I run regularly (along with gym workouts) and have had this issue for a long time. When I'm running, espcially when it's in cooler weather, my ears (or maybe more specifically, the "tubes" behind my ears) will go back and forth between a sharp pain and an ache. When it's a sharp pain, it ranges from right behind my outer ear down to almost my jaw line and when it goes back to just an ache it's mostly right behind my outer ear. It's almost a feeling like someone is sticking a sharp, cold spike into the "tube." It happens in both ears (sometimes one more than the other but neither is always worse than the other). It usually starts up after I've been running for a while and my breathing is heavier. I don't really know what else to say to describe the situation. It's never really kept me from running, but it has caused quite a bit of discomfort from time to time. Any thoughts?
I did go to an ear, nose and throat doctor and he told me that I had nerve damage in that ear as well as some loss of hearing, which is now more obvious then it was then. Unfortunately, he wasn't really clear as to why the cold air would affect it the way it does other than to say there was nerve damage.
I also find if my ear is exposed to wind for extended periods of time be it warm or cold that the ear begins to hurt. I avoid driving the car with the window down on the driver
When running try inhaling thru the nose and exhaling thru the mouth. See if it works. Feedback appreciated.
It is possible when you are running; you may be keeping the mouth closed and heavily breathing from the nose. At times, during this phase sometimes there is an increase in the pressure of air in the space behind the nose and pharynx, which may temporarily block your Eustachian tube. Try some different breathing exercises or you may try using some nasal drops before you start to run. This may help this unique complaint.
11 May 2007
Dr. Anil Safaya
Consultant ENT Surgeon,
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Hello, I noticed the same thing and had an idea some people could check into, research etc. I find the same problem and I remember eating ginger (lots) and getting a warm sensation in the same ear area including the nose and throat. I think it could be partially due to an ear blockage or buildup and think that improving the immune system through fasting and eating healthy could help greatly.
I have the same thing that you describe. I saw an ENT who found nothing but referred me to a neurologist, who I will see next month. Hats, headbands, cotton, earbuds, etc haven't helped me yet. Can you advise if you have found the source, a cure or comfort?
I have had this as long as I can remember. I would run at school recess when it was cold and my right jaw would start to ache at the jaw socket below my ear. I also experience an unpleasant "metallic" taste sensation on the inside of my cheek that causes me to salivate. This only happens when it's cold. I believe the cause is not just cold on the ears and cheeks, but also the cold air being inhaled at a fast rate and passing through the throat. I presume the effect is similar to ice cream against the roof of the mouth.
I have found that rubbing my ears and cheeks to warm them helps alleviate the discomfort. Hot coffee and tea may help too. If I have to run when it's cold, I wear a face mask that helps warm the air before it is inhaled and I wear head and ear cover. If I jog during the winter, it is only on a treadmill indoors.
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