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Pinprick Feeling in ear

Does anyone get a sharp pinprick type feeling in their ear ? I've had this on and off for over a year ... no one can tell me what it is, several doctors just say Otitis exterior. It is at the inner part of my ear canal right where the ear drum starts I think.

I get the feeling for about 24 - 48 hours between once a week and sometimes not for a long time. It just a short sharp pinching feeling lasting about 1 second maybe once every hour or so sometimes a dull ache along with it.

It's mostly in my right ear but I have felt it a little bit in the left one too sometimes. I've had this for over a year now. Just another problem no one can work out.


  1. You are likely experiencing neuropathic pain. It is caused by MS-related nerve damage where misfiring nerves can cause uncomfortable sensations like burning, itching, electric shocks, stabbing, bugs crawling, and water dripping. If it is so bothersome that it affects your daily quality of life, you might consider asking your neurologist about medications for neuropathic pain. I take gabapentin, but there are other alternatives. Hope you get some relief real soon! --Kim

    1. Ouch, Steve! It's not something I have experienced (yet). I like Kim Dolce's response. I too hope you get relief soon!

      1. Thanks for the replies. Thing is I don't know how to get relief. I got some steroids drops for otitis exterior from an emergency doctor .. feels nice and cool but I don't think it would make a difference if I had or had not used them ... it goes away on its own and then comes back again. Possibly laying down and stretching helps.

        1. Thanks for sharing this, . Many people do not understand the differences between neurologists and psychiatrists, and sometimes, neurologists themselves don't seem to understand that they are out of their realm when it comes to psychiatric drugs. A neuropsychiatrists would certainly be idea for situations involving MS and psychiatric medications. Best of all wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

        2. thanks, I just encounter so many MSers in my journey who have easily treated problems not getting treatment, because they don't get to visit the specialist most well versed for what their problem is, and the other doctors often don't think to refer them, precisely *because* they often don't have psychiatric (mental illness) issues. Psychiatrists (especially neuropsychiatrists) treat more than mental illness, they also treat developmental problems (think autism, ADHD etc etc) and prescribe medications for a multitude of other things that involve visible changes to the structure of the brain including injury, stroke or degenerative issues, IF they are neuro-specialized.

          Nerve pain, fatigue, and other CNS dysfunction meds in MS, these are not considered psychiatric medications. I'm referring to neuropsychiatry as it relates to CNS-acting medication for structural brain changes completely unrelated to psychiatric meds. E.g., Gabapentin is a epilepsy medication, used off-label for nerve pain in many conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, MS etc; modafinil is a narcolepsy med, used to reduce fatigue and sleepiness in MS; some SSRIs/SNRIs are used for nerve pain in multitudes of conditions also, and often completely unrelated to depression.

          Thinking of neuro-specialized psychiatrists as prescribers of only psychiatric meds, can be a very real barrier to MSers getting effective symptom-management treatment. So I like to advocate and clarify what was explained to me, and is explained to many MSers at our MS clinic. We have a wonderful neuropsychiatrist, he also does all the evals for cognitive impairment too. Funny enough, it's the nurses and neuros that screen for depression at our MS clinic, not the neuropsychiatrist.

      2. hey I've just had this twice today. I've googled it and came up with this.. Geniculate neuralgia. Try look it up see how you go. I'm going to let neuro know about mine too. Feels like a needle jabbing my very inner ear.

        1. That's really interesting, @Elycemac. Have you been experiencing the ear pain long? I would love to hear how your doctor responds if you feel comfortable sharing. I hope you don't have more episodes today. Best wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

        2. I would love to hear what your neuro says about this. It makes sense that any part of the body that's sending or receiving nerve impulses could be affected/impacted by demyelination damage caused by MS. I am happy to say I've never had that sensation but it sounds terrible, I hope you can find some relief from it! Best, Tamara, community advocate

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