ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Ear Pain and Discomfort – What It Is and How It’s Treated

Ear Pain and Discomfort – What It Is and How It’s Treated


Often referred to as an earache, this could refer to any form of irritation such as a burning sensation in the ears or a dull, constant pain that does not go away. Some earaches come with tinnitus, a sharp ringing sound inside the ear.


Ear pain is more common in children than it is with adults. When it does occur in adults it is often accompanied with a sensation of vertigo or even Meniere’s Disease, a sign that there is something wrong with the inner ear.


What Causes Ear Pain?

There are generally three main causes of ear pain:


  1. Physical injury to the ear
  2. Infection
  3. Irritation

Injuries from falling or physical blows can cause ear pain and discomfort. Even loud sounds like the explosion of a bomb can cause physical damage to the ear.


Infections usually accompany sinus infections, fevers, and direct ear infection.


Some ailments like TMJ syndrome (temporomandibular joint) may also cause irritations to the ear, causing discomfort and tinnitus. Irritation in the ear might also be caused by foreign objects inside the ear canal or a buildup of wax.


Seeking Medical Aid

Children experiencing ear pain accompanied by a 104o F fever or infants experiencing ear pain accompanied by a 101o F fever should seek immediate medical attention. If the pain abruptly stops then you should also seek medical aid because this is a sign of eardrum rupture.


Treating Ear Pain at Home


To relieve pressure:

  • Chew gum (for adults) or feeding (for infants)
  • Sit upright

To reduce pain:

  • Mild pain relievers
  • Ear drops, unless the ear drum has ruptured
  • Avoid wetting the ears

Medical Treatment for Ear Pain and Discomfort

Most ENT doctors will prescribe antibiotics and eardrops to treat the infection. This should cure the infection pretty quickly and this is mostly all it takes to treat the discomfort.

If the discomfort and pain is caused by wax buildup then wax-softening eardrops will be given. For severe cases, the ENT doctor may use special equipment to flush out the wax directly. This procedure, ear irrigation, can lead to slight discomfort after the wax has been removed. This feeling will fade away as the ear adjusts to relieved pressure inside the inner canal.


Sinus infections, TMJ, and other ailments that feature ear pain as a side effect will be treated directly. When the condition has been treated, ear pain should also be gone.


Preventing Ear Pain


  • Make it a point not to listen to extremely loud sounds; turn down the volume of your TV, computer speakers, and others.
  • Always dry your ears after bathing and swimming.
  • Keep away from dust or pollen and other allergens.


For details of the ENT services, diagnosis, and treatment, please consult our ENT specialist.



HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services


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