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Dr.Hussey
Dr.Hussey, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2102
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS-1(R). Have been with patients of medicine all through my career
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What causes numbness in the ear?

The numbness in the ear can be due to variety of reasons. Some of them are

  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Sensory nerve trauma
  • Ear infection
  • Cold 
  • Cerebro vascular accident
  • Ear injury etc


As there is no history of trauma , so ear injury and sensory nerve trauma can be ruled out. Diabetes can be detected by undergoing a blood glucose test. This numbness can be caused by a preceding throat infection which can result in ear infection leading to numbness. However the most devastating eventuality can be a CVA or an impeding stroke. This has to be ruled out first. 
Your best course would be to have a neurological examination done on you as soon as possible even if you have to go to ER. Visiting a neurologist would be even better. A CT scan of the brain would be required to look for any possible infarction or bleeding that may be the root cause of this numbness. This cause should be dealt as an emergency. remaining all can be looked upon only after ruling out this eventuality.

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Question

My left ear has been numb now for two days. No pain associated, just feels numb.

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr.Hussey replied 6 years ago.

Any problem in hearing?
How long has it been so?
Any trauma to this area recently?
Any medicine you take for any chronic illness?
Is there tingling sort of situation associated with it?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No problem hearing.
First noticed this yesterday.
No trauma that I'm aware of, although I did fall down about a week or so down some stairs (9 steps), but, don't remember hitting my head.
I take Mirapex and Sinemet for Parkisons.
No tingling, just feels weird.
Expert:  Dr.Hussey replied 6 years ago.

The numbness in the ear can be due to variety of reasons. Some of them are

  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Sensory nerve trauma
  • Ear infection
  • Cold
  • Cerebro vascular accident
  • Ear injury etc


As there is no history of trauma , so ear injury and sensory nerve trauma can be ruled out. Diabetes can be detected by undergoing a blood glucose test. This numbness can be caused by a preceding throat infection which can result in ear infection leading to numbness. However the most devastating eventuality can be a CVA or an impeding stroke. This has to be ruled out first.
Your best course would be to have a neurological examination done on you as soon as possible even if you have to go to ER. Visiting a neurologist would be even better. A CT scan of the brain would be required to look for any possible infarction or bleeding that may be the root cause of this numbness. This cause should be dealt as an emergency. remaining all can be looked upon only after ruling out this eventuality.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
you are saying I should have a CT done right away? I have been really congested the last couple of days.
Expert:  Dr.Hussey replied 6 years ago.

Hello again

Yes that's what I want to say, the investigations should be done right away to rule out cerebrovascular accident or an impeding stroke..
If all examinations and investigations are negative , then secondary ear infection can be considered and treated accordingly.

This conversation is open till the time you are satisfied. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. I will be more than happy to help you out.

Best of luck...Take care.

Dr.Hussey, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2102
Experience: MBBS, FCPS-1(R). Have been with patients of medicine all through my career
Dr.Hussey and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 6 years ago.

There could be another explanation of the symptoms. Since you just feel numbness over the left ear (auricular part).

You do not have any hearing loss or any other neurological signs suggestive of cranial nerve involvement. The auricular part of the ear is supplied by the greater auricular nerve originating from the cervical spine ( C1-2) to be precise.

With your recent history of fall, it is possibly due to the injury to the GA nerve from the fall.

This is possible without even sustaining any neck injury.

Hence a CT scan of brain will not show this injury.

Instead, you need cervical spine evaluation if this persists or worsens.

otherwise, this will take its own course & heal naturally.