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Ear and Throat Infections

Ear and throat infections cover a wide range of medical conditions that can occur separately or at the same time. These infections can affect individuals of all ages. Ear and throat infections can interfere with quality of life if left untreated.

Pathophysiology

The ear and the throat are connected through a channel called the Eustachian tube. Bacteria and viruses can travel up the Eustachian tube to the ear, leading to infection. Similarly, infectious agents can cause throat swelling, leading to the blockage of the eustachian tube. This blockage disturbs the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum, impairing your hearing ability and potentially causing pain.
Ear and throat infections can occur separately, or together, due to the connected nature of these structures.

Causes

Several different causes can lead to ear and throat infections. These include strep throat, allergic reactions to dust and pollens, tonsillitis, infectious mononucleosis, chronic sinusitis, acid reflux, chemical irritants such as wood dust and smoke, and abscesses.

Treatment

Ear and throat infections are common, and almost anyone can suffer from these infections. The causes of ear and throat infections tend to vary by season. Viral illness is more common in the winter months, while reactions to allergens may be more common in the spring or fall.
Ear and throat infections can sometimes lead to severe complications such as heart disease, lung disease, chronic sinusitis, and chronic middle ear infections resulting in total hearing loss.
Below are some treatments and medications are used for these infections:

  • Penicillins and amoxicillin clavulanate are widely used to treat ear and throat infections due to invading bacteria.
  • Over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, are commonly used for pain and fever.
  • Antihistamine drugs are used to combat allergic reactions leading to ear and throat infections.
  • Over the counter throat lozenges are also used to treat sore throat.

Aside from these medications, several other options are helpful to treat the symptoms of these infections. Options include gargling with salt water, a humidifier to keep your throat and ear moist, ice chips for throat pain and inflammation, and of course rest and hydration.
Severe ear and throat infections may require hospital admission for immediate medical treatment in order to avoid complications.
Facial abrasions and considered more serious as these have a higher risk of cicatrization and should be cleaned,debrided, and dressed daily. Dressings may require skin adhesives like the combination of gum mastic, styrax,alcohol, and methyl salicylate or tincture of benzoin.

Contact us

In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.

When to visit a doctor:
If you are unable to swallow properly or feel pain in the throat and ear at the same time, you should see a medical provider in order to avoid possible serious complications.

Treatment for ear and throat infections is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.