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Sore throat and ear pain: 9 Causes, 12 Symptoms, Treatments, 10 Home remedies

Are you suffering from a Sore throat? Is your ear also throbbing? This might seem a minor medical problem. However, doesn’t it hinder your day-to-day activity?

You might want to know how to ease a Sore throat and ear pain….  For that, you need to understand causes and symptoms of the same.

Why is your throat Sore?

sore throat and ear pain
Sore throat and ear pain
Image source: thehealthsite.com

Sore Throat occurs when parts of the Throat like Tonsils, Pharynx and Larynx are inflamed or swollen.   This irritation is compounded with a pain in the ear as well.  Swallowing becomes difficult.  You might not be interested in eating or drinking when such a condition occurs.

Does a Sore Throat cause Ear Pain?

Ears, Nose and Throat are interconnected.  This is because they are linked together by the Eustachian tube, which runs from middle ear to the throat until the nose region.  So an infection in an area along this path causes inflammation or soreness in the whole length of the tube.

This is the primary cause of ear pain when you have a sore throat.

There is another reason for this.  Sore throat causes a swelling in the area that leads to pressure on the earlobe. The interconnected nerves are frayed simultaneously and cause severe pain in both the areas.

Funnily, you experience a Sore Throat and Earache on one side only.

You might have experienced pain ear and throat pain one-side at times.  This is because the throat infection has occurred on just that side.  And, you do not experience pain on the other side at all.

Sore Throat and Ear pain is usually a short-term problem.  You can utilise some home remedies to manage pain and get the problem solved on most occasions.

At times, it becomes a severe problem, and you invariably have to visit a Doctor.  So, understand causes and look for the following symptoms to know how serious your problem is!

Causes of Sore Throat and Ear Pain:

Allergies:

Sore Throat and Ear Pain occurs when allergies like Hay fever, Tonsillitis, Sinus flair up.  This could be seasonal or otherwise.  Common allergens, which people prone to allergy should take precaution against, are

  • Dust
  • Smoke – especially from a cigarette
  • Moulds
  • Pet dander due to constant interaction with pet animals
Microbial infection in any area of the Eustachian tube:

Most Nasal and Throat Infections are spread through the air.  Tiny droplets released as a result of a cough or cold can quickly spread the infection in the vicinity. Mucus gets during infection straining the connecting tube of the Nose Ear and Throat. This leads to the very painful ear and throat pain.

So take care if someone close to you has a cough, uvula infection, cold and flu. You are very likely to get affected if necessary precaution is not taken.

Ear infections occur due to fluid build-up in the middle ear.  This fluid is transferred along the Eustachian tube and can cause a Sore throat and ear pain. Changes in air pressure also can cause ear infection leading to a Sore throat plus ear pain.

Smoking or exposure to smoke:

Smoking irritates the throat and leads to inflammation.  So Smoking passive or active can cause a Sore Throat and Ear pain.

Shouting or singing for long periods of time:

Singers are prone to Sore throats.  Teachers, politicians and public speakers also strain their vocal chords largely.  This could cause a sore throat and extreme ear pain.

Consuming excessive alcohol:

Excessive alcohol damages the Esophagus tissues and induces vomiting, pain and swallowing difficulties.  It affects the throat directly and the ear indirectly through the Eustachian tube.

A severe Sore Throat  and ear pain causes:

Abscess:

In this condition, pus is formed near the tonsils, and one invariably has to take a doctor’s advice at the earliest.

Epiglottitis:

This organ is a small flap, which opens up to the voice box and windpipe.  It opens and closes while swallowing. A particular type of Bacteria causes an infection in this area.  It affects children the most, and a doctor’s visit is necessary in such cases.

Diphtheria, strep throat and Gonorrhea:

These diseases can occur in underdeveloped countries where vaccination is not universal.  They are also one of the serious causes of a Sore throat and ear pain.

Blood disorders:

Blood disorders like Leukemia are also known to cause a sore throat and ear pain.

12 Symptoms of a Sore throat and Ear Pain:

Here are some symptoms you may experience during inflammation in the throat or a Sore Throat on one side and earache:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Pus from the nostril
  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Rashes on the nose
  • Mouth ulcers that remain for a prolonged periods
  • Dizziness or ringing in the ears
  • Phlegm with blood
  • Fatigue at all times
  • Body aches, headache
  • Fever
  • Saliva with blood
  • Drooling

10 Home Remedies for Sore Throat and Ear Pain:

Indeed, ear and throat pain on one side can be cured with simple home remedies.

