the cause of a sharp pain behind ear. It can also result in itching in the ear and partial loss of hearing. This is causes by excess secretion of ear wax from the ear glands. The condition is also possible for people with slightly narrow ear canal. The other cause could result from pushing the ear wax with an ear bud.

If the pain is due to this occurrence then treatment mainly involves removing the ear wax. A wax softening agent and an instrument-cerumen spoon can be used to remove the wax. Take note, this procedure should only be done by a doctor or a professional health care provider.

5. Swollen lymph nodes

Our body has a network of node, called the lymphatic system which is responsible for fighting pathogens and preventing infection, in cause of doing so at times the lymph nodes get swollen causing pain. If the affected node are behind ear, then it is possible for you to experience the sharp pain when you yawn or try doing simple movements like moving the neck or head.

Treatment option for swollen lymph node involves treating the underlying cause of the swelling. Otherwise simple cold or warm compress on the swollen gland can be helpful in soothing the skin and speeding the healing process.

6. Swimmer ear

This is when your ear is filled with water after swimming. The condition is not harmful neither is it life threatening. However if left for long, the mist environment become conducive for breading bacteria and may result in an ear infection. Also it is possible for you to experience a sharp pain when you yawn or try to chew thus may become uncomfortable and discomforting.

Swimmers ear can be treated at home with eardrops. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as naproxen and acetaminophen can also be helpful. Treatment for swimmers should be done immediately to avoid ear infection.

Sharp pain from behind ear to shoulder near jaw

When you have a sharp pain from behind ear to shoulder near jaw can be caused by an injury on the color bone or stress in the neck joints. This can be as a result of injury or muscles tension from sleeping on the same position for long.

The other possible cause of such a sharp pain behind ear could be swollen lymph gland in neck or oral problems such as a swollen gum, or ulcers and sores in mouth. All this can be remedied once the cause is diagnosed and treated.

Sharp pain behind left ear on bone when yawning

Do you feel pain when you yawn? If the answer is yes, then you could be having a problem with either you neck muscles, your jaws or gums or swollen lymph gland behind ear. Your lymph nodes may swell as a result of injury such as a cut or bite near the nodes, or when a tumor or infection happens in mouth, head or neck.

Lymph node are part of the lymphatic system responsible for fighting bacteria and pathogens responsible for causing infection in our body. If the nodes behind ear are swollen, then it becomes painful when you yawn. The other cause could be an ear infection or a swimmers ear, this is when your ear is filled with water after swimming.

The above causes are not harmful or life threatening if urgent medical attention is taken.

Sharp pain behind ear when turning head

Have you felt or had difficulties turning your head? When you feel a sharp pain behind ear when turning your head, then this could be clear indication of a stiff neck. A stiff neck is in most of the time characterized by soreness and difficulties in moving the neck side to side.

Severe cases of stiff neck may also be accompanied with symptoms such as headache, neck pain, shoulder pain and general body pain and discomfort. Stiff neck is usually as a result of injury of the neck muscles this is according to sport injury clinic. Rough gaming such as football and rugby can cause this kind of thing.

The main cause of stiff neck is muscles strain and this can be treated at home. Treatment will be aimed at reducing the muscles tension around neck and getting rid of the other symptoms. It is advisable to see a health care provider if the symptoms fails to go away within a week of home treatment this is because it could be serious. Treatment involves;

  • General body rest to allow neck tissue to heal
  • Massage and gentle stretching the neck
  • Simple cold compress to get rid of the stiffness.
  • Reduce high impact exercise

Pain behind left ear and down neck

According to a research by Sport Injury Clinic, most of the cases of a sharp pain behind ear and down to neck has been found to be, cervicogenic headache also known as cervical headache. This is as a result of dysfunction in the muscles, joints, nerves and fascia in or around the cervical spine or neck most commonly in the upper cervical spine.

Pain originates from the neck and back of the skull, it causing a dull, aching sensation throughout the head and the back of ear. The cause of cervicogenic headache has been found to be;

  • Compression of nerve between vertebrae or spine bones
  • Over tenderness of the neck tissues
  • Reduced range of motion for the neck

If you are diagnosed with the condition most of the time the best treatment options will include a simple chiropractic manipulation, neck massage and excessive to retain your postural position

Throbbing pain behind right ear on bone

A throbbing pain behind right ear on pain can be painful and cause a lot of discomfort. But what could be the causes of such pain and what are the possible way you could do to remedy this kind of thing? According to sport injury clinic, most ear pain are as a result of external injuries or damages caused on the bones or as a result of muscles tension.

The other possible causes will include a stiff neck form sitting in the same posture for long, jaw pain, sensitive tooth or mouth injuries. All this can be treated at home, this is not a life threating condition. It I possible for the pain to even go away without any medical attention given, but be warned this will depend on how severe the pain is or what other symptoms begin to show up.

Sharp pain behind left ear comes and goes

Have you been experiencing a sharp pain behind ear that comes and goes? How severe is the pain? It is important to note that pain behind ear can be normal at times, but be warned this is only so when the underlying cause of the pain has been diagnosed and identified.

What I mean is, is the cause of the pain is stiff neck due to wrong position of sleeping or contact during exercises or a simple muscles strain, then this can be said to be normal, this is because a simple ice pack compress can help reduce the pain and get the muscles back to normal.

On the other hand, if the cause of the pain is not known, then depending on how severe and regular the pain comes and goes, you need to seek the help of your doctor or physician as soon as possible, Identifying the cause of the pain is the first step in getting rid of the pain.

Sharp pain behind left ear at base of skull

Our body are interlink through an interconnection of Nevers systems and lymph system. The nerve system is responsible to relaying information from the body to the brain where pain is interpreted. The body also is connected muscles this are what gives the body the ability to move and perform different activity example stretching your hands moving your neck left to right or yawning.

A sharp pain originating from the base of skull can be as a result of stress in neck joint or a vascular headache. Depending on how long you have had the pain this should not be a cause to worry or panic. If this are diagnosed to be the cause of the pain, then you doctor will prescribe some antibiotic and painkillers to relieve the pain. Neck massage and cold/warm compress will be helpful in relieving the neck of the stiffness. A regular visit to a chiropractor is advised.

If after doing this the pain does not go away or keeps coming back, you will need to see doctor for detailed diagnosis. The condition could be serious, and if such measures are not take, you could end up developing brain cancer or meningitis.

Treatment for sharp pain behind ear

Treating the sharp pain behind ear involves not only getting rid of the symptoms but also avoiding future occurrence and infection. Once you visit your health care provider and you are diagnosed to find the cause of the pain in ear, then the doctor will be able tom pin point the cause and initiate the best medication possible.

The treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. For example, if the cause of the sharp pain behind ear is Mastoiditis, the doctor is most likely to prescribe you antibiotics and eardrop gel. The antibiotic will be helpful in preventing infection whereas the eardrop will help plug the contaminated earwax. If on the other hand the cause of the pain is swimmers ear, then you will be giving OTC medication to drain the ear off the water and n eardrop to soften the ear wax and prevent possible ear infection.

For detailed information on the treatment and possible medication for treatment, please refer to the individual causes under the subheading causes above.

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