“Referred” Ear Pain

A referred pain is one that comes from a problem away from the ear but which is felt in the ear nonetheless. This is just like the situation in which a heart attack victim may feel pain in the left arm. It's not an arm attack. The pain was referred from the heart to the arm. The diagnosis is in the heart. In the same way conditions in the back of the neck, the throat, the tonsil, the voice box, and even the esophagus can cause pain in the ear. Tumors in the throat must be ruled out in otherwise unexplained ear pain.