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The reasons behind the sharp throat and ear pain - How to deal with them?

Home > Blogs > The reasons behind the sharp throat and ear pain - How to deal with them?

The reasons behind the sharp throat and ear pain - How to deal with them?

ENT- Otolaryngology | by Dr. Arjun Dasgupta | Published on 18/09/2021


Ever had a feeling that you are about to get sick due to random sharp pain in the throat? If so, then you are likely more prone to bacteria and viruses than others, even if you are staying indoors. Our sense organs play a crucial role in our everyday life. One of the most common issues faced by children and adults is related to ear and throat whose discomfort can be very bothersome. Moreover, after COVID-19, a sore throat has become synonymous with being sick. A sore throat may resolve in a couple of days but if it is persistent along with ear pain, you may have to consult a doctor. 

A sore throat refers to the pain at the back of the throat which can be caused due to a number of reasons. Depending on the severity of the medical condition and the health of the patient, the intensity of a sore throat can vary and even cause ear pain. Book an appointment with our leading ENT specialists in Kolkata for effective medical treatment and get rid of pain and discomfort.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sore Throat and Ear Pain?

Ear pain and sore throat symptoms are usually common in people with a history of allergic reactions. Ear pain and sore throat are interconnected which means you are likely to experience ear pain symptoms if your sore throat worsens. However, the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the primary cause. Common symptoms of ear pain and sore throat include - 

  • Mild to severe pain in the back of your throat
  • A scratchy feeling in the throat
  • Redness in the back of your throat
  • Pain during swallowing 
  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw
  • Swollen or red tonsils
  • Strep throat (white patches or pus on your tonsils)

How Does Sore Throat Occur?

There are several factors that can lead to a sore throat. Allergies are one of the most common causes of sore throat which are usually triggered due to inflammation of the mucus membrane. COVID-19 is also one of the most common reasons for sore throat which can deteriorate your health. Sharp pain in the throat is usually accompanied by ear pain if left untreated. The inflammation results in the blockage of the ear which prevents mucus from draining properly, leading to ear pain. Other causes of sore throat include - 

  • Tonsillitis 
  • Mononucleosis
  • Strep throat
  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergens and Irritants

Some patients also experience sore throat and ear pain on one side due to tooth infection or abscess, allergies, TMD, mononucleosis, acid reflux or GERD, chronic sinusitis, TMJD, etc. Get in touch with the doctor if you are experiencing early symptoms of sore throat and ear pain.

What Are The Methods Of Sore throat and Ear Pain Treatment?

There are several effective ways the treatment of sore throat and ear pain. Depending on the cause and extent of the disease, the doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, and dietary restrictions, and prescribe medications accordingly. Generally, home remedies are effective in managing symptoms of ear pain and sore throat. Here are some home remedies which can be helpful in treating mild symptoms of sharp pain in the throat and ear - 

  • Use a humidifier to keep your throat and nasal passages moist
  • OTC throat lozenges or sore throat spray
  • OTC antihistamines
  • Salt water gargle
  • Popsicles or ice chips for throat pain and inflammation
  • Few drops of warmed olive oil in the ears
  • Antacids or OTC GERD treatments

Most throat and ear infections can be managed within a week without treatment. The doctor generally prescribes medications which can relieve discomfort due to infection. Depending on the cause and severity of the condition, the following medications can be effective in treating sharp ear and throat pain - 

  • Antibiotics
  • Acid reflux medication
  • Nasal or oral corticosteroids
  • Allergy medication


Ear pain and sore throat are often interlinked where one affects the other. While there are several conditions which can lead to sharp throat and ear pain, Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) is a rare disorder that can cause sharp, stabbing pain around the throat area. Certain activities such as drinking cold liquids, clearing the throat, swallowing, etc. can trigger pain and discomfort. Get in touch with an ENT specialist for a timely diagnosis and effective treatment. 


What are the risk factors for sore throat?

Sore throat risk factors include the following - 

  • Age
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Allergies
  • Exposure to chemical irritants
  • Chronic or frequent sinus infections
  • Close quarter
  • Weakened immunity

How can I prevent a sore throat?

Here is how you can prevent sore throat - 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Do not share food, drinking glasses, or utensils
  • Wear a mask while coughing or sneezing
  • Sanitize your hand properly
  • Avoid contact with public property which can carry pathogens and diseases
  • Regularly disinfect phones, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick or have symptoms

When to see a doctor for sore throat and ear pain treatment?

Get in touch with a doctor if you are experiencing the following - 

  • High fever
  • Severe throat or ear pain
  • Blood or pus draining from your ear
  • Dizziness
  • Stiff neck
  • Frequent heartburn or acid reflux
  • Tooth pain or abscess