What are the causes of earache?
There are hundreds of causes. The most common is infection of either the ear canal (eg. swimmers ear), or die middle ear. These can develop very rapidly, and one of the most common causes for a 2 am call in general practice is the rapidly developing car pain from an infection.
Infections of the sinuses may also cause ear pain, as may a blockage with phlegm of the fine tube that leads from the middle ear to the back of the nose.
If you fly or climb a mountain with this eustachian tube blocked, the air in the middle ear will be at a different ptessure to that outside, the ear drum will become distorted by this difference in pressure, and pain will result. A common cold may be all that is necessary to cause this blockage.
The bones around the ear may sometimes become infected and cause earache, and the jaw joint which is just in front of the ear will cause ear pain if it becomes inflamed or injured. Impacted ear wax is another common cause of ear pain.
Dental disease can cause ear pain, and vice versa. Dentists often refer patients to a doctor for treatment of their ear or sinus condition after they have initially seen the dentist for toothache. The list goes on and on, so anyone with an eatache will need assessment and treatment by a doctot (or dentist!).