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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Sharp shooting pain in ear cartilage

10/22/2008

Question:

I am a 40 year old woman. Today I began having sharp shooting pain in the cartilage of my upper left ear. It lasts for only a second, but is so severe that I winch every time. It has been happening about every minute or so all day. Don`t know if it could be related, but last night I had a migraine (as I do every few months) and have found that I get relief from it by tucking my head so far down into my chest that I am nearly upside down in a ball. This stretches out my neck and back and crazily enough, makes my migraine go away temporarily. Could I have done some nerve damage?

Answer:

I don't think you have done any nerve damage. This pain may be related to your migraines. You should see a neurologist for good migraine control. You can also see an otologist. Although highly unlikely, you could have an autoimmune disorder or TMJ dysfunction causing cartilage pain. Thanks.

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Response by:

Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Skull Base Surgery Fellowship, Director of Adults Cochlear Implantation Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati