Why do my ears hurt when I swallow?

Earache when swallowing can be very bothersome and interfere with daily activities such as eating, drinking, and speaking. There are many reasons why a person’s ears may hurt when swallowing. The three most common causes of this pain are infections:

– the ear
– from the nose
– lozenges

In this article, learn about the best ways to treat earache that occurs while swallowing. We also describe when to see a doctor.

Is it an ear infection?

Ear infections can be very painful. It can develop for no apparent reason or be the result of an underlying problem.
Ear infections often develop with:

– cold
– cold
– Sinusitis
Allergy flare-up

Symptoms of an ear infection are:

swelling
Fluid buildup in the ear
– pain in the ear
Feeling of pressure in the ear

In most cases, this is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear. This infection is more common in children, and about 50% of children have otitis media before their first birthday.

Symptoms of otitis media

Ear infection symptoms can change with age. In children, middle ear infections can cause:

– fever
Ear pain that may get worse when lying down
Crying and irritability
– Anorexia
– loss of balance
Sleeping less than usual
narrowing of the affected ear
Fluid draining from the ear
– Headache.

In adults, the symptoms are as follows

– pain
Mild fever
Fluid leakage in the ear
Hearing problems

Ear infections treatment

A doctor will prescribe antibiotics if the infection causes severe discomfort or if symptoms do not improve within a week. Middle ear infections can go away on their own, especially in adults.

Is it a nose or throat infection?

Although an ear infection is the most common cause of ear pain when swallowing, a nose or throat infection can be responsible. Adenoids, which are tiny pads of immune tissue, swell in response to germs picked up in the nose and mouth. The adenoids are located near the Eustachian tubes. These are the canals that connect the middle ear to the upper part of the throat and nasal cavity. If the adenoids become so large that they block the tubes, ear pain may occur. This phenomenon is most likely to occur during childhood, when the adenoids are the largest.

Symptoms of a sore nose or throat

Regardless of the type of infection, a person may experience the following symptoms

Throat pain that gets worse when swallowing
– Cough
Dry and itchy throat
Redness in the back of the mouth
Bad breath
Swollen glands in the neck

other reasons

Many other health conditions can cause ear pain when swallowing. These include the following issues:

tonsillitis
It occurs when the tonsils are affected. Tonsillitis usually develops as a complication of a throat infection, and the result is a severe sore throat.
A doctor can treat the infection with antibiotics.

Abscess around the tonsil

This infection is associated with tonsillitis. If tonsillitis is left untreated, pus can collect around one of the tonsils and cause severe pain. The pain is usually stronger on one side. It can spread to the ear and get worse when you swallow or open your mouth. Some cases require a surgical procedure in which the surgeon drains the accumulated pus through an incision. Antibiotics may also be needed.

glossopharyngeal neuralgia

The glossopharyngeal nerve is located in the head and neck, and problems with this nerve can cause this rare and painful condition. Symptoms can include throbbing pain around one ear, as well as pain in the throat, face, under the jaw, or in the tongue. Some people can manage symptoms with prescription pain relievers, but in extreme cases surgery is required.

swimmer’s ear

Swimmer’s ear develops when water enters the ear canal, creating a warm, moist environment in which fungi and bacteria can grow. The doctor may prescribe medicated ear drops, and the infection should clear up in 7-10 days.

Temporomandibular joint weakness

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction occurs when the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull is damaged. A person may feel pain when chewing, speaking, or swallowing. Pain may also appear in the ears. Treatments include analgesics, hot or cold compresses, lifestyle changes, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and rest. Doctors also advise to stop grinding your jaw and grinding your teeth, if this is a problem.

sticky ear

This condition occurs when fluid builds up inside the ear. Although this condition is usually painless, it can cause temporary hearing loss, and pressure from fluid buildup can sometimes cause pain. Sticky ear may not need treatment, but sometimes it takes months for it to go away completely. If the condition is severe, the doctor may place small tubes called “rings” in the ear to drain fluid.

Earwax or something in the ear

Earache can result from an object lodged in the ear. The doctor should remove any blockage from the ear. Ear drops can be used to soften earwax buildup. If earwax is particularly stubborn, the doctor may need to rinse the ear with water.

tooth abscess

A bacterial infection can cause pus to build up in the teeth and gums. This accumulation is called a dental abscess. Pain in the affected tooth is the main symptom, but an abscess can also cause ear pain. The person should receive treatment as soon as possible. The dentist can drain the pus and remove the abscess, which reduces pain and other symptoms.

ear damage

Ear pain can also result from damage. Pushing the headphones too far into the ear canal or scratching them with a finger or a cotton swab can cause a hole in the eardrum. Most ear lesions heal on their own. A perforated eardrum can take several months to heal completely.

When do you consult a doctor?

Pain in the ear when swallowing may indicate an underlying condition.
If a person also has any of the following symptoms, call a doctor as soon as possible:

– high temperature
Feeling of heat and chills
Fluid draining from the ear
– hearing loss
Swelling in or around the ear
Earache that lasts more than a few days
– vomiting
Severe sore throat
– vertigo
Frequent ear infections.

Seek immediate medical attention if ear pain is associated with a long-term condition, such as diabetes, heart, lung, or kidney disease, neurological disease, or disease that weakens the immune system.

* Presse Santé strives to impart medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In no way can the information provided replace medical advice.

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