Sore Throat and Earache - When to see a Doctor

When To See A Doctor For Sore Throat And Earache?

The terms ‘Sore Throat’ and ‘Ear Ache’ are self-explanatory. These issues are commonly found in Infants and frequently occur with cough and cold. When you have any of such pains, it can cause extreme discomfort. It is essential to know the main reasons behind their occurrence and when to see a doctor for persistent sore throat and earache on one side or both.

What Is Sore Throat And Earache?

Sore Throat – A Sore Throat is the pain caused in the back of the throat. It worsens while swallowing the food or drink item. Cold is the most common cause that requires immediate treatment.

Earache – Earache can be defined as a sharp, dull or burning pain that comes and goes, or is constant. It is a bacterial infection that takes place behind the eardrum and frequently occurs after a cold.

When earache accompanies a sore throat, it will lead to various uncalled conditions like tonsillitis, mononucleosis, and various other harmful infections.

What Causes Sore Throat And Earache?

Following are the various reasons that lead to sore throat and ear infection in multiple ways


Two glands are located on either side of the throat. It leads to the inflammation of our tonsils and caused by a bacteria or virus.


Mononucleosis is an infectious disease usually caused by bacteria, with the name of Epstein-Barr Virus.


Allergy causes soreness of mucous membranes that line the nasal cavities and ears. It will cause a blockage in the ears that prevents proper draining of mucus and causes pressure with ear pain.

Acid Reflux

When an acid or other content of your stomach goes back into the esophagus, you may experience frequent acid reflux, it will arise lump in your throat.

Strep Throat

It is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria. It arises very quickly. Bacteria from throat infection can flow into the Eustachian tube, and middle ear causes earache.

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic Sinusitis gives rise to inflammation that interferes with mucus drainage with a further buildup of pain and swelling.


Various irritants like Chlorine, Smoke, cement, gasoline, paint thinner, can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and gives rise to inflammation of the mucous membranes.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

TMD causes pain and dysfunction in your jaw movement. It is common in people when they clench and grind their teeth.

Abscess or Tooth Infection

An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus at the tip of your tooth’s root caused by infectious bacteria. It causes swelling in your cheek or face.

Symptoms Of Sore Throat And Earache

Level of pain and severity of Sore Throat and Earache vary depending on the cause.

Symptoms of Sore Throat can include

  • Swollen and red tonsils
  • Pain while talking or swallowing
  • Swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • Muffled voice
  • The pocket of pus on your tonsils
  • Scratchy sensation in the throat with white patches on your tonsils

Various signs that bother due to ear infection are 

  • Nausea or vomit feel
  • Popping sound or sensation in the ear
  • Full drainage of liquid from the ear
  • Dull or sharp burning pain on one or both ears
  • The feeling of fullness in the ear

When To See A Doctor For Sore Throat And Earache?

Treatment depends upon the severity of the pain. In the case of infants or children, get immediate care and take your child to see a doctor if he/she is having following signs and symptoms

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in Swallowing
  • Unusual Drooling

In the case of Adults, follow the below-mentioned signs of pain and severity

  • Throat pain lasting longer than a week
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in Swallowing
  • Difficulty while opening your mouth
  • Joint Pain
  • Earache or ear infection
  • Fever higher than usual
  • Blood in your saliva
  • Rashes
  • Lump in your neck
  • Hoarseness lasting longer than usual
  • Swollen neck

[Also Read: Causes Of Pain When Swallowing Food]

Home Remedies For Sore Throat And Earache

Most of the times, such infections are cleared up within a week without treatment. One would recommend having plenty of rest and fluids to deal with cold and infections like sinus, ear infection, etc. Easy to follow home remedies can include

  • Humidifier, to keep your nasal passages moist
  • Over the counter pain and fever medication
  • Gargling with salt water
  • OTC antihistamines
  • Ice chips for throat pain and avoid inflammation
  • Flow a few drops of warm olive oil in the ears
  • OTC GERD treatments

Various other medical treatments include

  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Surgery for the removal of tonsils
  • Prescription allergy and acid reflux medication
  • Nasal or oral corticosteroids

If home remedies don’t work well, take immediate care by consulting with a doctor.

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