This week, Dr. Eric Powitzky will be joining Dr. Galati to discuss the problem of earaches.
Ear pain in children is often caused by a buildup of fluid and pressure behind the eardrum, in the area called the middle ear. The middle ear is connected to the nasal passages by a short narrow tube, the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube allows normal fluids to drain out of the middle ear, and helps keep the pressure in your ear equalized.
A cold or allergy can block the Eustachian tube due to inflammation and the buildup of secretions. This is especially likely in small children, because their Eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal. Closing of the Eustachian tube prevents the normal flow of fluid from the middle ear. The fluid begins to build up, which can cause stuffiness, pain, hearing losshearing loss, and an ear  infection.
Ear pain in adults is less likely to be from an ear infection. What you perceive as ear pain may actually be coming from another location, such as your temporomandibular joint, your teeth, throat, or other location. This is called "referred" pain.
Eric S. Powitzky, MD, F.A.C.S. trained at Baylor College of Medicine and Vanderbilt University. He received specialized training at the Vanderbilt Voice Center. The scope of his practice includes all areas of adult and pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders. His clinical interest include Laryngology and the Care of the Professional Voice. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor with Baylor College of Medicine.
For information related to earaches, review the links below.