We frequently receive telephone requests for ear drops and antibiotics. Unfortunately, the cause of an earache cannot be diagnosed without a proper examination. Swimmer’s ear and otitis media are two of the most frequent illnesses seen by pediatricians. Earwax, foreign bodies, Eustachian tube dysfunction, viral infections and serious bacterial infections of the mastoid bone can also cause ear pain and discomfort. Pain can also be referred from the adjacent temporomandibular joint and from the throat. A painful ear is one of the most common reasons for an ear nose and throat consultation.

Common causes of earaches include: