Ear ache and sore throat are common problem that may interfere with day to day life activities. When these two disorders occur simultaneously, it increases the morbidity many folds. The infections of the throat are more likely to affect the ear as there is a connection between the ear and throat through the Eustachian tube. The medical conditions that may lead to simultaneous infection of ear and throat include (but are not limited to) allergy, inflammatory or infectious agents, swollen glands and pollutants in air. Learn how the condition happens and what you can do about it.
Causes of Earache and Sore Throat
Many disease conditions causes sore throat and ear ache. Sore throat can be mild, moderate or severe that varies from mild discomfort in the throat to the level of severe pain that affects normal vital activities like swallowing and breathing. Ear ache is mainly due to the ear infection that can be in the middle, inner or outer ear. It can occur in single ear or both. The pain can be mild, moderate or severe depending on the infection.
1. Acute Sinusitis
It is the inflammation of air filled spaces around the nostrils that can last up to 8 weeks. If it persists more than 8 weeks it is referred to as the chronic sinusitis (the causes and management is usually different based on the duration of symptoms). The most common causes of acute sinusitis are common cold due allergy or bacterial agents. The common signs and symptom of acute sinusitis include severe head ache, fatigue, sore throat, ear ache and thick discharge from ear or nostrils. Treatment modalities include nasal decongestants, corticosteroid, saline nasal spray and analgesics to relieve the symptoms.
2. Larynx Cancer
Cancer of the larynx can cause sore throat, persistent cough, hoarseness earache, sore throat, difficulty breathing and a growth in the neck.
It is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy depending on the stages of cancer. Prognosis is dependent on the extent of involvement and nature of modalities employed.
Tonsillitis is the inflammation of tonsils caused by the microorganism mostly bacterial or viral agents (but can also be caused by fungal agents in immune compromised individuals). Primary symptoms are ear ache, sore throat, fever and difficulty in swallowing.
The symptoms can be largely treated with rest, fluid antibiotics and saline gargle; however, if no improvement is observed in the symptoms, systemic antibiotics should be prescribed.
4. Ear Infection
It cause ear ache, loss of balance, fever, head ache, discharge of inflammatory fluid, moderate to severe impairment in normal hearing and loss of appetite.
It can be treated with warm compresses, pain medications, ear drops and antibiotic therapy. Note that children with persistent of frequent ear infections should be monitored closely.
5. Cold or Flu
During spring season or winters, the sore throat and ear pain are commonly observed conditions that significantly impair productivity.
In vast majority of the cases, symptoms resolve spontaneously in a matter of days (especially in case of viral infections). To further speed up the process, home remedies like hot tea with honey and lemon, orange juice, hot pepper and chicken soup can also be employed. In refractory cases, antibiotics may be needed to prevent secondary infection.
6. Hay Fever
It is allergic response of the body to the dust, pollen or pet and manifested by symptoms of cold, running nose, itching and sinus pressure.
The best treatment is keeping away from the allergens and others include corticosteroid, antihistamine, decongestants, leukotriene modifier and nasal ipratropium.
7. Other Causes
Other popular causes include:
- Tooth infection
- Eating very hot or cold foods
- Uvula infection which leads to sore throat
- Vocal cords overuse reported most frequently in lecturers, public speakers and singers
- Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption causing irritation of throat
Natural Remedies for Earache and Sore Throat
Natural remedies are measures to treat earache and sore throat without causing any side effect. It can be taken by one. The following natural remedies are known for their promising results:
Garlic is used as medicine from the old days because of its antiviral and antifungal tendencies. For sore throat 2 cloves of garlic is recommended, it can be taken along with soup or with any drinks. For earache a heated mixture is made with half clove of garlic and sesame oil. Then this mixture is dripped in each ear after allowing 10 minutes to settle in each ear. It gives relief from symptoms
Massage is one of the natural remedial measure found to be effective the treatment of ear ache and sore throat. It is done with 1 teaspoon of olive oil with sandal or thyme oil. Massage the neck with this mixture then cover it with a scarf. For ear ache massage is provided by wrapping a towel dipped in hot water around the head help to relieve the discomfort.
Gargles help to relieve the symptoms of sore throat and ear-ache. Warm Saline gargle every 30 minutes during the acute episodes help to relieve the symptoms early. Cayenne pepper gargle is also found to be effective because of antiviral tendencies. It can be prepared by adding 5 dashes of cayenne pepper to 1 cup warm water. It should be done in every 15 minutes for best results. You can also prepare 1 cup of warm water with 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar to relieve the symptoms by gargling.
4. Hot Liquids
Drinking plenty of warm water or warm tea with lemon and honey helps to relieve the discomfort caused by the sore throat.
Ginger is found to be effective in pain relief. Ginger tea is also helpful in relieving the sore throat.