Why Do Your Ear And Throat Hurt
If youve ever experienced ear pain when you swallow, you know how uncomfortable it can be.
In severe cases, it can even interfere with things like eating, drinking and talking.
Ear, nose and throat infections can all cause your ears to hurt when swallowing, so its important to know the signs of each.
What Are The Signs Of A Peritonsillar Abscess
Often, the first sign of a peritonsillar abscess is a sore throat. As the abscess develops, other symptoms start, such as:
- red, swollen tonsils
- a tonsil that’s pushing against the uvula
- tender, swollen glands on one side of the neck
- severe pain on one side of the throat
- difficulty and pain when swallowing or opening the mouth
- fever and chills
- a muffled or hoarse voice
An abscess that’s not treated quickly can lead to serious problems for example, the infection may go into the jaw and neck. If the abscess pops, the infection may spread to the chest and lead to pneumonia.
Tests And Diagnosis For Tonsillitis
If you think you might be dealing with tonsillitis, visiting a doctor is the best first step.
Your physician will want to determine the root cause of your condition. Theyll do this by asking you about your symptoms and looking at the back of your throat with a small flashlight.
Two additional tests may also be performed via a cotton swab thats used to gently take a sample from the back of the throat and tonsils:
- a rapid strep test, which lets you know within minutes if you actually have strep throat
- a throat culture, which has to be sent to a lab and takes a few days to process
If the strep test is negative, your doctor will most likely want to wait for the throat culture to be sure of your diagnosis.
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Can Tonsils Cause Sinus Infections
Are you suffering from chronic sinus issues, and cant seem to find any relief from the never-ending symptoms? You might have short periods when the symptoms arent quite as intense before the infection flares up again.
Since the symptoms are affecting your nasal passages and sinuses, then you are likely focused on those specific treatments.
But there might be an overlooked factor contributing to your sinus issues: problems with the tonsils and adenoids.
What Are Swollen Tonsils
Your tonsils are oval-shaped soft tissue masses located on each side of your throat. Tonsils are part of the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system helps you avoid illness and infection. Its your tonsils job to fight off viruses and bacteria that enter your mouth.
Tonsils can become infected by viruses and bacteria. When they do, they swell up. Swollen tonsils is known as tonsillitis.
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How Sinusitis Can Cause Tonsillitis And Other Problems
If you have been diagnosed with sinusitis you might be worried about it leading to bigger problems, such as tonsillitis. The truth is your tonsils and sinuses are connected and you could end up with problems with one if you have problems with the other. It’s important to understand the connection between the two and how you can go about treating any infections in either your tonsils or your sinuses.
Ear Infections In Children
Why do children get ear infections?
Infants and young children between 3 months old and 3 years old are much more likely to get ear infections than adults. In fact, most children will have at least one ear infection. The main reasons are:
- Differences in Eustachian tubes. These tubes in your ears are shorter and narrower when youre younger, so its easier for them to become blocked. Additionally, the tubes in infants and young children are usually more horizonal than those in adults which means that its harder for fluid to drain.
- Their developing immune system. When infants are about 6 months old, they start losing some of the immunity they were born with. At the same time, babies start becoming more social, sharing both toys and germs. Breastfeeding is one effective way to help strengthen your childs immune system.
What can increase your childs risk for ear infections?
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How Do I Take Care Of Myself If I Have Tonsil Stones
If you have tonsil stones, these at-home remedies can help:
- A warm saltwater gargle helps with swelling and discomfort. Gargling can even help dislodge the stone. Try a gargle of 1 teaspoon salt mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- Use a cotton swab to remove a tonsil stone thats bothering you.
- Brush and floss regularly.
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About Author: Laura Nightengale
Laura Nightengale was a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. When shes not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Tonsil And Adenoid Difficulty
Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils. Symptoms may include:
- Swelling of the tonsils
- A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
- A slight change in the voice due to swelling
- Sore throat sometimes accompanied by ear pain
- Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
- Snoring at night
- Restlessness during sleep, or pauses in breathing for a few seconds at night
You should see your ENT specialist, or otolaryngologist, when you or your child experience the common symptoms of infected or enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
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How The Tonsils Affect Sinus Drainage
The main connection between tonsillitis and sinus infections lies in the way the nasal drainage works. If the tonsils and adenoids are enlarged, it can obstruct nasal and sinus drainage. As a result, poor drainage in the sinuses creates a perfect environment where bacteria can breed which leads to the development of a sinus infection.
