Shooting pain in ear-24 Causes, 9 Home Remedies

Shooting pain in ear can be really troublesome, as the ear is one of the most important sense organs of the body, and it is very delicate. When we have sharp pain ear, we tend to get worried a lot as it is very painful, and some of these conditions causing throbbing ear pain can also cause hearing impairment or disturbances in hearing.

Shooting pain in ear or sharp pain in ear causes:

shooting pain in ear
Shooting pain in ear
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There are many causes of shooting pain in ear ranging from mild conditions like ear wax to severe disorders of the ear like Meniere’s disease and eardrum rupture. In fact, some conditions related to the nose and throat can also cause shooting pain in ear. Let us discuss them in detail.

Shooting pain in ear caused by ear conditions:
Barotrauma of the ear:

If you ever happen to travel at heights or high altitudes like when doing trekking, flying on a plane, bungee jumping, flying parachute or living at high altitudes, this can damage your ear. It can cause many symptoms like:

  • Shooting pain in ear
  • Fullness in the ears
  • Feeling stuffed inside the ear
Meniere’s disease:

This disease affects our innermost part of the ear or the inner ear. It causes many symptoms like:

  • Shooting pain in ear or sharp ar pain
  • Tinnitus or ringing or buzzing sounds in the ear
  • Fullness in the ear
  • Vertigo or feeling that the surroundings are rotating
  • Hearing impairment
Mastoiditis:

The inflammation or swelling of the mastoid process which is present behind the ear is called mastoiditis. If we have an ear infection, and it is not treated promptly on time. It can lead to mastoiditis which can in turn cause shooting pain in ear.

Earwax:

Earwax or cerumen in produced in the ears to protect our ears from the pollution and dust in the environment and also from the microbes which cause ear infections. But, anything I excess is not good even if it is a good thing. Excess ear wax can cause blockage of the ear, sensation of stuffiness in he ear, and also shooting pain in ear.

Otitis externa:

Otitis externa is the inflammation of the external or swelling of the external ear which is caused by various infections like bacteria and fungi. It can cause shooting pain in ear or sharp pain in ear when it is severe. Otitis externa is also known with the synonym swimmers ear.

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Presence of foreign body in the ear:

Small children tend to play with small objects. Sometimes they try to insert these small objects like coins, etc into their ears, nose or even swallow them. These things might get impacted in the ears, block the ears, and cause sharp pain in ear or throbbing ear pain. So, we need to be really cautious with small kids, and never give them any small objects.

Otitis media:

Otitis media is the inflammation or swelling of the middle ear which is caused by bacteria, and also viruses. It causes many symptoms like:

  • Shooting pain in ear or stabbing pain in ear
  • Sensation of fullness in ear
  • Ringing in ears or tinnitus
  • Hearing impairment
Rupture of tympanic membrane or eardrum:

Tympanic membrane or the eardrum is a very important part of the ear which plays a pivotal role in hearing. It separates the external ear and the middle ear. Rupture of the eardrum can occur due to various reasons like inserting objects into ear by kids, traveling to high altitudes, etc. It can cause symptoms like:

  • Discharge of blood or pus from the ears
  • Hearing impairment
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Shooting pain in ear or stabbing pain in ears
Cholesteatoma:

Cholesteatoma is a cyst in the middle ear. It can exert pressure over the middle ear and the structures nearby and also lead to infection. This infection can spread to the brain or nerves and lead to more complications as well.

Shooting pain in ear caused by nose and throat disorders:
Sinusitis:

Sinusitis is the swelling or inflammation of the paranasal sinuses which are present surrounding the nose. It is most commonly caused by viruses, although sometimes it can be caused by bacteria as well. It causes symptoms like:

  • Tenderness over the paranasal sinuses
  • Shooting pain in ear or stabbing ear pain
  • A runny nose or discharge of fluid from the nose
  • Feeling stuffy inside the nose
  • Difficulty in breathing as nostrils are blocked
Pharyngitis:

It is the inflammation of the pharynx, and it can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and also as a result of allergies to certain substances. It can cause symptoms like:

  • Pain in the throat or a sore throat
  • Difficulty or pain while swallowing food or drinking water
  • Redness in the throat
  • Irritation or discomfort in the throat
  • Shooting pain in ear as the infection can spread to ear also as pharynx and ear are interconnected
Tonsillitis:

It is the inflammation or swelling of the tonsils which are present on either side of the pharynx or throat. They can get inflamed due to bacterial or viral infections. They cause symptoms like:

  • Pain in the throat or a sore throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Fever
  • A runny nose
  • Shooting pain in ear as infection can also spread to ears.
Allergic rhinitis:

It is the presence of allergy to various substances like foods, pollen, animal dander, pet fur, dust, cool mist, etc. The people suffering from this problem tend to have a persistent runny nose, sneezing, etc.

Sharp pain in ear or shooting pain in ear caused by other disorders:
Bruxism:

Bruxism is the presence of teeth grinding. Generally, people tend to grind their teeth at night as a habit from childhood or also when they are in stressful state. This habit of bruxism can exert pressure over the ears leading to shooting pain in ear.

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Dental caries:

When there are any cavities or caries in our teeth, you might suffer from sharp pain in ear as well, as the nerves supplying the teeth, and those of the ears are interconnected.

