Why Do My Ears Hurt So Bad When I Exercise & How To Treat it?

It is not uncommon if you are experiencing pain in your knees, hips, feet or ankles while running or performing strenuous exercise. However, some people may also experience pain in their ears while exercising. There are several causes that may hurt your ears while exercising. If you suffer from such bothering earaches do not neglect it, instead fix an appointment with your doctor to know the underlying reason of such annoying pain.

There are several reasons for earache while running and exercising. Let us know them so that the next time you are more careful in avoiding it and if present to resolve it as soon as possible.

  • While performing any strenuous exercise or running for a long distance your blood vessels constrict. This is natural physiological process of the body.
    Similarly, even the blood vessels supplying blood to the ear canal and inner ear also constrict. Insufficient supply of blood to the ear canal leads to pain in ear. The blood vessels in cold climate as such constrict. Exercising may further constrict them. The flow of blood in ear also becomes restricted with simultaneous build up pressure in ear leading to earache.
  • Eardrum is a thin cone shaped membrane which acts as a partition between the ear canal and middle ear. Eardrum acts as a protective layer for middle and inner ear. It also helps in balancing the pressure between outer and middle ear. Your eardrum is said to be ruptured when a tear occurs in the membrane. It can occur as a result of an injury, sudden change in air pressure, loud noise or infection in the ear. Perforation of ear drum can worsen the pain while running. Exercise will increase pressure in the ear canal and irritate the eardrum causing pain. This may also cause other symptoms such as ringing in ears, buzzing sound in ears, discharge from ear and dizziness or vertigo.
  • Many people prefer to hear music and songs when they are exercising. They use earplugs for hearing music. Certain earplugs have to be fitted inside the ear. Putting them for long duration in your ear can cause damage to skin inside the ear canal resulting in irritation and pain in ear.
  • Other conditions such as sinusitis, migraine, and ear infection can also contribute pain in ear while exercising.
  • Often a flying insect can enter into the ear canal while running or jogging. This may cause pain and irritation in the ear.

Treatment For Earache Due To Exercise

Pain in ear while exercising usually is temporary. It lasts for few minutes or hours. However, in some cases it may persist for several days and weeks. This depends on the underlying cause. Often pain is accompanied with other symptoms such as bleeding from ear, hearing loss, and purulent discharge from ear.

  • In majority of cases the physician will prescribe anti inflammatory medicines and pain killers to alleviate earache caused after exercise.
  • In case if the associated cause of earache is rupture of eardrum, you must avoid exercising for few weeks and give chance for the eardrum to heal on its own. Most of the time if the tear is minor, it heals without nay treatment. But if there is accompanied discharge from ear than you have to consult your ENT specialist. A major tear or hole in eardrum needs to be repaired either through surgery or with the help of special glue.
  • If the underlying problem is related to a insect inside the ear canal or a foreign body, your doctor will remove the same with the help of special instruments.
  • Avoid exercising in areas that is polluted with loud sound.
  • Wear earplugs while running and jogging at a high altitude. It helps to keep the balance of pressure inside the ear and outside atmosphere air.
  • Wear right fitting earplug while listening to music when you are exercising.