Of course, there are numerous OTC medicines/painkillers and antibiotics. Nevertheless, taking them or higher-level antibiotics every time you have a Sore Throat and Ear Pain is not advisable.

The virus/bacteria, which cause this problem, may become drug resistant and the medicine may become ineffective in future.  Also, drugs have side effects that can again cause some issues.

One should avoid eating very hot and very cold food.  One could chew sugar-free hard candy that slowly hydrates your mouth.  Drinking cold or warm liquids or taking soft chewable foods is the order of the day.

You can ease Earache and Throat pain by through these easy-to-prepare Home remedies:

Water:

If you experience a sore throat and ear pain due to congestion in the throat, try Water! Congestion occurs mostly due to dryness and taking ample amounts of water hydrates your throat and alleviates your pain instantly.

Gargling:

Salt water gargling has always proved an effective relief for sore or a dry throat. It is easy to prepare, add a teaspoon of salt to water, mix well and gargle.   Salt in the water is active on the miscreant microbes and can help ease the pain.

Some people add lime juice to water and gargle this mixture.  The acid content of Lemons is an effective healer for a Sore throat and ear pain on one side.

Nasal spray:

If the upper parts of the respiratory system are infected, mucus is produced.  Mucus causes pain and inflammation.  So, you experience a persistent Sore Throat and earache on one side or the other.

In such cases, you can use a nasal spray, which lessens nasal congestions and relieves pain.

Moisturizing the throat:

Warm fluids like soup and turmeric milk could ease the pain in the throat and consequently reduce the pain the ear.  Difficulties faced during swallowing can be removed this way.

Steam therapy:

Steam therapy is often the best treatment for all ENT  and throat problems.  Try this when one side of throat and ear hurts. The hot vapours help clear congestion and reduce inflammation by easing out mucous.

Consuming Raw Garlic:

Chew a fresh pod of garlic for a few minutes. Raw garlic has antiseptic, antiviral antifungal that can combat infection and give you relief. If you are averse to chewing garlic raw, add honey, olive oil or any other vegetable juice to it and consume it.  A Sore minor throat and ear pain will be gone in a jiffy!

Heat therapy:

Warm a piece of clothing to a comfortable temperature and place on the ear to get some relief.  This provides instant relief in most cases.  But avoid overheating the cloth as it may cause a burn injury.

Lozenges therapy:

Throat lozenges are small tablets that can be chewed as a remedy for a sore throat and ear pain.  Chewing dissolves them slowly, and the medication slowly soothes the inflammation created due cold or a cough.

Grandma’s Ginger + Basil remedy:

Brew a tea of ginger, cinnamon,   basil and salt adding a pinch of turmeric and have it when it is mildly hot. You can also add a little honey that coats your throat and eases dryness.

Try Neti pots!

Neti Pots are small ceramic vessels that look like a cross between an Aladdin lamp and a teapot.  Pour a solution of water and salt in the pot.  Using the spout, pour this mixture through the nasal cavity to relieve congestion.  Take care, as overuse can cause severe damage to the nose and the nearby organs.

Sore Throat and Ear Pain needs Doctor’s attention when:

Sore throat and Ear pain are temporary, and you can bounce back to normal within three days.  But if the problem persists, it is time to visit your doctor.  This is because the cause may be severe and it may be a sign of significant disease.

So visit the doctor when:

  • The symptoms are unbearable
  • Symptoms are recurring. They do not go away even after seven days’ duration.
  • You experience loss of hearing
  • Breathing becomes extremely difficult
  • You are not able to swallow at all for an extended period
  • You experience drooling (saliva is produced in excess and slips out of the mouth without control)

Sore throat and ear pain occur when immunity is weak. This happens when you are already down with some disease, or you are on medication for HIV or Chemotherapy

References:
  1. https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/symptoms-of-nose-and-throat-disorders/sore-throat
  2. https://www.epainassist.com/earache-or-ear-pain/sore-throat-and-ear-pain-its-causes-symptoms-treatment-6-home-remedies
  3. https://www.livestrong.com/article/165109-home-remedies-for-sore-throat-ear-pain
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/sore-throat
  5. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/neti-pots#1

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