Temporomandibular joint disorder:

When there is any arthritis or problem of the TMJ joint, you will suffer from difficulty opening the mouth or jaw, and pain in the TMJ joint. You also get shooting pain in ear as the nerves supplying the TMJ joint have connection with the ears.

Infections:

Infection of the throat, neck, areas surrounding the ear can also spread to the ear and cause shooting pain in ear.

Drug overdose:

An overdose of certain drugs can lead to shooting pain in ear or throbbing ear pain along with certain other symptoms like buzzing sound in ear or ringing sound in ear. Some examples of such drugs include NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Fenoprofen, etc.

Trigeminal neuralgia:

It is the presence of sharp stabbing pain over the part of face which is supplied by trigeminal nerve. In this condition, we can also experience sharp pain in ear.

Bells palsy:

Bells palsy is the palsy or paralysis of the seventh cranial nerve or the facial nerve. In this condition, there is paralysis of one side of the face include the muscles of mouth, eyelids, etc. It can also cause shooting pain in ear as the facial nerve is connected to ear as well.

Subacute thyroiditis:

Thyroid gland disorders like subacute thyroiditis or the inflammation of the thyroid gland due to autoimmune disorders can also cause shooting pain in ear.

Acoustic neuroma:

Acoustic neuroma is the tumor of the acoustic nerve in the brain. It can cause many symptoms apart from shooting pain in ear like hearing impairment, balance problems, vertigo, nystagmus, etc.

Chlorine poisoning:

If you have developed chlorine poisoning due to any cause or food poisoning with chlorine, you are likely to suffer from shooting pain in ear apart from many other symptoms.

Tumors:

Tumors of the areas which are present around the ears like thyroid gland, neck, mouth, throat etc can also lead to shooting pain in ear or stabbing pain in ear.

Shooting pain in ear home remedies:

There are many home remedies that you can try to get rid of shooting pain in ear like:

Steam inhalation:
Ingredients:
  • A pot of boiling water
  • Any essential oil of your choice like Eucalyptus oil or lavender oil or lemongrass oil, etc
Directions:
  • Boil some water in a pot.
  • Add any essential oil of your choice like eucalyptus oil to the pot
  • Then switch off the flame.
  • Then cover your head with a towel, and inhale the vapors of the essential oil deeply.
  • Do this at least 2 to 3 times a day for good relief.
  • It helps to get rid of sinusitis and any other respiratory ailments that might be the causes of your problem.
Hydrogen peroxide:
Ingredients:
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton ear buds to clean the ears
Directions:
  • Just instill few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide of food grade into your ear
  • Then wait for 15 to 20 seconds
  • Then clean the ear with clean earbuds
Caution:
  • This should be done only to clean ear wax that might be the cause of your shooting pain in ear
  • But it should not be used to clean ears which are infected with conditions like otitis media or otitis externa
  • This method also should not be used if you have ruptured eardrum or tympanic membrane
  • Use it only if you are sure that you don’t have any other problems apart from ear wax.
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Olive oil:
Ingredients:
  • Olive oil
  • Ear dropper
  • Clean cotton earbuds
Directions:
  • Take some olive oil and warm it up
  • Then place this olive oil in a dropper
  • Then place few drops of this olive oil in your ear
  • Wait for 10 to 15 seconds
  • Then clean your ear with clean cotton buds
Tips:
  • This olive oil can be used to clean infected ears, and also soften the ear wax
  • It is every safe remedy without any side effects unlike the hydrogen peroxide remedy
Warm compress:
Ingredients:
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Warm water
Directions:
  • Just dip the clean cotton cloth in warm water
  • Squeeze out the extra water
  • Then press this warm cotton cloth against your ear for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Tips: This warm compress is very effective in relieving shooting pain in ear
  • You can use this warm compress 2 to 3 times a day for relief from throbbing ear pain
Jaw movement:

Moving the jaw up and down helps to keep the ear canal open. It also helps to relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders or Temporomandibular joint disorders.

Antioxidants:

Intake of food rich in vitamins and minerals is absolutely essential to strengthening our immune system. Take sufficient amount of vitamins like A, C, and E to fight infections and reduce inflammation which might be the cause of your shooting pain in ear.

Clear nasal stuffiness:

Nasal stuffiness or blockage can also cause shooting pain in ear. So, blow your nose on each side gently, and keep it clear by using either nasal drops like saline nasal drops or xylometazoline nasal drops or by using steam inhalation.

Analgesics:

You can take certain analgesics like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen or Diclofenac within normal doses to get relief from shooting pain in ear or sharp ear pain. They are easily available over the counter.

When to see a doctor for shooting pain in ear:

  • You need to consult your physician for shooting pain in ear if you have any of the following conditions:
  • If the shooting pain in ear is very severe and sharp and doesn’t reduce even after 1 or 2 days.
  • If the sharp ear pain is not being controlled with usage of home remedies.
  • If the throbbing ear pain is associated with high fever.
  • If there is any pus or bloody discharge from the ear along with sharp shooting ear pain.
  • If this sharp ear pain is present in kids less than 10 years of age, more particularly in infants.

You have seen all the possible causes of shooting pain in ear, along with its remedies, and when to see a doctor for sharp pain in ear. Hope you find the article informative.

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