Sore Throat And Earache: 6 Causes And Treatments
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The pain begins as a throbbing pulse before switching to an ache and then to a hurtful stabbing pain that radiates down your throat and in your inner ear.
A sore throat alone can be unbearable, but when you are also suffering from an earache, it can restrict daily activities.
What begins in one section can quickly travel to the other due, in part, to the Eustachian tube that connects the two.
There are several options to deal with your pain from an earache and sore throat, depending on the cause. You may be able to control and alleviate the pain yourself however, more severe conditions may require a trip to see your doctor.
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How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
A pharmacist can advise you about medicines that can help, such as:
- salt water nasal sprays or solutions to rinse out the inside of your nose
You can buy nasal sprays without a prescription, but decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than a week.
Some decongestant tablets also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. Be careful when taking painkillers and a decongestant. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
What Else We Recommend
- Ricola Original Herb : While Ricola products do the trick, the herbaceous taste and fragrance can be off-putting. These are worth a try if you dont mind an earthy, medicinal taste .
- Halls Cough Drops : Halls products use cooling menthol to soothe your throat and nasal passages. These are widely available products and very affordable.
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What Helps Soothe An Irritated Throat Not Caused By Post
If it turns out your sore throat isnt the result of post-nasal drip, your treatment options will be a bit different. On top of avoiding pollution and irritants, gargling with saltwater, and using a humidifier, you should also:
- Drink warm liquids like soup broth and tea with honey
- Eat cold foods like popsicles
- Get plenty of rest
- Try not to speak too much to give your throat a rest
What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis, by definition, is an inflammation of the sinuses. It can be viral or bacterial, but the type of sinusitis often discussed is bacterial in nature. Sinusitis is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis happens every so often, is treated, and goes away. Sinusitis that persists or recurs frequently is chronic sinusitis.
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What Causes Ear Infections
Ear infections develop when bacteria or a virus, often from a cold or the flu, enters the ear canal. Theyre often a common part of childhood.
The germs settle in the middle ear, the area that connects the ear to the top of the throat, causing inflammation in the tissue. This inflammation can impact the eardrum, resulting in difficulty hearing and persistent pain.
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Getting To The Bottom Of Sinusitis
In order to properly treat chronic sinusitis, it is important to discover the underlying cause. If the patient complains that they experience sinusitis every time they have a cold, we can look inside their sinuses to see if there is a structural abnormality or change that is causing the problem. If a person claims they are chronically congested or have a runny nose all the time, allergies are likely the culprit. If the patient complains of pain, this might mean that the repeated condition has created a condition that will require aggressive medical management, including surgery.
An endoscopy or CT scan can help your ENT physician find out whats going on in your sinuses and then develop a plan for overall treatment and future medication.
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Which Treatments Are Available
Allergic post nasal drip is treatable with a steroid nasal spray that helps reduce swelling in the nasal passage which contributes to congestion. Antihistamines are used to relieve symptoms like sneezing and itchiness, while decongestants are regularly prescribed for congestion. Antibiotics can be administered to deal with nasal drainage caused by sinus infections, but also steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants are prescribed similarly to allergy treatments. However nasal decongestants are not recommended to be used for more than three days because it can cause a rebound effect that leads to worsening symptoms. A helpful tip for people suffering from post nasal drip is to sleep upright or with their head elevated which has been known to reduce the intensity and frequency of coughs during the night and early morning.
Whats The Difference Between Sinus Pain And A Toothache
There are several indicators that can help you tell the difference between sinus pain and pain from a toothache in the same area. Among them:
- Location of the pain. Dull, generalized pain is more likely to be sinus-related, while sharper pain that is concentrated around one tooth is probably due to a problem with that tooth.
- How the pain responds to changes in altitude. If your pain gets worse when you go down a flight of stairs or put your head between your legs, it is probably related to a sinus condition.
- Whether the pain is on both sides of your jaw or just one. Sinus problems almost always affect both sides of the sinus cavity. Dental problems are usually present in just one tooth.
Paying close attention to your symptoms can help you determine which cause is more likely. Be sure to tell your doctor or dentist about your observations to help them make the correct diagnosis.
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Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
Does My Child Have Strep Throat Sinusitis Or Tonsillitis
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No child should have to deal with chronic sore throats. Any chronic illness takes kids out of their daily routine, and sore throats can be exceptionally painful. Maybe youve visited your family doctor and heard them attribute your childs sore throats to strep throat, sinusitis, tonsillitis or all three at different times. Whats the difference?
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When To See A Doctor For Sinus Pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment. Allina Health has many convenient care options for care, from online visits to walk-in care, to help you get better fast.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat for your treatment options.
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
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Common Symptoms And Signs Of Sinus Infections
Signs and symptoms of sinus infections depend upon the sinuses that are affected, and whether the sinus infection is acute or chronic.
