Ear pain can be caused by a nasal polyp.

“Nasal polyps can cause nasal congestion and rhinitis with nasal mucous,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology; one of her specialties is sinus surgery.

“They develop usually from an allergic reaction to an environmental irritant,” continues Dr. Silvers.

“They are found commonly when we look with a scope in the nose, and in many patients are not symptomatic and found on routine exam.

“Some patients are very symptomatic and the polyps will affect breathing, sense of smell and block the sinuses.”

If you seem to be having difficulty breathing through your nose, it may very well be a polyp, which can be surgically removed, or, more conservatively treated with medication.

These potentially bothersome growths are non-cancerous, and they cannot turn into cancer. They can return even after disappearing from successful treatment.

“Nasal congestion can commonly cause ear congestion or blockage of the Eustachian tube.”

Dr. Silvers adds that ET congestion causes clogging as well as pressure in the ear, and “sometimes pain in the ear.

“Polyps are not typically seen blocking the Eustachian tube, but the congestion that is associated with polyps that affects the surrounding mucosa can cause these ear symptoms.”

So yes, a nasal polyp can definitely cause ear pain. However, ear pain can have many causes, including having recent aggressive cleaning with a cotton swab.

An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 


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