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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I have a sharp pain in the my ear lobe. It almost feels like

Customer Question

i have a sharp pain in the my ear lobe. It almost feels like a a damaged nerve, for its extremely sharp and it hurts to make even the slightest facial movements. This has been going on fror 5 years, where it goes away and returns, each time with the same intensity. I do not have headaches nor nor anything to the likes. I suspect nerve issues only because the touch to the ear triggers it. where do i begin with treatment?
Submitted: 8 years ago via HealthBoards.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Is this just your ear lobe, or is the skin in front of the ear as well?

Or any other part of the face?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
it is just my left ear lobe, i do not know how to explain - like the triangular part thats attached to my head. the skin immediately around it is extremely sensitive. when the pain surges its only there and no where else. when it peaks i have to be totally motionless cause it seems like my whole body becomes attached to my ear (why i mention nerve) and after this moment the pain goes away, and i dont feel anything until i make an abrupt movement to that ear lobe.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.

Do you have neck issues at all?

Or does this pain somehow seem to originate from the upper part of the neck?

How old are you? Are your ears pierced?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am 32, I do not have any neck issues, actually I don't have many health problems. Like I said, no headaches, no aches, I barely get sick on anything. The pain originates only on the ear. I do not have any piercings, and as I type this my pain is dissolving, however, this happens upon an abrupt movement of my face. I guess you can say at one point the pain makes my whole lobe feel like its scorching with pain.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.

Pain in the earlobe is probably from the greater auricular nerve, which is a branch of the upper cervical nerves (which originate in the neck).

If you are having localized pain just on the ear, it is likely that whatever is occurring is due to irritation of the nerve right at the ear.

You don't have any ear piercings to cause irritation of the nerve, and so it may take an exam to help figure this out -- though the cause may not be able to be easily diagnosed. The doctor can try some medications that can help to sooth nerve related pains, but I think starting with an exam would be the first best step.

Less common causes of ear pain could be irritation of cranial nerves (within the brain itself), though often times they would be associated with pain elsewhere as well (into the cheek, or the back of the throat for example).
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Would the fact that this has been going on for 5 years cause any worsening condition for me?

Thanks for you help I will get to my doctor - though i did mention to him once, however since i had no pain, at the time, he did not further investigate.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Well, the fact that it has been going on 5 years without getting worse is probably a good sign that it isn't a serious condition (like an unlikely tumor pressing on the nerve, etc).

But of course, since it has become very bothersome to you, it deserves to be looked at by your doctor.