If one ear suddenly hurts only when you burp, the cause may NOT be related to the Eustachian tube.
Instead, the cause of this pain may be something that you’ve been recently doing. And I don’t mean sticking a Q-tip in your ear to clean it.
The type of pain discussed here is felt in the area of the outer ear canal, but inside the ear. It’s not felt deep inside the ear, but rather, close to the external portion.
There are no other symptoms; no dizziness or balance issues; no nasal congestion; no jaw symptoms.
The ear pain is really uncomfortable and comes only with burping – even mild burping with your mouth closed.
Oddly, there is no discomfort upon yawning, swallowing, coughing, sneezing or taking deep breaths.
What can possibly be the cause?
Ask yourself this: Have you recently been wearing earplugs?
If so, have you been repeatedly pushing them in hard to get the tightest fit?
If the answer is yes, you’ll be smart to avoid using the earplug in the affected ear — or at least, wearing it loosely — to see if the pain disappears.
This happened to me. There was a noise occurring outside that was impossible to sleep through. It occurred only a few times per night, but I never knew when it was going to sound. So when I went to bed, I jammed the custom-made earplugs in as tightly as possible.
They don’t go in very far; they are shallow, but the custom mold ensures a very snug fit when they are pushed in good.
The one for my left ear has always been a little stubborn. I’d push it in for a very tight fit, but then it’d loosen. So I kept repeating this action.
It began to slightly irritate my ear, but I thought nothing of it.
Then it started hurting to wear the earplug tightly, so I kept in in loosely.
Then next day I felt a lot of pain in the ear right as I burped. My mouth is always closed when I burp. The discomfort was considerable and lasted only for the duration of the burp.
I decided to cease jamming the earplug in tightly; I wore it only loosely to see what would happen.
By bedtime there was a noticeable improvement.
Next day, when I burped, there was no pain.
The logical conclusion, then, is that aggressive pushing of an earplug to get a snug fit resulted in irritation of the surrounding tissue.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.