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Ken, Postgraduate doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6558
Experience:  Working as a Doctor who Cares since 2001.
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Shooting pain in my ear

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I have extreme sharp shooting pain in right ear, approx every 15 seconds - pain very intense, feels like a steel nail stabbing into the ear.

Saw Osteopath who said it looked like an ear infection. Saw Doc who said it could be bacterial or viral (from shingles attacking ear nerves).

I have slight sore throat and and ears click when I swallow but Doc doesn't think its bacterial infection. Doc gave me "Lyrica" today - it worked for 4 hours only, I can only take 1 tab ecvry 12 hours.

Can anyone help?


I can understand your anxiety.

Pain at ear {in your case} is most likely due to infection, as it is associated with sore throat. Middle ear/ oral cavity/ eye/ sinuses are in communication with each other. Ear communicates with throat through Eustachian tube. It maintains pressure at the middle ear. Any blockage of this tube causes altered pressure at the middle ear which in turn causes pressure over the ear drum leading to pain. Infection at the throat can easily spread to middle ear through this tube if not controlled in time.

Right now I would suggest you to take Ibuprofen to relive pain. Warm compress may help. Warm water gargles {with pinch of salt}/ steam inhalation do help to relieve inflammation and so the pain. Avoid alcohol/ smoking or blowing of nose.

A physical evaluation {ENT preferred} along with few investigations like blood tests/ throat swab/ CT temporal bone will help us to know the causative organism and severity. Treatment will follow {which may consist of antibiotic course}.

Please do not worry, you will be fine soon. Few signs should prompt ER visit - dizziness or unconsciousness/ high grade fever/ seizures/ severe headache.

God bless

Ken and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Why is it that GP's look in your ear and coz they can't see any signe sof infection, they assume it is not an infection?

I have had a couple of times an ear infection over the past 5 years or so, and tell then I have ears click on swallowing, feel sor ein the tubes (I feel it on the inside) but because they can't see anything, they assume its not an infection? This visual insppection they do seems to me to be unreliable for picking up ear infections.Why do they continue to persist with that?

Well I do understand the feeling you must be having.
They see for redness of the ear drum {which indicates inflammation}. However I think they should go in for a throat swab to see for the causative organism and than decide on the treatment plan.
God speed