Sharp Pain Behind Ears – Causes and Treatment

Sharp, piercing pain in ears, behind or around them could be a sign of an underlying cause that might need serious medical examination and treatment. Pain in the ears should not be overlooked and taken for granted. It might suggest a person has dangerous ear infection that needs to be managed as soon as possible. If you’ve felt sharp pain behind your ears or in the area, see your doctor to determine what causes it. There are several tests designed to discover the underlying ailment.

Pain behind the ears could be accompanied by various other symptoms and it is of a vital importance to track them and take seriously. If the pain is followed by fever, it might be you’ve got a serious ear infection, which needs to be treated immediately. Ears are very close to our brain; any injury or infection in the area could represent a possible and very dangerous threat to the brain. If such cases are not treated in time, they could result in irreparable damage or even a fatal outcome. If you react in time, you’ll stop the infection to reach other parts of the body.

Underlying medical causes and treatment

Sharp pain behind the ears may be associated with severe infection that could result in severe brain damage. If you’ve felt piercing pain in the area of your ears, you should seek for a medical help.

Track the progress of the pin and provide your doctor with details about the level of pain, the frequency, the particular sense you get when the pain occurs, including other symptoms and such.

Detailed information would help the expert to accurately determine the cause of pain.

  • Mastoiditis

Mastoiditis is also an ear infection that affects the mastoid bone. Consisting of air tunnels, this bone functions as a drainage system of the middle ear. Mastoiditis could occur if bacteria infect the mastoid bone itself, the middle ear or if a skin cyst gets formed at the center of the ear and disrupts the regular draining process. This condition is treated by antibiotics and medical cleaning of the ear. Severe cases might require surgical treatment.

  • Otitis media

Otitis media is a virus or bacteria ear infection. The particular culprit of infection would get into air filled area just behind the eardrum, where little vibrating bones are located. This is followed by the accumulating of fluids and middle ear inflammation. The condition is common in children. Otitis media usually ceases on its own and doesn’t require any serious treatment.

The pain, however, could be managed by medications. In severe cases antibiotics may be prescribed. The main focus should be on tracking the changes in the condition and appropriate acting if it gets worse, since untreated otitis media might cause complications.

  • Swollen lymph nodes

Lymph nodes that are located at the back of the ears, as well as those in the groin area and armpits, usually get swollen if your body is affected by a virus or other infection, inflammation and more severe causes, such as cancer. Since they are causing pressure, one of the symptoms may be the sharp pain behind the ears. This condition requires a proper diagnosis, in order to treat the underlying cause.

  • Tooth infection

Tooth infection or abscess could be accompanied by a sharp pain behind the ears, since they also cause lymphatic glands to swell. The pain would be relieved once you’ve managed the tooth infection.

  • Headache

Headache and earache could be easily connected. The causes could vary, so there are different conditions that cause both headache and ear pain. Ice pick stabbing headache, usually connected with eyes, Hemicrania Continua, one sided chronic headache without a determined cause and several other types of head pain could be also accompanied by the sharp pain behind the ears.

Since the conditions have different causes and there are not always easy to discover, a proper medical examination is required. You need to treat the primary cause of the pain, in the first place. Proper diagnosis and management of a particular type of headache would reduce both head pain and the pain behind the ears.

Physical causes and treatment

Physical obstacles could also cause the pain around, behind or inside the ears. Physical damage and injuries of sensitive ear tissues are common causes of ear pain, as well.

  • Swimmer’s ear

This condition occurs when the water remains in the ears after swimming.  The water affects the outer ear canal, the one that is connected with the eardrum, causing the pain. The condition may also appear as a result of a harm of the ear canal sensitive interior, caused by putting fingers, cotton swabs or other objects inside the ears. The condition triggers the sense of sharp pain in the ears. Swimmers’ ear requires appropriate and immediate medical help, in order to prevent further complications. The doctor would most likely prescribe eardrops and recommend use of OTC pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

  • Temporomandibular joint injury

Damage of the joint connecting the jaw and a temporal bone could also cause the occurring of the piercing pain behind the ear. The problem would most likely withdraw on its own. However, if the condition gets prolonged, you should see a doctor. If the joint is seriously damaged, the condition may require a surgical procedure or a longer therapy. In other cases, the doctor may prescribe pain relievers and muscle relaxants, as well as tricyclic antidepressants.

  • Abnormal amount of earwax

Ceruminosis, a condition of an abnormal production of earwax could also be the cause of the pain behind the ears. Too much earwax makes ear canal too narrow, so you could sense itching and muffled hearing, as well as the sharp pain. This condition is treated at the doctor’s, by using special instruments and softening substances, in order to remove the accumulated wax. Be careful if using ear buds; you could push the wax deeper in your ear and also cause discomfort and pain

  • Eustachian tube blockade

There are different causes of could block the Eustachian tube and result in a sharp pain behind the ears. Flu, cold, sinus problems, allergies and other factors all affect Eustachian tube and could cause a blockade. This condition usually withdraws spontaneously; forced or normal yawning and chewing may also break the blockade.