This cause-and-effect can happen over and over again: the tonsils or adenoids swell up and block drainage, causing a sinus infection. The infection is treated, but the problem is often recurring as long as there continue to be problems with nasal and sinus drainage.
Swollen tonsils arent a life-threatening condition. But it is smart to seek medical attention due to the ongoing discomfort and pain. When the tonsils are infected, breathing can be difficult and it could have an impact on the supply of oxygen to the lungs.
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Do You Need Antibiotics For Tonsillitis
Usually not. Most throat and tonsil infections are caused by germs called viruses, although some are caused by germs called bacteria. Without tests, it is usually not possible to tell if it is a viral or bacterial tonsillitis Antibiotics kill bacteria, but do not kill viruses.
Even if a bacterium is the cause of a tonsil or throat infection, an antibiotic does not make much difference in most cases. Your body defences usually clear these infections within a few days whether caused by a virus or a bacterium. Also, antibiotics can sometimes cause side-effects such as diarrhoea, rash and stomach upsets.
So, most doctors do not prescribe antibiotics for most cases of tonsillitis or sore throat.
An antibiotic may be advised in certain situations. For example:
- If the infection is severe.
- If it is not easing after a few days.
- If your immune system is not working properly .
Take Simple Steps To Put The Brakes On Infection
Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency, said this week that it was important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible.
As the organisation issued guidance on how to slow rates of Covid, flu and strep A – amongst others – it advised that simple steps can help protect children.
Professor Hopkins said: If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.
Helping children to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene is also key, so practise regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water. Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them is another simple way to help stop illness from spreading.
Adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering. When unwell dont visit healthcare settings or visit vulnerable people unless urgent.
Remember that flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus. We have seen good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low.
Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness. Getting your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and its still not too late.
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What Are The Harms Of Fluid Buildup In Your Ears Or Repeated Or Ongoing Ear Infections
Most ear infections dont cause long-term problems, but when they do happen, complications can include:
- Loss of hearing: Some mild, temporary hearing loss usually occurs during an ear infection. Ongoing infections, infections that repeatedly occur, damage to internal structures in the ear from a buildup of fluid can cause more significant hearing loss.
- Delayed speech and language development: Children need to hear to learn language and develop speech. Muffled hearing for any length of time or loss of hearing can significantly delay or hamper development.
- Tear in the eardrum: A tear can develop in the eardrum from pressure from the long-lasting presence of fluid in the middle ear. About 5% to 10% of children with an ear infection develop a small tear in their eardrum. If the tear doesnt heal on its own, surgery may be needed. If you have drainage/discharge from your ear, do not place anything into your ear canal. Doing so can be dangerous if there is an accident with the item touching the ear drum.
- Spread of the infection: Infection that doesnt go away on its own, is untreated or is not fully resolved with treatment may spread beyond the ear. Infection can damage the nearby mastoid bone . On rare occasions, infection can spread to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis.
Symptoms That Could Mean You Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can result from very enlarged tonsils that prevent normal breathing during sleep. Tonsillitis, which can cause the tonsils to become enlarged because of the infection and inflammation, is therefore a potential cause of sleep apnea .
During an infection when tonsils are swollen, it can cause temporary sleep apnea, Clark says. This complication can happen to both children and adults, Clark says. And particularly in children, removing the tonsils may be recommended to cure the sleep apnea, which might otherwise turn into a chronic problem.
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What Is An Ear Infection
The commonly used term ear infection is known medically as acute otitis media or a sudden infection in the middle ear . Anyone can get an ear infection children as well as adults although ear infections are one of the most common reasons why young children visit healthcare providers.
In many cases, ear infections clear up on their own. Your healthcare provider may recommend a medication to relieve pain. If the ear infection has worsened or not improved, your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic. In children younger than the age of two years, an antibiotic is usually needed for ear infections.
Its important to see your healthcare provider to make sure the ear infection has healed or if you or your child has ongoing pain or discomfort. Hearing problems and other serious effects can occur with ongoing ear infections, frequent infections and when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.
What To Do About A Sore Throat With Ear And Jaw Pain
If youre experiencing the symptoms of either tonsillitis or strep throat, visit your local FastMed and have an examination performed by one of our medical professionals. Well check your tonsils for any swelling and can administer a strep test and throat swab. If tonsillitis or strep throat are detected, antibiotics are typically prescribed to fight off the infection.
