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Sore Throat And Ear Pain: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Our ear, throat, and nose are inter-connected to each other. If one of them is hurt, the others will also affect due by this illness.

Sore Throat And Ear Pain

What Causes Sore Throat and Ear Pain Everything You Need to Know?

A number of things can cause throat infections and ear pain, but a common cold is the most common cause.

Sore throat and ear pain that lasts for weeks may also be caused by:

  • Allergies.
  • Mononucleosis.
  • Acid Reflux
  • GERD.
  • Chronic Sinusitis.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders

What Are The Potential Causes?

The potential cause means the cause which is possible but not yet actual.

Actually, all the causes of disease are potential before diagnosis and treatment.

The potential causes of sore throat and ear pain are as following:

Viral Infections

Viral illnesses that can cause a sore throat and ear pain include:

  • Common cold (a viral infection of your nose and throat)
  • Flu (influenza) (a viral infection of respiratory passage)
  • Mononucleosis (A viral disease that occurred due to a type of herpes virus)
  • Measles (a viral disease causing high fever and rashes on the body in children)
Viral Infections
  • Chickenpox (an infectious disease which can cause fever and itchy inflamed pimples)
  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (a viral disease caused due to coronavirus)
  • Croup ( a common childhood illness characterized by a harsh, barking cough)

Bacterial Infections

A lot of bacterial infections can cause a sore throat, but they are not common as viral infections.

The most common is Streptococcus pyroxenes which cause strep throat.

Bacterial Infections

Other causes

Other causes of a sore throat include:


Allergies to pollen and some other allergen, i.e., perfume, dust, etc., can cause sore throat.



Dryness can make air dry, and the nasal cavity affects you; then, you will try to breathe through the mouth.

And the dry air will make your throat scratchy and dry.


Air pollution can cause a lot of irritants in the air, i.e., chemicals, smoke, wood dust, pollen, tobacco smoke, etc.

Which can cause a sore throat and cause severe symptoms and illness.

Muscle strain

Suppose the muscles of your throat are strain due to yelling or speaking for a long time.

It can cause a sore throat and painful throat and ear.

Muscle strain

Postnasal Drip

Postnasal Drip is extra mucus in the back of the nose and throat caused by some kind of allergies.

Postnasal Drip:


It is an inflammation of the tonsils. There is a collection of pus on both sides of the throat.

It can cause drainage of droplets of moisture and sore throat.

Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

It is a digestive disorder in Gastro-esophageal reflux disease the stomach acids back up in the food pipe.

Chronic Sinusitis

A condition in which the sinus cavities become inflamed for several weeks even with treatment.

The inflammation interferes with fluid draining in the throat and causes sore throat, bad breath and severe pain in the throat.

HIV Infection

Someone with HIV-positive may have a chronic or recurring sore throat that happened due to a fungal infection called oral thrush or also known as a flu shot.

It may be due to a viral infection called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which can be serious in people with compromised immune systems.

HIV Infection


Cancerous tumors of the throat and mouth can cause severe sore throat. If you have tumors.

You should consult to doctor and go to the emergency department as soon as possible.

Symptoms of a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is a painful condition. The type of pain and severity of sore throat is different depending upon the causes.

The common symptoms of sore throat are as following:

  • Dry feeling in your throat
  • Scratchy throat
  • Severe pain in your back of the throat
  • Pain in the throat when you swallow or eat something
  • Redness in the throat
  • Swollen tonsils
  • White patches on tonsils
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Swollen jaw glands
  • Jaw pain
  • Blood in saliva
  • Dental infections
  • Irritated nasal passages
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Drainage of fluid from tonsils
  • Muffled hearing

Causes of a Sore Throat?

There are many causes of sore throat, which are as follows:

Postnasal Drip

The allergens, such as pollens and dust, can trigger an allergic reaction that causes a nose and ear infection.

This causes postnasal drip, and as a result, excess mucus draining into your throat. It is the common reason for sore throat.

Postnasal Drip


It is an inflammation of the tonsils (two glands located at both sides of your throat).

It can be happened at any age but is more common in children. It can be caused by bacteria or viruses, i.e., due to the common cold.

It is a cause of sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.


It is a viral infectious disease usually caused due to a virus (Epstein-Barr Virus).

It can cause a sore throat and severe pain in the throat and ear that lasts for several weeks.

It can happen at any age, but people in their early 20s are more likely to experience this type of illness.


