Both ear pain and a sore throat are common conditions that most of us have experienced at one time or another. Sometimes, your ears and throat can hurt simultaneously. Let’s look at a few common conditions that can cause both ear and throat pain, as well as how to treat them.
Allergens like pollen and dust can cause inflame your mucus membranes. This inflammation leads to excess mucus draining into the throat (postnasal drip), which can cause throat irritation and pain. Additionally, allergy inflammation can cause a blockage in your ears, leading to ear pain.
If you have allergies, you will likely experience additional symptoms such as nasal congestion, watery eyes and a runny nose. You may also notice that your symptoms worsen in certain environments, such as when you’re hiking through Phoenix Mountains Preserve or during certain times of the year.
Sinusitis occurs when your sinus cavities are inflamed. It’s a common condition, with almost 29 million adults diagnosed with sinusitis in the United States. It can be an acute illness. However, it’s considered chronic sinusitis if your symptoms last 12 weeks or longer. The inflammation in your sinuses can cause pain and swelling in the face and can also affect your throat and ears, in addition to other symptoms.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils. It’s most common in children but can happen at any age. It can be caused by bacteria or a viral infection, such as the common cold. Common symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Pain in the ear when swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes
- White or yellow spots on your tonsils
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows into your esophagus, causing irritation. Many people experience occasional bouts of reflux. However, experience frequent acid reflux, which is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Symptoms tend to be worse when lying down and include:
- Sore throat
- Sour taste in the mouth
Sometimes stomach acid from reflux can travel further upward and reach the middle ear, causing ear pain.
When To Seek Treatment For Ear and Throat Pain
You should visit a medical provider for any persistent ear and throat pain. There they can run the appropriate testing and take note of all your symptoms to help make a diagnosis. Depending on the cause, treatment may consist of lifestyle remedies, medications or, less commonly, medical procedures to help alleviate your symptoms.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.