People with recurring infections may require a tonsillectomy to remove the tonsils entirely.
In the meantime, get plenty of rest, drink cold water to help ease the pain in your throat and try gargling with salt water or using a throat lozenge. You can also take Tylenol or Ibuprofen to alleviate the pain and any fever you might have.
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Distinct Odor Coming From Your Mouth
The odor caused by tonsil stones is pungent. It smells like that of a rotten tooth or any other type of decay. According to the National Library of Medicine, you might be able to taste the infection and bacteria amongst the saliva in your mouth. Remember, if there is an infection present, youre swallowing and putting all those germs into your stomach, so this needs to be taken care of immediately.
Why Does Your Throat Hurt On One Side
If your throat pain comes from only one side, it could be a sign of a different condition or unique illness.
As your body helps to fight germs , it can cause the lymph nodes to swell up and become sorewhich can result in pain on one side of the throat.
Postnasal drip is another cause of throat pain. As mucus and fluid drain down the back of the throat, it can lead to the feeling of soreness, specifically on one side.
Inflammation of one or more tonsil, more commonly called tonsillitis, is another common cause of one-sided throat pain. Fever, difficulty swallowing and noisy breathing are symptoms that typically accompany the illness.
If you experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERDa condition in which the contents of the stomach back up into the food pipeyou may experience throat pain as well.
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What Causes Sharp Throat And Ear Pain
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Sharp throat and ear pain can be concerning for those experiencing it, and if you have it, you will want to figure out the cause so you can have peace of mind, as well as come up with an appropriate solution. A cold may be the cause, as this is the most common reason for this specific pain, but it can be due to other underlying things, too. Most of the time, a sore throat will pass in a few days. However, if it doesnt and you find your ears are also hurting, you may want to book an appointment with an ENT to get to the bottom of it.
Symptoms of sharp throat and ear pain may include:
- Mild to severe pain in the back of your throat
- A dry or scratchy feeling in your throat
- Pain when swallowing or talking
- Swollen glands in your neck or jaw
- Muffled hearing
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
- Fluid drainage from ear
You may also find that your symptoms are accompanied by a headache, fever or a general feeling of being unwell.
What Causes Peritonsillar Abscesses
Most peritonsillar abscesses are caused by the same bacteria that cause strep throat. Sometimes, other types of bacteria are involved.
Peritonsillar abscesses usually happen as a complication of tonsillitis. If the infection breaks out of a tonsil and gets into the space around it, an abscess can form. Luckily, peritonsillar abscesses aren’t that common these days because doctors use antibiotics to treat tonsillitis.
Tooth and gum disease can increase the chances of a peritonsillar abscess, as can smoking more good reasons to brush your teeth and not smoke.
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Symptoms Of Tonsillar Cellulitis And Abscess
With tonsillar cellulitis or a tonsillar abscess, swallowing causes severe pain that often radiates into the ear. People have a severe sore throat, feel ill, have a fever, and may tilt their head toward the side of the abscess to help relieve pain. Spasms of the chewing muscles make opening the mouth difficult .
Cellulitis causes general redness and swelling above the tonsil and on the soft palate.
Peritonsillar abscesses and some parapharyngeal abscesses push the tonsils forward. The uvula is swollen and can be pushed to the side opposite the abscess. Other common symptoms include a “hot potato” voice , drooling, redness of the tonsils, white patches , swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and severe bad breath .
What Is The Treatment For Strep Throat
Strep throat is treated with an antibiotic medication. Antibiotics require a prescription from your doctor. You usually take antibiotics orally for about 10 days. The most common antibiotics for strep throat are:
It is very important to follow your doctors instructions and take the full course of antibiotics, even if you are feeling better after a couple of days. You must finish the antibiotics so the infection doesnt come back, get worse, or spread to another part of your body.
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Can Ear Infections Cause A Sore Throat On One Side
When someone has an ear infection, the lymph nodes swell up as the immune system works to fight the infection. There are lymph nodes all throughout the body, but with an ear infection, the closest lymph nodes are those by the throat, so these are typically the ones to swell up.
If someone only has an ear infection on one side, only the lymph nodes on that side of the throat may swell since they are closest to the infection. When the lymph nodes swell, they can become painful, contributing to a sore throat. If only one side of the lymph nodes kicks into action, only one side of the throat may be sore.