E-Pearl of the Week: Pain in the ear

January 17, 2012


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January 17, 2012

Pain in the Ear

Lancinating or burning pain limited to the external auditory meatus can be due to irritation of the nerve of Jacobson, a branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve.

Paroxysmal pain in the throat, posterior tongue and ear that is exacerbated by talking, chewing or swallowing suggests complete involvement of the glossopharyngeal nerve, so–called Reichert syndrome or glossopharyngeal neuralgia.


1. Reichert FL. Tympanic plexus neuralgia. True tic douloureux of the ear, or so-called ganiculate ganglion neuraglia: cure effected by intracranial section of the glossopharyngeal nerve. JAMA 1933, 100: 1744-1746.
2. Erickson TC. Paroxysmal neuralgia of the tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve. Can Med Assoc J 1935; 33:647-650.

Submitted by: Andrew J Westwood MD MRCP (UK)

Disclosures: Dr. Westwood serves on the advisory board for OnExamination.

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