Adult Earache/Pain for 8 months, no infection, healthy ears HELP!

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I have been suffering with earache and pain for 8 months now.  It started at night in my right ear and I would wake up in the morning with earache. I put this down to me sleeping on my right side and blocking my ear for hours with my pillow. I went to my doctor who advised it was probably the start of a cold and to see how it goes. I never got a cold so went back and saw a nurse. The nurse said I had fluid in my ear and gave me a nasal spray. This spray did nothing and ended up going back to the doctors. I saw a different nurse this time, who told me there was no fluid in my ear, my ears looked healthy and to see how it goes.

This was about 5 months with earache and it was getting worse and turning into a pain. It effected my sleep and started to ache during the day not just at night time. My ear also became blocked and effected the hearing in my right ear. I started sleeping on my left side to allow air to get to my right ear at night-time which did seem to help. When my earache got worse, I started to get the signs of tinnitus which drove me crazy when trying to get to sleep. I went back to the doctors who referred me to ENT clinic at the hospital. The doctor at the hospital checked my ears and put a camera up my nose and came to the same conclusion as the other doctor. My ears were perfect and there was nothing in my sinuses effecting my ears. He put me forward for an MRI scan.

8 months down the line with my MRI scheduled for next month, my left ear has started to lightly ache and fear that this may get worse too. I fear that the MRI scan will not show anything and have no idea what steps to take. I thought about going back to my doctors but not sure what else they can do. The doctors I have seen tell me to change my job to something that doesn’t require wearing a headset but I don’t think this is a solution although it will probably help.  Also thought about going to see a specialist but this could be costly.

A few things that might help to know:

Recently been on holiday and my ear pain got worse when landing.

I work in a call centre and have done for 22 months and wear a headset for the best part of the day. Before this, I worked in a different call centre wearing a headset for 2 years.

From the age of 10 I have had their weird thing where when I swallow it like makes my ears crackle/pop. I must hold my nose and sniff up to like counteract it which makes my ears feel full. The fullness then wears off within seconds until I swallow again and the same thing happens repeatedly.

I have never had any previous problems with my ears.

I have never had excessive earwax or had to have earwax removed.

My earache does not seem to be affected by noise in general.

Earache worsens when obstructed by headset, pillow etc and noticed more ache when wind blows into my ear.

I have had blood tests for vitamin D deficiency, diabetes and thyroid which all came back negative.

No liquids, discharge or blood coming from my ears

From the age of 14 to 24, I have suffered with tonsillitis once, twice and sometimes three times a year. On two occasions, it turned out to be a severe form of tonsillitis called Quincy.

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  • Posted


    Sorry for your pain. Have a similar problem with my daughter aged 13 since she was 9.

    She describes a sharp pain in her right ear. Suffers from sinusitis but the pain is prevalent in the absence of sinus infections. 

    She has done an MRI - suspected a tumor on the nerve - turned out fine. No nerve issues.

    She has since has many ct scans and xrays but none that show any issues with her ear.

    She has taken Tramadol, Lyrica, etc but nothing that works, 

    It's recurring and very frustrating.

    She has seen a few GPs and 2 Ent's

    Goodluck with your MRI - please do keep us informed on any progress

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  • Posted


    You can also consult a herbalist. There are many herbs which can help you with the condition. Here are few sites you can visit and read more about ear pain and some causes for it. First and most important is to identify the cause.

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  • Posted

    Update: My MRI scan came back fine but they said they think my Eustachian tube is blocked. They have prescribed me Dymista Nasal Spray and Cetirizine Hydrochloride (Antihistamines) for 3-4 months. They will assess me again in 3-4 months time and might need to have surgery on my ears if my symptoms don’t improve.

    As this has been going on for awhile now, I don't think what they have given me will help but I have to give it ago.

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  • Posted

    Hi shez02356

    Glad to hear the MRI was clear. Could it not pick up that the Eustachian tube was blocked?

    Are none of your sinuses inflamed or anything of that sort?

    What are they operating? 

    My daughters MRI was also clear except for the sphenoid sinus thickening. She uses the sprays, antihistamines etc. Nothing works. I have taken her off all the pain killers, gabapentin, oxynorm etc. We are now trying CBD oil

    I am hoping this will work for the pain atleast.

    I hope you feel better. Do keep us posted

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    • Posted

      Apparently not, I’m no doctor but I thought MRI’s would have picked up any pressure….

      I don’t feel like my sinuses are inflamed, the only other thing is I feel like there is something constantly stuck in my throat blocking it and can feel it every time I swallow.

      They will operate on both ears to unblock the tube. I am assuming they will do the Balloon dilatation surgery as I have not seen what other surgeries are available.

      Have the doctors not given any indication as to what might be wrong with your daughter? I can imagine it to be very hard for your daughter to live with all of this as such a young age.

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    • Posted

      Hi shez02356

      With the throat feeing- have they looked at GERD? Acid reflux.

      I can't understand what they are going to operate on. 

      What types of painkillers have you tried? 

      With my daughter, we have just been to the neuro who said that if the nerve pain killers he has given has not helped then it's not nerve pain! Reached a dead end really!

      None of pain meds we have used have helped/


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    • Posted

      I have since received a letter saying they will put grommets in my eardrums to allow air to get through that way.

      They haven't given me any painkillers however, I have been using the nasal spray and Antihistamines every day for now about a month so it is actually helping me. Symptoms haven't completely gone but very little pain and the popping and crackling is minimal now. Not sure what will happen when I stop taking these but don't think it will completely clear.

      Oh goodness, sounds like your going round the houses!

      Keeping pushing on though until you can get some answers


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  • Posted

    Hi Shez

    How are you holding up??

    Some feedback on my daughter:

    She went through the trauma of getting her nerves injected with anaesthetic etc. Ended up at a maxillo facial surgeon who prescribed Tegratol.

    We decided to try one last option before trying another drug and the botox injection . We tried

    a Physiotherapist and a chiropractor.

    It has worked wonders! It appears in her case the pain was referred from her neck/tmj.

    She has considerably less pain and back to her old self!

    Hope it's going well with your treatment.

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  • Posted

    Hey there! Having a very similar issue. Did the tubes do the trick?

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    • Posted

      Hi Michael. My ears don't feel as blocked and my hearing has gotten better. I am now just over 3 weeks since my operation and i have had a constant head ache since. This turns into migraines sometimes. i have a constant whooshing noise in my head which doctor's say is a form of tinnitus but i could of had that before and only noticing now as my hearing is better. The whooshing sound doesn't help me sleep. I still get ear pain but not as painful and everyday. Before my operation, the surgeon said to me 'you do know this isn't going to work for you don't you'... Like they have given me any other options!! I've heard it's very rare they will do the grommet insertion on adults and if there isn't major hearing loss as every hearing test I did came back normal. I'm just going to have to see how it goes but not sure if there is any cure for this. Other option is balloon dilation surgery but not sure if the UK are able to do this yet, my surgeon said there was no other surgery out there. Are you having the grommet surgery?

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