A study on clinical profile of non otogenic otalgia

Valli Rajasekaran, Sharath Kumar B. V.


Background: Ear pain can be because of pathologies in the ear or in the surrounding head and neck region. This is because of rich innervations of the ear. Sometimes it poses a diagnostic challenge.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in our institute where patients with ear pain were evaluated. Those with non otogenic causes were included in the study. 59 patients were identified and studied for the underlying cause. The sociodemographic profiles of the patients with varying etiologies were studied.  

Results: The most common cause for referred pain was temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This was more common in 15-45 years and in older age group cervical spondylosis was more common. There was no significant sex predominance.

Conclusions: Careful detailed evaluation of the patient should be done to identify the exact underlying cause and treat effectively.


Referred otalgia, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Cervical spondylosis

Full Text:



Shah RK, Blevins NH. Otalgia. Otolaryngologic Clin North Am. 2003;36(6):1137-51.

Thaller SR, De Silva A. Otalgia with a normal ear. American Family Physician. 1987;36(4):129-36.

Powers WH, Britton BH. Nonotogenic otalgia: diagnosis and treatment. Otol Neurotol. 1980;2(2):97-104.

Chen RC. khorsandi AS, Shatzkes DR, Holliday RA. The radiology of referred otalgia. AM Neuroradial. 2009;30(10):1817-23.

Han DG. Pain around the ear in Bell’s palsy is referred pain of facial nerve origin: the role of nervi nervorum. Med Hypotheses. 2010;74(2):235-6.

Kiakojoori K, Tavakoli HR. Cases of referral otalgia in patients referred to Shahid beheshti clinic Babol 1999. J Babol Univ Med Sci. 2002;5(1):41-3.

Taziki MH, Behnampour N. A study of the etiology of referred Otalgia. Iranian J Otorhinolaryngol. 2012;24(69):171.

Neilan RE, Roland PS. Otalgia. Med Clin North Am. 2010;94(5):961-71.

Kim DS, Cheang P, Dover S, Drake-Lee AB. Dental otalgia. J Laryngol Otol. 2007;121(12):1129-34.

Behnoud F, Zandi M. Survey etiologic factor in otalgia and correlation with temporo mandibular joint in patient referred to ENT clinic in Emam Khomani hospital in Hamedan Jul–Nov 2000. MD. Dissertation. Hamedan: Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, College of medicine. 2000: 141.

Reiter S, Gavish A, Winocur E, Emodi-Periman A, Eli I. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma mimicking a temporomandibular disorder: a case report. J Orofacial Pain. 200;20(1):74-81.

Mulwafu W, Fagan JJ, Lentin R. Suprahyoid approach to base-of-tongue squamous cell carcinoma: otolaryngology. South Afr J Surg. 2006;44(3):120-4.

Taziki MH, Behnampour N. A study of the etiology of referred Otalgia. Iranian J Otorhinolaryngol. 2012;24(69):171.

Kim SH, Kim TH, Byun JY, Park MS, Yeo SG. Clinical differences in types of otalgia. J Audiol Otol. 2015;19(1):34-8.

Taboo ZA, Buraa MF. Etiology of referred otalgia. Iraqi Postgrad Med J. 2013;12(3):436-2.