Q:

What causes throat and ear pain when swallowing?

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Quick Answer

There are many potential causes of throat and ear pain when swallowing, however, the most common reason is postnasal drip due to allergies. WebMD states that postnasal drip is a common reaction to allergies and to colds, which can lead to an ear infection and throat infections due to the constant drip irritation.

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Full Answer

Postnasal drip exists because the human body has glands inside of the throat and the nose, states WebMD. These glands secrete mucus to keep these areas clean and then this mucus is swallowed without notice. When people become sick or have allergies, they often have abnormal secretions. These abnormal secretions can be seen in the postnasal drip, says the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.

Uncomfortable post nasal drip can also be a result of swallowing problems and acid reflux problems due to GERD says the AAO-HNS. This constant irritation from the now much heavier postnasal drip secretion leads to sore throats and can also lead to tonsil swelling. WebMD also reports that the ear infection is more pronounced during swallowing when it occurs. The reasons for postnasal drip can go beyond the common cold and allergies, such as sinus infections, medications, deviated septums and even certain foods or perfumes.

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