ZocdocAnswersAre these symptoms of an ear infection?

Question

Are these symptoms of an ear infection?

My throat and ears hurt more when I swallow and my ears hurt when I talk. I feel fine otherwise than the pain in the ears and the throat. When I swallow its like I can feel the pain in my ears first and then It goes down to my throat.

Answer

Your symptoms certainly could be a sign of an ear infection. Middle ear infections (technically called otitis media) occur when the natural drainage of the fluid within the middle ear gets clogged off. This often occurs when a second infection (often a viral infection) causes swelling in the nasal passages preventing adequate drainage of the ear fluid. This allows the fluid to sit around and produce an infection. The infections often cause ear pain and can be worse when different parts of the throat are moved such as when talking and swallowing. My impression is that you likely have a viral upper respiratory tract infection that is causing your sore throat and also resulting in an ear infection. On the other hand, you may just have excess fluid in your ears from the viral infection that is causing pain without any actual ear infection. This can be determined by a simple ear examination that can be performed by your primary care physician. I suggest that you schedule an appointment today. He or she can examine your ears and determine if an infection is present. If there is, then you may benefit from a short course of antibiotics to help clear this infection. If you do have an accompanying viral upper respiratory tract infection, you will have to wait this out till it clears on its own. Good luck.

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