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Ear Problems and Injuries, Age 12 and Older (cont.)

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have ear pain?
    • When did the pain start?
    • What were you doing when the pain started?
    • Does the pain come from the inside or the outside of your ear?
    • Has the pain been constant, or does it come and go?
    • Does anything make the pain better or worse?
  • Have you ever had this type of ear problem before? If yes, what was the diagnosis and how was it treated?
  • What other symptoms do you have? Do you have a fever, runny nose, cough, congestion, or jaw discomfort?
  • Do you suspect a hearing problem? Be prepared to describe your symptoms.
    • Do you have hearing loss or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)?
    • Does your hearing problem affect just one ear or both ears?
  • Do you use hearing aids?
  • Have you had a recent injury to the ear?
  • Do you have any other symptoms in your eye, teeth, jaw, facial muscles, or neck that might suggest referred pain?
  • Do you have drainage from the ear? If yes, what does it look and smell like?
  • Have you had problems with earaches or ear infections in the past?
  • Have you been swimming or had other recent exposure to water, such as through surfing, kayaking, or scuba diving?
  • Do you regularly use a hot tub or home spa?
  • Have you recently traveled by plane?
  • What home treatment measures have you used? Be sure to include nonprescription and prescription medicines you have tried.
  • Do you have any health risks?

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