Common Sinus Infection Symptoms and Signs
- Stuffy nose or congestion
5 Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
Chronic sinusitis may have many of the same symptoms as acute sinusitis, but the symptoms last longer or are more severe. In addition, people with chronic sinusitis may also experience multiple symptoms, for example:
Ayr Saline Nasal Rinse Kit
The Ayr Saline Nasal Rinse Kit is another great choice for people looking for an effective product to combat post nasal drip. Mostly, this product relies on saline, which draws out the mucus by attracting it with salt. Once the accumulated mucus has been pulled out of the posterior portion of the nose and throat, its suctioned out using the included bottle.
While it does offer effective and instant relief against mucus and congestion, the formula isnt quite as powerful as the first name on the list. Without the menthol property, relief doesnt last quite as long, requiring users to repeat the process when mucus accumulates hours later.
Children And Sinus Infections
Unfortunately, there is no age minimum for sinus infections, and they are more difficult to detect and diagnose in children. As with adult cases, be suspicious if a runny nose or a cough lasts more than a couple of days, if a child seems lethargic, stops eating or drinking, sleeps restlessly or complains of frequent headaches.
Teach your children the benefits of proper hygiene and be prudent during flu and cold season and watchful when the pollen count or pollution index are high. As with other respiratory problems, the sinuses can be affected by environmental factors, by smoke and sometimes by strong odors.
Armed with a normal measure of knowledge and concern, you should feel confident in your ability to deal with the signs and symptoms of sinus infections, and to find effective advice and treatment if you suspect that’s what ails you or your family.
Contact Houston ENT today at 649-7000 if you feel you or a loved one is suffering from a sinus infection!
What Is The Treatment For Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
- Systemic steroids
- A combination there several
What Are the Side Effects of Nasal and Oral Decongestants?
Both nasal and oral decongestants have side effects, which include:
- Increased heart rate
- Urinary problems, especially prostate disorders
Combining decongestants with OTC or prescribed medications with similar side effects may cause dangerous complications.
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How To Do A Nasal Rinse
Nasal saline rinses are a good way to treat discomfort and congestion. They can help flush out mucus, debris, and irritants, and soothe nasal passages.
A neti pot can be used to do this. You fill a pot with a saline rinse that you can buy.
- Place the spout of the pot against one nostril.
- Tilt your head to the side.
- The saline will pour out of the lower nostrilthanks to gravity.
- Repeat steps with the other nostril.
Symptoms Of Sinus Drainage In Throat
Symptoms of sinus drainage in throat varies widely depending on the underlying infections and problems. The most obvious symptom however, is a feeling of mucus draining or accumulating at the back of the throat which gives you the urge to clear the throat very frequently.
Other common symptoms of sinus drainage in throat are:
- Cough: Sinus drainage is the most common underlying factor for chronic cough according to the WebMD website.
- Sore throat
- Hoarseness of voice
Depending on the nature of your infection and the exact trigger of sinus drainage you may or may not experience some of the following symptoms:
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Sinus Pain And Pressure
Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.
The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.
Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.
Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.
Check If Its An Ear Infection
The symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and include:
- discharge running out of the ear
- a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear
- itching and irritation in and around the ear
- scaly skin in and around the ear
Young children and babies with an ear infection may also:
- rub or pull their ear
- not react to some sounds
- be irritable or restless
- be off their food
- keep losing their balance
Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.
|Inner ear infection|
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Causes Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Part of the common cold. A cold infects the lining of the nose. It also involves the lining of all the sinuses.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. A problem when the sinus becomes infected with bacteria. . It starts as a viral sinus infection. Main symptoms are increased sinus pain or return of fever. The skin around the eyelids or cheeks may become red or swollen. Thick nasal secretions that last over 14 days may point to a sinus infection. This can occur in younger children.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Sinus congestion often occurs with nasal allergies . Sneezing, itchy nose and clear nasal discharge point to this cause.
Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
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Pharmacy First Scotland: Earache Treatment From Your Pharmacy
Earache isnât usually serious and can be treated by a pharmacist. Your pharmacist may recommend that you contact your GP practice if required.
You should only contact your GP or local out-of-hours service if:
- you or your child also have other symptoms, such as a high temperature , vomiting, a severe sore throat, hearing loss, swelling around the ear, or discharge from the ear
- there is something stuck in your or your childâs ear
- the earache doesnât improve within a few days
When To See Your Dentist
Not all toothaches become serious health concerns. But if youre experiencing a toothache, its best to get treatment before it gets worse.
- red gums
- pain when chewing or biting
If you have a broken tooth or if a tooth comes out, see your dentist right away.
While youre waiting to see the dentist, you might find relief by:
- avoiding hot or cold drinks and food
- avoiding chewing on the side of the tooth ache
- eating only cool, soft foods
Youre at risk of tooth infection if you dont have good dental hygiene. Take good care of your teeth by:
- brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
- flossing your teeth at least once a day
- decreasing your intake of sugar
- eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
If untreated, a tooth infection could potentially travel to other areas of your body, resulting in a potentially life-threatening infection. Signs of a tooth infection spreading to the body may include:
- increased breathing rate
- stomach pain
Last medically reviewed on May 28, 2019
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