Ear Hurts When I Swallow


Painful swallowing is said to be common and is experienced from time to time by people belonging to all age – groups. One of the key reasons for painful swallowing could be an earache. An earache is said to be a common phenomenon in humans and is experienced from time to time and is nothing serious except certain circumstances. However, the probable reason for such aches could be the smaller form of infections.


Another reason behind such earaches could be infections that need immediate medical attention. The nature of such pain also varies. In some cases, the pain might be severe together with burning sensations while, in others, pain could in the mild form. The pain is not necessarily limited to one of the ears but in cases both the ears also. The reasons behind such pain while swallowing is as follows –

Ear Pain while swallowing

It is worth mentioning that there is a stream of connection that exists between the human nervous system and the ear. Therefore, underlying infections present in such connection can generate a tremendous amount of ear pain.

Potential Causes of Ear Pain

Ear Infections – When the cause of an ear pain is an underlying ear infection, it is highly probable that there is the presence of a watery or pus – like fluid in the ear. Mostly the ear infections are in the form of middle ear infections and the outer ear infections. Some of the infections may have the ability to clean up on their own while some need immediate medical attention. In some cases, the general physician advice you to get rid of the ear infections with the help of antibiotics and ear – drops.

Glue ear – Otitis media commonly known as glue ear is caused due to the buildup of a fluid deep inside the human ear. This might also result from hearing impairment, however, temporary in nature. Usually, such conditions do not come with accompanying pain but fluid pressure may sometimes cause ear ache. A glue ear is said to cure own its own but may take up some months. However, the presence of glue ear for a long time may require you to visit a doctor.

Ear damage – Sometimes unknown injury present inside the human ear may cause some damage to the ear and cause ear pain. Examples of such instances could be when we try to clear the ear canal with the help of a cotton bud or when mistakenly you poke a cotton bud deep into the ear drum. It has to be remembered that the ear canal is sensitive to injury. However, an ear canal is said to cure on its own but might take few months. You are forbidden to use any form of ear drops when you have a perforated form of the ear drum.

The presence of any object or ear wax in the ear – Sometimes the presence of or build – up of ear wax in the human ear may result in painful sensations in the human ear. If there is something present in your or your child’s ear that causes pain, you should not try to remove it by yourself. Sometimes people push such substances further inside the ear thus causing considerable damage to the ear drum. If there is a considerable amount of ear wax present in the ear, the physician usually recommends you to use ear drops that will soften the wax so that it comes out naturally. In some cases, the physician helps you remove wax from the ear by flushing with water. Such an act in medical science is known as ear irrigation. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to see a doctor if you have the considerable amount of wax build – up in your ear or ears.

Throat infections – If you are having painful swallowing, it might be a result of throat infection. The ear infections could be a result of throat infections such as tonsillitis, quinsy, etc. Some form of tonsillitis usually clears up in few days without the need of administering antibiotics. However, people with quinsy are advised to seek medical attention immediately so that it may heal up quickly. Quinsy occurs if your sore throat worsens considerably.

Problems related to jaw – Sometimes the probable cause of an earache could be an underlying problem related to the front jaw bone. This type of pain is termed temporomandibular joint pain. This kind of pain is usually the result of arthritis or teeth grinding.

A Dental Abscess – A dental abscess is a form of infection that is caused due to the build – up of pus in your gums or teeth due to bacterial infection. The presence of a dental abscess might cause extreme pain in the affected part of the gums or teeth. This type of pain can become severe if not taken care off at the initial stages. This type of pain also spreads to the ear and will not cease unless proper medical treatment is being administered. Consult a dentist as soon as possible to get rid of the abscess and the associated bus.

Swimmer’s Ear – This type of infection or anomaly refers to the sudden inflammation of the ear canal. This affects the outer ear whenever water is present after you have finished swimming. This might cause severe pain in the ear, and you might experience painful swallowing.

Remedies to painful swallowing

Some of the potential remedies to painful swallowing are as follows –

  • Sometimes the remedy could be in the form of placing a warm flannel against your affected ear.
  • The most common form of remedy to painful swallowing due to ear aches are pain – killers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. However, it is advisable to seek medical advice before taking pain killers.
  • You might also consider having ear drops such as Aurodex. However, this medication works best when the infections are not so severe. Children should not be given the dosage of this medication without doctor’s advice.
  • In complicated cases, the best remedy is always an expert’s advice.


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