Q. What can be done for recurrent sore throat with ear pain?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 25, 2019 and last reviewed on: Nov 27, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have had a sore throat for about three weeks now. Two weeks ago I have had strep throat and doctor gave me 10 dose antibiotics but my sore throat came back on my left side and it hurts my ear and throat when I swallow still. What could this be? They did a swab for the throat but no strep but what else is this? I have a minor cough.

Dr. Shyam Kalyan N

Allergy Specialist Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

With the conversation I understand that you had suffered sore throat for which swab was done and appropriate antibiotic was initiated. Now again you have developed sore throat, more so on left side, with ear ache while swallowing.

Most probably there is inflammation which has not fully got resolved. Since throat tests are negative, we can conclude that there is no active infection. But infectious products may be remaining causing the body to produce counter products (inflammatory response). The same is causing you the troubles. Since the back of throat is connected to ear through the eustachian tube, it pains in the ear also. The local congestion has blocked the tube impairing normal ventilation and drainage of middle ear.

I suggest you the following which if you take you will find relief. Anti-inflammatory tablets of Trypsin-Chymotrypsin and Rutopside/Bromelain combination, taken before food twice a day for 5 days. Also painkillers Paracetamol/Acetaminophen appropriate dosage will do. To relieve ear ache and eustachian tube obstruction you may use nasal decongestant drops (Xylometazoline). Take three drops in one nostril and lie down with head tilted towards that side ear 45 degres, the drops will percolate inside to the eustachian tube orifice and decongest the same. Repeat the same in other nostril and do this twice daily for 3 or 4 days. Follow it up with steam inhalation. Also use warm saline gargles few times daily as it soothes the area inflamed and help reduce edema and congestion. I would suggest you stop smoking (if you do), avoid spicy foods and take plenty of hot fluids. If still after 5 days of these measures you do not find relief, it is advisable to consult an otolaryngologist.

If you do not find improvement after this then we have to rule out reflux laryngitis, chronic sinusitis and few other conditions which may be triggering constant throat issue in you.

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