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Earache Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Earache. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had the ear pain?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Where exactly do you experience the ear pain and where does the pain radiate to?

    Why: may assist in diagnosis e.g. in ear, behind ear, below ear.

  3. Is the pain unilateral or bilateral?
  4. Can you describe the nature of the pain?
  5. Have you had a recent upper respiratory tract infection?

    Why: e.g. sore throat, runny nose, sinusitis - may suggest acute otitis media or myringitis bullosa (occurs with influenza, Haemophilus influenza and mycoplasma pneumoniae infections).

  6. Have you been swimming recently and where?

    Why: may suggest otitis externa.

  7. Has there been any trauma to ear canal?

    Why: may suggest otitis externa.

  8. Have you put anything into the ear canal?

    Why: e.g. ear bud - may suggest foreign body and resultant otitis externa infection.

  9. Is there redness around a hole for an ear ring?

    Why: suggests infected ear lobe. Often due to contact allergy to nickel or chromium in an ear ring.

  10. Has there been recent diving or flying?

    Why: may suggest barotrauma to ear drum and may present with ear pain, deafness, dizziness, ringing in the ears and sometimes a discharge.

  11. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. allergic skin conditions such as eczema may predispose to otitis externa; medical conditions that may increase risk of recurrent middle ear infections include selective IgA deficiency, common variable immunodeficiency, X-linked agammaglobulinaemia, recurrent adenoiditis, Wegener's granulomatosis, HIV infection and obstructive sleep apnea; diabetes predisposes to furunculosis.

  12. Ear discharge?

    Why: Acute ear discharge suggests acute otitis media (middle ear infection) with a rupture of the ear drum, otitis externa (outer ear infection) or myringitis bullosa. A chronic ear discharge may suggest cholesteatoma, chronic otitis media or mastoiditis.

  13. If a discharge is present, what is the nature of the discharge?

    Why: A mucopurulent discharge (mucous to pus-like) suggests chronic otitis media and mastoiditis. A offensive discharge with whitish debris suggests cholesteatoma. A bloody discharge may suggest myringitis bullosa.

  14. Fever?

    Why: suggests otitis media, mastoiditis, tonsillitis, sinusitis or tooth abscess.

  15. Hearing loss?

    Why: may suggest acute otitis media, chronic otitis media, otitis externa, foreign body, mastoiditis, cholesteatoma, eustachian tube catarrh and barotrauma.

  16. Symptoms of acute otitis media?

    Why: e.g. deep-seated ear pain, deafness , fever, a discharge may follow if the tympanic membrane ruptures which results in relief of pain and fever.

  17. Symptoms of otitis externa?

    Why: e.g. itching at first, pain which may be aggravated by moving the ear of even the jaw, fullness feeling in the ear canal, mild discharge, hearing loss.

  18. Symptoms of acute mastoiditis?

    Why: e.g. pain, swelling and tenderness developing behind the ear associated with general deterioration in well-being and mucous to pus-like ear discharge.

  19. Symptoms of herpes zoster infection?

    Why: e.g. unilateral facial muscle weakness, pain behind the ear and sometimes deafness.

  20. Symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction?

    Why: e.g. pain over the jaw joint which may radiate to the ear, down the angle of the jaw, towards the cheek and even the neck; limitation of jaw movements , especially on opening the mouth; crackling and creaking in jaw joint with movement.

  21. Neck pain?

    Why: disorders of the upper cervical spine, especially C2 and C3 levels may refer pain to the back area of the ear.

  22. Sore throat?

    Why: may suggest throat disorders that may refer pain to the ear e.g. tonsillitis, pharyngitis.

  23. Tooth pain?

    Why: may suggest dental conditions that may refer pain to the ear e.g. tooth abscess, recent dental work, dental disorders, impacted 3rd molars.

  24. Facial pain?

    Why: may suggest certain conditions that may refer pain to the ear e.g. sinusitis, trigeminal neuralgia.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Earache:

The following list of conditions have 'Earache' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Earache or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Earache:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Earache' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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