Chronic ear pain is a common complaint. With both ears being affected, injury to the temporomandibular joint (the joint involving the mandible, the disorder is termed temporomandibular disease or TMD) is often the culprit. The pain experienced with this problem is mostly perceived as pain around the ear and temple as well as periodic stabbing ear pain. Treatment includes consultation with a dentist or an oromaxillofacial surgeon specializing in the management of this problem. This visit will likely involve a thorough examination of both joints and a discussion of options that help reduce the pain.
In rare cases, other causes of ear pain can be identified. These will include chronic inflammatory reactions of the external auditory canal or the middle ear resulting in persistent irritation. In many instances, a more severe cause of ear pain such as a cancerous lesion will have to be ruled out using a CT scan of the temporal bone and/or a biopsy of the ear canal skin.