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Learn about your mild ear canal pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your mild ear canal pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Mild Ear Canal Pain Checker

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Your Mild Ear Canal Pain May Also be Known as:
Ear canal a little painful
Ear canal hurts a little
Ear canal mildly painful
Ear canal slightly painful
Inner ear a little painful
Inner ear hurts a little
Inner ear mildly painful
Inner ear slightly painful
Mild ear canal discomfort

Top 9 Mild Ear Canal Pain Causes

  1. 1.Middle Ear Infection

    Middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, occur when the tubes that carry sound become clogged with debris like mucus.

    Your should go to your primary care doctor in the next day for an ear examination. It is likely your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, sore throat, fever, new headache, mucous dripping in the back of the throat
    Symptoms that always occur with middle ear infection:
    ear canal pain
    Symptoms that never occur with middle ear infection:
    vertigo (extreme dizziness), face weakness, facial numbness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located in front of the ear, and it connects the jaw to the side of the head. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a painful condition which can be caused by excess tension in jaw mucles, faulty alignment between upper and lower teeth, arthritis in the joint, or injury of the jaw or face.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This is a complex condition to treat, because the causes are not always clear. Treatment may include resting the jaw with a soft diet, pain medications, and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, history of headaches, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, pain in the back of the neck, jaw pain
    Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibiular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder:
    pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)

    Swimmer's ear, also known as otitis externa, is inflammation, irritation, or infection of the outer ear and ear canal.

    You should go to your primary care doctor in the next day or so. There, diagnosis can be confirmed by observation. Treatment with antibiotic drops will be started.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, ear canal pain, ear fullness/pressure, jaw pain, ear pain that gets worse when moving
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Insomnia Disorder

    Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder that prevents one from falling asleep, staying asleep, or a combination of both.

    Sleep is of critical importance to physical and mental wellbeing. You should speak with your primary care physician about your inability to sleep well. Things you can do to improve your sleep are: regular exercise, keeping a regular bedtime and routine, avoiding caffeine several hours before going to bed and putting away your electronic devices before bedtime. In addition, try to do something relaxing like reading, listening to music or breathing exercises.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, mild headache, insomnia
    Symptoms that always occur with insomnia disorder:
    insomnia
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Mild Ear Canal Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mild ear canal pain.

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  5. 5.Common Cold

    The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

    The common cold is treated symptomatically. Since this is a viral infection, antibiotics are not effective. You can safely treat the symptoms of this condition with over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines & cough medicines.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that never occur with common cold:
    being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Acute Viral Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus spaces behind the nose and cheeks. These spaces produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If the nose is swollen or if the mucus does not drain, this can block the sinuses and cause pain or infection.

    You can treat your symptoms at home using ibuprofen (for pain) and Tylenol (for a fever). Antibiotics for this diagnosis are not helpful because this is likely a viral infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, cough, sore throat, sinusitis symptoms, muscle aches
    Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Non - Specific Ear Pain

    Ear pain not caused by infection or injury that is a variation of normal.

    Your ear pain is normal and unlikely to be caused by a serious illness. You can take over the counter medication like Tylenol to treat the pain.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    ear canal pain
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific ear pain:
    ear canal pain
    Symptoms that never occur with non-specific ear pain:
    severe ear canal pain, swollen ear, ear discharge, ear pain that gets worse when moving
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Chronic Earwax Blockage

    Earwax production is a normal process, as the body makes wax to protect the ear from infection. Sometimes ear wax can build up and cover the eardrum which is a thin layer of skin that stretches across the end of the ear canal and picks up sound from outside.

    You can go to your local pharmacy or retail clinic. You should NOT try removing the wax with cotton swabs or Q-tips, because you run the risk of pushing the ear wax further into the ear canal, and potentially damaging the ear canal or eardrum. A variety of ear drops exist that can be bought at the pharmacy, such as Debrox, Murine, and Cerumenex. These will help soften the wax so it can exit the ear canal. You may also use other remedies such as mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerin ear drops instead of brand-name drops. If symptoms worsen, you should see your physician, who may be able to flush the wax out of the ear.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, dry cough, ear canal pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo (extreme dizziness)
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic earwax blockage:
    ear canal pain
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic earwax blockage:
    swollen ear, fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  9. 9.New Migraine

    Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Migraines are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. However, it is important not to take them too regularly. Taking them more than two or three times a week can cause more headaches, as the body gets used to the drug, and the headache comes back when you stop taking the medication. Talk to a doctor if you have two or more migraines each month, as there are more effective treatments for preventing migraines.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, fatigue, nausea, mild headache, sensitivity to light
    Symptoms that always occur with new migraine:
    new headache
    Symptoms that never occur with new migraine:
    fever, diarrhea, productive cough, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mild Ear Canal Pain

  • Q.Is your ear pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How long has your ear pain been going on?
  • Q.Is your ear pain constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our mild ear canal pain symptom checker.

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Mild Ear Canal Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced mild ear canal pain have also experienced:

    • 6% Headache
    • 6% Muscle Aches
    • 4% Sore Throat
  • People who have experienced mild ear canal pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 44% Less Than a Week
    • 24% Less Than a Day
    • 12% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced mild ear canal pain were most often matched with:

    • 26% Middle Ear Infection
    • 21% Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
    • 15% Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

Mild Ear Canal Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mild ear canal pain.

Take a quiz