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What to Do If You Have a Sore Throat and Ear Pain

Sore Throat and Ear Pain

Many things can cause a sore throat, a cold being the most common. Similarly, ear pain has some underlying causes, including allergies and sinus infections. Generally, a sore throat is not a cause for concern and will improve within a few days. However, sore throat and ear pain occurring together may indicate a condition that may require medical assistance.

What Are the Potential Causes of a Sore Throat and Ear Infection Occurring Together?

Factors causing ear and throat pain include:

  • Strep Throat
    Strep throat, a contagious bacterial infection, can lead to a painful sore throat. Additionally, the bacteria from the throat may travel into the middle ear and eustachian tubes, causing an ear infection.
  • Tonsillitis
    It is an inflammation of the tonsils caused by bacteria and viruses, causing swollen lymph nodes, fever, and pain when swallowing.
  • Mononucleosis
    This is an infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, resulting in sore throat, the sensation of ear fullness, muscle weakness, and fatigue.
  • Allergies
    Allergies can cause an inflammation of the mucus membranes that result in ear blockage that causes ear pain. A sore throat is sometimes experienced as well with allergies.
  • Chronic Sinusitis
    This condition inflames the sinus cavities for about 12 weeks, interfering with mucus drainage and causing a buildup that results in symptoms like ear pain, sore throat, and bad breath.
  • Acid Reflux
    It occurs when contents of your stomach or stomach acid flow back into your esophagus, causing sore throat, sour taste, and indigestion. These symptoms worsen when bending over, lying down, or after a heavy/irritating meal.
  • Irritants
    Inhaling irritants such as smoke, wood dust, cement, chlorine, and oven and industrial cleaners can irritate your eyes, throat, and nose.
  • Tooth Infection or Abscess
    It can cause severe pain that extends to your jaw and ear on the same side. You may also experience swollen lymph nodes.

Can Ear Infections Cause Sore Throat?

Yes! Yes! Inflammation and pressure buildup can cause intense pain and other symptoms when your ear becomes infected, such as a sore throat and sinus pressure.

Also read: Sore Throat vs Strep Throat: Can a Sore Throat Turn Into a Strep Throat Infection?

Can a Sore Throat Cause Earache?

Throat infection, such as tonsillitis or quinsy (an abscess on one side of the back of your throat), can also cause earaches.

Also read: Acute Vs. Chronic Pain: How Are They Different?

How Do I Know If I Have an Ear Infection or a Throat (or Nose) Infection?

You can identify whether you have an ear, throat, or nose infection depending on the symptoms you experience.

Ear Infection

An ear infection is the inflammation of the middle, inner, or outer ear caused by a virus or bacteria. Its common symptoms are:

  • Mild pain or discomfort inside the ear
  • Muffled hearing
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Pus-like ear drainage

Also read: Ear Infection: Critical Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Children with an ear infection may have symptoms, such as:

  • Poor sleep
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Diminished appetite
  • Ear drainage
  • Tugging at the ear

Nose and Throat Infections

When the mouth and nose pick up germs, adenoids (small pads of immune tissue near the eustachian tubes) may grow. When they continue to grow, it blocks the eustachian tubes, causing ear pain.

A nose or throat infection can result in the following symptoms:

  • Swollen glands
  • Throat pain
  • Cough
  • Bad breath
  • Redness at the back of the mouth
  • A dry, scratchy throat

When to See a Doctor If You Have an Earache and Sore Throat Together

See your doctor if you have:

  • High fever (more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Blood or pus draining from your ear
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Stiff neck
  • Been exposed to someone with a strep throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Excessive drooling (in young children)

Treat Your Sore Throat & Ear Pain by Visiting MI Express Care

Our experienced providers at MI Express Urgent Care in Canton, Michigan, are committed to providing high-quality and timely medical care for sore throat and ear infections. Get in touch with our team for the best guidance and treatment course for all cases of sore throat and ear infections.

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