Misdiagnosed Ear Infections: How and Why?

Ear infections are tough but unfortunately common and can be caused by a myriad of reasons. There are times when it is necessary to consult a physician to diagnose the cause of pain and prescribe a suitable treatment. Sometimes, ear infections can be misdiagnosed and you want to be aware of that. Read on to learn more about misdiagnosed ear infections and what to do about them!

Is Your Ear Pain Infection or TMJ?

A Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder is sometimes known as the “the imposter” as it has many overlapping symptoms with other conditions. This is because TMJ symptoms are so diverse, widespread, and numerous so it is difficult to see them as connected or linked to your jaw joint. People commonly confuse TMJ with an ear infection. This means that people with TMJ think they simply have an ear infection. Many of the ear infection symptoms are present in those with TMJ. Almost 80% of people who have TMJ will report having ear infection symptoms. If you have symptoms of ear infection that persist, recur or don’t respond to the given treatment, you might want to check for TMJ.

Ear Infections Are Uncommon in Adults

Ear infections are more common in children than in adults. Most likely, a child will have a cold or flu, which then spreads out to the ear. Viruses or bacteria can reproduce in the middle ear, and they cause swelling and excess fluid that can lead to clogging of the passage. Ear infections are more commonly seen in children who have narrow ear passages and poorly developed immune systems. Adults are less likely to get ear infections, even if you used to have them as children.

Overlapping Symptoms

When your middle ear becomes clogged, people can experience many symptoms that come under the TMJ diagnosis. People with both conditions may experience related symptoms, such as:

• Ear pain
• Diminished hearing
• Sensations of ear fullness
• Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
• Headaches

With all these common symptoms, it is not a surprise that people tend to confuse the two conditions. If you have a history of ear infections, you might think that you just have another ear infection. But you need to look out for symptoms that can help you distinguish between the two conditions to know what it really is.

Treat Ear Pain at Head Pain Institute

Mild ear infections can be easily managed at home with pain medication, hot compresses, and vinegar and alcohol rinse. But if you think you have TMJ, it would be best to consult a physician. Here at Head Pain Institute, we help to treat ear pain and other symptoms caused by TMJ Disorder. Symptoms like hissing, buzzing or ringing, decreased hearing, ear pain, vertigo, and dizziness can also be treated here at Head Pain Institute. Contact us now to seek help and resolve your pain.