Ear Troubles- Question

Nurses General Nursing


Hi, first off I apologize to all of you who don't like to see questions for medical advice, I hardly ever do this but I'm a little baffled and would like opinions. I respectfully ask you to feel free to skip over this post if the asking-for-advice theme irks you. :) I also feel somewhat like a hypochondriac so feel free to tell me I am being overly "poor-me".

Okay, since last Thursday I have had an intermittent ear ache that kind of spreads to my jaw and behind my ear sometimes. It isn't really horrible pain usually, but it is aggravating. It gets worse overnight, and also when I breathe in (I know that sounds stupid). Cold seems to help some.

I haven't been able to get an appointment at the college health services with the combination of their busy-ness and my busy schedule. A friend suggested a sweet oil soaked cotton ball but that just made it worse. Any ideas what this might be- does it just sound like a regular old earache where I don't really need to worry over going to the doctor, or what? Sorry for the length of the post, and thanks for those of you who may take time to answer me. :)


144 Posts

Specializes in CCU/ER.

Go to the Doctor and get examined! Sounds like your ear needs fixing, be it congestion or infection!

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

There isn't generally a good reason for ear pain. It could be either fluid congestion or wax buildup, or infection. Since you can't see in your own ear, it's important for you to get into the clinic (do they have a walk-in clinic availability?)

Please look into this as soon as possible. I've had patients with increasing pain whose eardrums suddenly rupture (instant pain relief, but ruptured eardrum, bad.)

Let us know what you find out. :)

plumrn, BSN, RN

424 Posts

I have a friend who was just hospitalized with mastoiditis with similar symptoms. Better go see a doctor.

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Thanks all. I have an appointment tomorrow morning at college health service! Hope it's just something little. Thank you for the advice missionnurse, Ratched, and plumrn!! Take care and have a good afternoon. :)


1,334 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I was just about to ask if your college health service had an urgent care type section for service. Mine did. I was also wondering if this could be something dental related rather than ear related. Anyway, good luck and hope you feel better! Tell us what they said!

Specializes in Pediatrics.

so I don't have an infection, the NP said maybe fluid buildup and use warmed oil and drink hot drinks. the jaw tenderness is going up so I am thinking it may be a sore muscle there, or I am grinding my teeth on that side or something. i will try warm compresses etc. for that but thank you for all your help, at least it is nothing serious! take care!

-rachel :)

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X