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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 4233
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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Pain in left ear

Resolved Question:

I have left ear pain along with headaches on that side, lymph nodes swollen, pain in bones of my face. All on the same side. Dr says there is no ear infection. Gave anitibiotics anyway, didn't work! Very painful! He gave me steriods and it did clear for a few days, but it keeps returning. Any ideas?

I did have a head injury in the same side including ear and bone behind ear (which is where it hurts) and left side of head. The head injury was 8 yrs ago though.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.

How long have you had this problem? Is it the first time? Is there any rash in the area that hurts?

Customer :

I have had 3 really bad episodes since Nov. I have had to small attacks in last week. No there is no rash


The pain basically covers the left side of my head. Touching behind the ear area sends a sharp stabbing pain through temple and ear etc. but the ear and throat pain & lymph nodes are the worst pain ever and more constant.

Doctor-Bob :

Does the pain travel into the lower jaw or teeth?

Customer :

yes, cheek bone as well

Doctor-Bob :

What about the eye? Any symptoms there?

Customer :

My vision has gotten worse in the last 6-7 months


Absolutely need glasses to read. sometimes get a headache behind the left eye, feels like it is eyeball headache. I have a lot of burning headaches too

Doctor-Bob :

This sounds like it could be trigeminal neuralgia, or a variation of it. This is an irritation of the 5th cranial nerve that supplies sensation to the face and part of the ear. It is an extremely painful condition in which even light touch can provoke paroxysms of pain.

This condition often improves with steroids. Perhaps you could ask your doc about a longer course.

Customer :

but are steroids safe with repeated episodes. I am not one that likes to take a bunch of pills lol

Doctor-Bob :

They are safe in most individuals if only taken for a short while (up to 2 wks at a time). They are just a synthetic version of hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands.

Other meds that work for these types of conditions include indomethacin (during attacks only) or carbamazepine (to prevent attacks).

Customer :

ok so going to am internal medicine would be sufficient?

internal medicine dr or would a specialist be better?

Doctor-Bob :

Ask your doc about trigeminal neuralgia and paroxysmal hemicrania. He will know about these conditions. In most cases, the symptoms are episodic, not daily. They can sometimes go away for long stretches. Either way, there are treatments available. An internist can certainly initiate treatment and monitor you. If symptoms prove recalcitrant he can refer you to a neurologist.

Customer :

Are there test involved? Thank you so much for your time. Wanted to get another opinion because last visit Dr said "he just didnt know". so with having two more episodes in a last week I wanted to stop it before it got worse.

Doctor-Bob :

It's a clinical diagnosis. There is no specific test for it. Some docs will do an MRI just to rule out some less common causes.

Customer :

ok

Doctor-Bob :

Let me know if you have any further questions about this. Thank you.

Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 4233
Experience: Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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