Why Do I Have a Sore Throat and Ear Pain?


Although all pain can be frustrating, pain inside your head can be even more difficult to deal with than pain elsewhere in the body. It affects the way you think, the way you breathe, the way you try to do anything else. And when you have a sore throat and ear pain in particular, it can mean that there are several reasons why. You never want to jump to conclusions, so consider all your symptoms and then call your doctor to make an appointment for the right treatment.

Common Causes of Sore Throat and Ear Pain

Some sore throats and ear pain may come on suddenly, and others may come in waves, recurring every few weeks with breaks between outbreaks. Track what type of pain you have before you call your doctor, as giving them all the information you can will be helpful.

If your child is experiencing a sore throat and ear pain, never take chances. Call the doctor immediately, as children’s ear, nose, and throat systems tend to be more sensitive and a dangerous outbreak can cause more extreme problems for a child than for an adult.

Get your child examined for a sore throat and ear pain immediately.


First of all, many people are sensitive to things in their environment which can cause them to have a sore throat, with or without ear pain. Consider if you’ve been in an environment recently that could have exposed you to something that irritated the delicate lining of your nose, throat, and ears, including:

  • Smoke
  • Harsh chemical cleaners
  • Chlorine or extreme hot/cold water
  • Raw construction materials, such as oils, gasoline, paints (or paint thinners), wood dust, or concrete, etc.

If you’ve been near something recently and now you’re feeling discomfort, you may have been exposed to something that is simply irritating your skin and throat. If you don’t have a fever accompanying the pain, try taking an over-the-counter pain medication. If the pain does not subside within 24 hours, call your doctor.


In addition to exposing yourself to some harsh chemical or environmental factor that could be irritating your throat and ears, your sore throat and ear pain could be caused by an allergy. Consider – is there a seasonal plant in bloom in your neighborhood? Have you come into contact with a new animal recently? Did you eat something unusual or that you’ve never tried before?

Other symptoms of allergies can include runny nose, sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes. There are a number of over-the-counter medications to treat seasonal, sudden, and chronic allergies, but if your symptoms are not under control or become worse within seven days, see your doctor.


There are a number of illnesses that can cause sore throat and ear pain, including tonsillitis, strep throat, mononucleosis (aka “mono”), and temporomandibular joint disorders (aka “TMD”). These are viral or bacterial infections that can only be cured with a trip to the doctor and a course of the correct prescription or the correct long-term treatment. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these diseases will continue to get worse and your symptoms will become more severe.

You can tell if you have an illness that will require a course of medical treatment if you have a few things in addition to your sore throat and ear pain:

  • High temperature and feverish symptoms.
  • Nasal congestion
  • Harsh cough (dry or productive)
  • Red spots on the roof of the mouth or white spots on the tongue or back of the throat
  • Muscle aches and weakness, headaches, and “muffled” hearing
Adults should get examined right away for sore throat and ear pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms in addition to your sore throat and ear pain. If these symptoms persist and get worse over the course of three days. Then you need to make an appointment to see your doctor immediately. With proper and prompt treatment, your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your sore throat and ear pain immediately.

Ease your sore throat and ear pain

There are many home remedies to treat sore throat and ear pain, and you may have to try a few before you find one that’s right for you, depending on the reason for your pain. Often, a sore throat can be soothed by a warm beverage, such as golden milk, tea, or even just warm water with some lemon and honey mixed in. Ear pain can be soothed with warm or cold compresses, depending on the person and the reason for the pain. Never insert any object into a person’s ear to relieve any pain or pressure they may feel.