Ear pain or Otalgia can be caused by a number of conditions. There are five separate nerves that carry pain fibers from the outer and middle ear to the central nervous system. Problems along any one of these nerves can refer pain to the ear which is known as referred otalgia. Although ear pain can certainly be caused by conditions that effect the outer and middle ear such as swimmers ear and otitis media, other conditions that commonly refer pain to the ear are TMJ syndrome, dental infections, mouth ulcers and tumors of the throat. Ear pain should never be taken likely and proper diagnosis requires a thorough examination of the ears, nose and throat by a qualified specialist.
Otalgia is ear pain, commonly referred to as an earache. Primary otalgia exists when the pain originates within the ear. Referred otalgia is pain that originates outside of the ear. Otalgia may or may not be associated with balance disorders and a reduction in hearing. Otalgia is not always associated with ear disease. It may be caused by several other conditions, such as impacted teeth, sinus disease, inflamed tonsils, infections in the nose and pharynx, throat cancer and occasionally as a sensory aura that precedes a migraine.