Ear Hurts When I Yawn

When you have a aching ear when you yawn, your doctor may require several examinations to make a diagnosis, as earache while yawning can be due to a lot of reasons. There can be other symptoms like fever or discharge from the ear. If you have a cold or flu, your earache is most likely due to infection. However, if the pain is severe and persistent, consult your doctor immediately for correct diagnosis and treatment.

My Ear Hurts When I Yawn: What Can Be the Causes?

ear hurts when I yawn

1.      Blocked Eustachian Tubes

Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the throat. These tiny tubes are helpful to drain extra fluid from the ear and also help maintain proper air pressure levels inside the ears. Whenever you yawn, these tubes briefly open to let air enter the middle ear, and therefore equalize the air pressure in ears to the atmospheric pressure.

These tubes can get blocked due to infections, allergies or cold. The blockage can lead to pressure buildup inside the middle ear. This increased pressure can cause pain in the ear which can be worse when you yawn. Other symptoms of Eustachian tube blockage include:

  • A feeling of fullness inside the ears
  • Earache
  • Popping noises or ringing in ears
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Reduced hearing

2.      TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) Syndrome

When you ask the question, "Why my ear hurts when I yawn", you may consider the TMJ syndrome. The skull bone is joined with the jaw bone by temporo-mandibular joint. This is a small joint and it is located in front of the ears. This joint can be damaged by many reasons such as constant teeth grinding, trauma to the joint, mal-positioned jaw, stress and excessive chewing. When the joint is damaged, there is pressure on the nerves which can be very painful. Since the joint is very close to the ear, the pain is often felt in the ear. You may feel sudden and severe pain when you yawn, chew or talk.

Other common symptoms associated with this condition are:

  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Pain in ear
  • Noises on movement of jaw joint

Treatment for Hurting Ear When You Yawn

"Why my ear hurts when I yawn?" You asked, and now you know the answer. Now it's time to know how to deal with this condition.

1.     Treatment for Blocked Eustachian Tubes

  • Exercise: The blocked Eustachian tubes tend to get better with time and there are some simple exercises to open the Eustachian tubes immediately. You can pinch your nose, close your mouth and try to gently blow the air from your nose. Chewing gum can also be helpful to open the blocked tubes. When Eustachian tubes open, you may feel or hear a "pop".
  • Medications: The Eustachian tube blockage can be due to an infection or allergy. Antibiotics may be prescribed for an infection and in case of allergies, anti-allergy medicines or steroids spray can be helpful. Sometimes simple pain killers are effective to control the pain.
  • Surgery: Surgery can be done when the conservative treatment options are not successful to open the blocked Eustachian tubes. A tiny incision is made in the eardrum to drain all the extra fluid and to equalize the pressure. A small tube can be left in place to help further drainage.

2.     Treatment for TMJ Syndrome

The treatment for TMJ syndrome depends upon the cause. The severity of symptoms and associated problems can also make an impact on the choice of treatment. If the only concern is pain, over-the-counter painkillers are very effective. For severe pain, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medicines can be prescribed. Application of a hot pack is also effective.

If the problem is due to mal-alignment of jaws or grinding of the teeth, orthodontic procedures and a teeth guard can be effective. If the pain is severe and does not get better with any medicines, there are some surgical procedures such as TMJ arthroscopy and arthrocentesis.

3.     Other Tips for Relieving Ear Pain

If you are sick of earache and are constantly thinking, "Why my ear hurts when I yawn", you can follow these simple tips for immediate relief:

  • If your right ear hurts, sleep on your left side and vice versa.
  • Soak a cotton cloth in warm water and remove extra fluid. Keep it close to the aching ear for a very soothing effect.
  • Try to chew a gum. Constant chewing helps to open the blocked Eustachian tubes and can reduce ear ache.
  • Garlic juice is very helpful in relieving earache. You can put a drop of garlic juice in your ear for immediate relief from pain.
  • Take a few drops of warm olive oil or mineral oil in a dropper and put in your ear. Then put a cotton ball in the ear to avoid leakage. This will help reduce the intensity of earache.

You can also read this article about how to stop an earache for relief from ear pain.

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