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Ask Dr. Muneeb Ali Your Own Question
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Intensivist
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3708
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM.Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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I've had ear aches since Friday but they've been on and off

Customer Question

Hello, I've had ear aches since Friday but they've been on and off and it feels as if it is congested in my right ear, it doesn't feel like an infection it feels as if its all clogged up as if it was a congested nose, but sying that when it hurts it hurts very bad. So what should I do?
JA: How long have you been dealing with the pain? Does the pain affect your breathing?
Customer: 3 days and No
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: Nope that's it
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

Im sorry to hear about your symptoms. can i ask do you have any discharge from the ear? Any headaches or dizziness? Fever? Does swallowing cause any pain?

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Since you seem to be offline , ill leave a response here which we can discuss later on. This conversation is open for further queries and clarifications.

Well from what you are describing there are a few possibilities here. the first one is that this could be simple earwax which has hardened inside the ear and is now causing an obstruction in the area. This can lead to severe pain in the ear as well as cause hearing issues as well. Now before this wax can be removed it would first have to be softened so that it can be easily extracted, this can be done with the use of several OTC products such as

  • mineral oil
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • carbamide peroxide
  • baby oil
  • glycerin

I would recommend using only mineral oil and baby oil. but this should ONLY be used after an examination of the ear is done. The reason im stressing on an ear examination is because while ear wax is likely to be the cause, the severe ear ache which you have mentioned has made me think of other possibilities. These could include an infection of the ear as well. Now while infections usually would cause a discharge as well as fever but they can appear without these symptoms in many patients. A simple middle ear infection would cause severe ear pain as well as a congested feeling in the ear as well as pain on swallowing in some cases. most infections are viral in nature and would need topical ear drops to improve. Similarly it is also possible that you could have an infection of teh outer ear canal which can cause these sort of symptoms as well. It is possible that the hardened ear wax led to the development of an infection in teh outer canal. This would again need antibiotics to be treated.

Now i think there is a high likelihood that the pain is due to ear wax which has hardened in the ear but the presence of severe pain in the ear DOES indicate that you need this to be evaluated with a clinical examination. It is important that before you use ANY OTC product inside your ear, the diagnosis should be confirmed. Sometimes there is a possibility of a hole in the ear drum which can occur due to barotrauma, infections or even past injuries etc, if that is present then inserting ear drops into the ear can lead to complications. That is why i would recommend that you have this evaluated atleast once before starting on OTC treatment.

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Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

One more thing, you can treat the pain until you get evaluated with the use OTC oral tablets like tylenol, motrin or aleve which will provide some relief until you get in to see your doctor.

Do you have any more questions?

Please leave a POSITIVE rating by clicking on the stars above, until you do i am not compensated for my time. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the POSITIVE rating. You can also ask questions from me directly by going on the link below,

http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-dr-muneeb-ali/