When history and physical examination fail to definitively identify the source of the patient’s pain, additional studies may be useful.
Dr. Li stressed, It is critically important to try to find a source for the otalgia, because if you do not, the source might be a malignant tumor that comes back to haunt you. You must rule out a malignancy.
Simple laboratory studies, including a complete blood count (CBC) to rule out infection, testing for sickle cell anemia, and thyroid function studies may prove helpful. Based on the findings of the history and physical examination, barium swallow may be indicated to identify gastroesophageal problems. Also, based on history and physical findings, studies such as vestibulocochlear testing and nasal endoscopy may be indicated.