Strep Throat

It is a contagious bacterial infection caused due to a group of bacteria. It can cause a severe sore throat and white patches on the tonsils.

Sometimes the infection transfers to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube and causes middle ear infection.

Symptoms of strep throat are fever and redness on the roof of the mouth.

Strep Throat

Tooth Infection or Abscess

It is a bacterial infection. An abscessed tooth can cause severe pain in the tooth and a sore throat.

Other symptoms are fever and swelling in the cheeks and face.

Temporomandibular Joints Disease

The temporomandibular joint is a joint which creates a connection between your jaw and the rest of your head.

The temporomandibular joint disorder is a disorder that occurs due to disk movement from its proper alignment due to some injury.

This condition is more common in people who grind or clench their teeth. It can cause severe pain in the jaw and sore throat.

Temporomandibular Joints Disease


Inhaling smoke or other irritants can cause infection and pain in the nose, ear and throat.

It is a common reason for sore throat and swollen glands.

The common irritants are as following:

  • Smoke
  • Perfume
  • Pollens
  • Wood dust
  • Cement
  • Gasoline
  • Paint thinner
  • Oven cleaner
  • Industrial chemicals

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition in which your stomach acid and other contents come back in your esophagus.

If it occurs frequently, this condition is called gastroesophageal reflux disorder (a severe form of acid reflux).

The most common symptoms are sore throat and hoarseness.

Chronic Sinusitis

It is a condition in which the sinus cavities become inflamed for several weeks even with treatment.

The inflammation interferes with mucus drainage and causes sore throat, bad breath, and severe pain in the throat.

What Are The Treatment Options?

The sore throat and ear pain can be treated by home remedies as well as medical treatment.

Home Remedies

  • Getting plenty of rest is the best option if you have a throat, sinus, or ear infection.
  • Use plenty of fluids
  • Try a humidifier to keep your throat and nasal cavity moist.
  • Use Fever Medication
  • Use Over-The-Counter (OTC) pain medication
  • Use OTC throat lozenges
  • Use OTC antihistamines
  • Use sore throat spray
  • Use a warm salt water gargle
  • Use popsicles or ice for throat pain
  • Use a few drops of olive oil in the ears
  • Use cold medicines
  • Use antacids or OTC GERD treatments

Medical Treatment

If the home remedies are not working and you are facing severe sore throat and intermittent symptoms, you should consult a doctor.

He will diagnose and examine your throat by using different tests and prescribe a medicine for you.

The medicines and treatments are done depending upon the symptoms and severity of the illness. The treatments include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Prescribed acid reflux medication
  • Nasal corticosteroids
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Prescribed allergy medication
  • Neck surgery to remove the swollen lymph nodes
  • Surgery to remove tonsils
  • Use of cold compresses
  • Use of the warm compress

Diagnosing Sore Throat And Ear Pain

A medical specialist will ask you about your symptoms to diagnose them. Then he will do some physical examination.

He will check your ears and throats for signs of infection and examine your throat for your swollen lymph nodes or swollen jaws.

He will use different tests to check it, which are as following:

  • Blood tests
  • Tympanometry (This test is used to check your middle ear)
  • Laryngoscopy (This test is used to check your larynx)
  • Barium Swallow (It is used to check for acid reflux)
  • Nasolaryngoscopy (It is used to look inside in your nose and throat)
  • Rapid Strep Antigen Test (If strep throat is suspected, a swab of the back of your throat is taken and examined for bacterial infection.
  • The result of this test declared in few minutes that’s why it is called as rapid strep antigen test)
  • Throat culture (It is also used for checking strep throat. It is more accurate than rapid strep test)

Why Do Your Ear and Throat Hurt?

There are a lot of causes of your ear and throat pain. They are being hurt at the same time or individually.

If they are hurting individually, they are due to their infections. If they are hurting together at the same time.

There are a lot of reasons which are as following:

  • Infection after COVID-19
  • Double ear infection
  • Eustachian tube Dysfunction
  • Allergies
  • Postnasal drip
  • GERD
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen jaws
  • Dental Infections
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Acute Pharyngitis
  • Mouth diseases

Final Advice For Sore Throat and Ear Pain

Suppose you have a sore throat and ear pain. It is due to many causes, some ear, nasal, or throat infections as our nose, ear, and throat are interconnected.

If you have severe symptoms, first of all, use home remedies to get rid of this illness.

If they are not working, you should consult an ENT specialist for treatment and medication.

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