ZocdocAnswersTonsil, throat, and ear irritation - what could it be?

Question

Tonsil, throat, and ear irritation - what could it be?

For the past 2 months my left tonsil has some what mild pain and bumps and I feel it deep in my left ear and around my ear area as well. 2 days ago all of the sudden I have extreme itchiness in my throat and ears. I took a picture of it and it looks pretty bad. If someone can look at the picture and maybe guess what it could be. This has been going on for 2 months. I tested for Strep throat and came back negative. I just tested for mono and will get the results November 7th.. I'm 27 male ex smoker. I smoked about 12 years and I haven't in 5 months.

Answer

Sorry to hear that you have a mild throat pain, and ear pain for the past two months, and that you are worried as to what might be going on. I am ultimately going to recommend that you get evaluated by an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) physician aka otolaryngologist. They will be able to take a thorough history, and perform a physician exam which I am obviously not able to do in this setting. With your smoking history, it raises the suspicion that there may be a process such as a head and neck cancer going on. It would be rare in a young person such as yourself, but this is what your ENT will want to rule out with your symptoms, before they figure out what else might be causing your sore throat. I don't mean to scare you, as there are a number of other different things that could be giving you these symptoms, but this is obviously the most serious of possibilities that needs to be ruled out. It is possible that you have a problem in your throat, and the ear pain is something called referred pain where there isn;t actually anything going on within your ear. Your ENT should be able to tell you whether there is something wrong with your throat, or ear. I wish you all the best.

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