Pain on the auricle


Pectoral pain occurs especially in inflammation.
There are a variety of inflammations that can cause ear pain. The most important of them will be discussed below:

Outside or inside

In the case of the outer ear inflammation, medically: " Otitis externa " it comes to the inflammation of the ear in - outside and partly also inside of the auricle. An otitis externa diffusa is a - as the name implies - diffuse inflammation, in the area of ​​the entire auricle. Cause can be bacteria, viruses, and also fungi that settle on the skin of the auricle. But even chronic middle ear infections can, so to speak, "move outwards", and affect the externally visible area of ​​the ear.

But also contaminated bathing water in swimming pools is very popular, to cause an otitis externa. Typical are a scaling with simultaneous swelling and a resulting transfer of the eardrum.
However, instead of scaling, it can also lead to oozing, in any case, the hearing performance may be impaired.
Therapeutically, an external otitis externally and internally on the auricle antibiotic and cortisone-containing ointments are applied.

If the auricle and its external environment, however, are reddish discolored and swollen, it may be an erysipelas.
Erysipelas is by definition an infection of the skin caused by streptococci . These can penetrate through small skin lesions in the external auditory canal into the tissue, and multiply there.
After fever and chills, it soon comes to a sharply defined, dark red red around the auricle around. The red area is hot, tense, and can extend to the entire outer ear and its surroundings.

As with otitis externa, the gold standard in the treatment here is antibiotic therapy, which - depending on the degree of severity - may also have to be systemic. That said, topical application of antibiotic ointments to the outside of the ear may not be enough and the antibiotics may be administered as a tablet or infusion.

A third example, which often affects older patients in particular, is a reactivation of a herpes zoster, also called " zoster oticus " in the ear area.

Like the normal herpes zoster, the zoster oticus in a strictly limited area on the auricle throws small vesicles outside and inside and causes a painful redness.

The pain often occurs before the blisters are visible. The zoster settles in the responsible for the hearing organ cranial nerves 7 and 8, which is why often dizziness and deafness are concomitant.

Since the 7th cranial nerve also causes motor fibers of the facial muscles, it can lead to a so-called facial paresis, so a paralysis of the facial muscles.

Since the Zoster oticus are not bacteria but viruses, antibiotics do not help in this case.
The therapy is carried out with an antiviral, mostly acyclovir .
This prevents the proliferation of viruses, but does not lead to their death.
This task has to be done by the body itself.

In many cases, paralysis of the cranial nerves is no longer completely restored and loss of function persists. The sooner the zoster is detected, and therapy takes place, the better the prognosis.

Illustration ear

Figure hearing and balance organs

A - outer ear - Auris externa
B - middle ear - Auris media
C - inner ear - Auris interna

  1. Ear Hook - Helix
  2. Counter ledge - Antihelix
  3. Pinna - Auricula
  4. Ohrecke - tragus
  5. Earlobes - Lobulus auriculae
  6. Outer ear canal -
    Meatus acusticus externus
  7. Temporal bone - Os temporale
  8. Eardrum -
    Membrana tympanica
  9. Stirrup - stapes
  10. Eustachian tube (Tube) -
    Tuba auditiva
  11. Snail - cochlea
  12. Auditory nerve - cochlear nerve
  13. Balance nerve - vestibular nerve
  14. Internal auditory canal - meatus acusticus internus
  15. Extension (ampoule) of the posterior semicircular canal - Ampulla membranacea posterior
  16. Archway - semicircular duct
  17. Anvil - incus
  18. Hammer - Malleus
  19. Tympanic Cavity - Cavitas tympani

An overview of all pictures by Dr-Gumpert can be found at: medical pictures

Pain on the jaw and ear

Pains on the jaw and ear are often associated, as the temporomandibular joint is in close proximity to the auditory canal (the anterior wall of the auditory canal forms part of the temporomandibular joint).

In case of a fracture of the ear canal, it can also cause pain in the jaw. A common ear fracture occurs most frequently after impact on the ear.
This automatically affects the outer part of the ear - ie the outer ear and external ear canal. There is pain when chewing, impaired hearing, and possibly a jaw lock.

The therapy depends on the severity of the break.
While conservative therapy is sufficient for small fractures, surgical treatment is required for severe fractures.

The jaw is also involved in creating a pressure balance between the middle ear and throat. Throat and middle ear are connected by a muscular tube. This hose (lat .: " tuba tympani ") is closed in the ground state, and is opened only by yawning, for example.
You can also purposefully create the opening by imitating the "yawning movement". This may be necessary when driving through a tunnel or sitting in a plane.

If the pressure is very strong, it can cause pain in the jaw and the ear. The pain can radiate down to the outer areas of the ear, such as the auricle and external auditory canal. Especially when the jaw is already damaged, this pressure balance can cause great pain. Therefore, flights in this situation are not recommended.

Pinna pain in the child

A child must also be thought of for completely different causes than an adult. This is how children like to put objects in their mouths or their ears.

Of course, they are unaware of the danger and often can not express their pain.
Typical is more screaming, and conspicuous frequent touching of the auricle.

Sometimes, however, the cause of pain in the ear and pinna of children is quite simple: While we adults at least now and then remove the earwax (Latin: cerumen ) - from the ears, children do not do this by themselves.
Over time, on the one hand a hearing loss, on the other hand pain can arise.

Children also have a much thinner tuba auditiva, which is why it is much faster when swelling. This also results in more severe pain than in adults. Especially with colds, or a measles infection this can be the case.

In winter, sensitive temperatures can quickly lead to "frozen ears". While adults don a cap, a child often can not properly assess the pain, ignoring it, or pushing it on something else. Therefore: In cold winter months always pay attention to warm clothes and cap!

Pain at night or after getting up

If the pain on the pinna occurs at night, or after getting up, the cause may be that you have become embarrassed.

Especially when alcohol was involved in the evening, the sensation of pain of the body is reduced. As a result, we do not notice when we bend our ears all night, or otherwise burden us.

Only the next morning hurts the auricle, and possibly the head. The good thing is that this pain goes away.
But even without alcohol consumption, our ears sometimes hurt at night when we sleep on them for a long time. Softer cushions, or sometimes fewer cushions, can help.

In the case of cartilaginous dermatitis (" perichondritis "), the auricle is subjected to additional stress at night due to the weight of the head. Here, only soft and cushioning bandages on the ear help, until the healing is complete.

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