Why Does My Ear Hurt When I Swallow?

why does my throat hurt when i swallow

Pain in the ear or drums is a known problem in both grownups and children. A trivial infection is typically the basic root cause of the ache and it may vanish in a couple of days without treatment. At times, the pain can be rather severe and hurting. This may leave you with a thought as to “Why does my ear hurt when I swallow?”

The nervous system links your throat and ear. It is possible that you encounter the pain if you have a bad throat. You may also experience pain in the ear when swallowing and yawning.

Related Reading: Itchy Inner Ear Causes, Home Remedies, and Prevention Tips

Why Does My Ear Hurt When I Swallow?

1. Presence of Earwax or Unwanted Particles

Your earache can be a direct result of excess accumulation of earwax or unwanted particles sitting in the ear. We suggest you should refrain from trying to dig your or your child’s ear with any object as it may push the object any further.

This surely will damage the eardrum. Use of eardrops will help you out of this situation, as it will soften the earwax and force it to exit out of your ear naturally.

2. Throat Infection

An infection in your throat can also be a possible agent for the cause of your earache.

Pain in ear when swallowing is a common symptom in this situation. This is primarily because of the cranial nerves connectivity between ears and throat and the auditory tube.

A viral infection usually causes a sore throat. You will require undergoing an antibiotic treatment your throat has a bacterial infection like strep throat. Some people may experience one side ear pain when swallowing.

3. Troubled Ear

An injury inside the ear is another reason, which possibly gives you the feeling of an earache when swallowing. You should be careful while cleaning your ears with any object or else you may cause some damage to yourself.

The chances of the damage are higher if you insert the cotton bud extremely inside the ear. It probably may rupture the eardrum and give you agonizing pain.

The ear tube is very delicate and you can harm it easily. It generally restores on its own but may take a couple of months to cure completely.

Related Reading: Rash behind Ear: 10 Possible Causes and Home Remedies

4. Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis causes soreness of the tonsils. It is mainly a result of microbial or viral infections. You should head straight to a doctor when your child complaints “Ear hurts when I swallow”.

You can take antibiotics for bacterial infections and over the counter medicines for treating tonsillitis.

5. Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is a condition that causes irritation of the ear tube. It upsets the external ear when water remains inside the ear post swimming.

This coagulation of water causes an infection; as a result, some people may experience severe pain in the ear. If you mention ear hurts when I swallow and you sense a throat irritation, this might be because of swimmer’s ear.

Related Reading: How to Get Rid of Water in Ear?

6. Laryngitis

Various factors cause inflammation to the larynx including additional use of vocal chords, extreme smoking, and infections. You might lose voice or encounter a hoarse voice in yourself along with illnesses like cold and flu.

The Laryngitis condition makes it nearly impossible to swallow and causes ear pain while swallowing. A physician will help you determine the best treatment in such a condition.

7. Dental Inflammation

This state refers to the surplus accrual of pus in your dental region. A bacterial infection is responsible for the accrual of pus.

People in this situation usually experience strong and excruciating pain in their bad tooth. If you have a similar condition you should straight head to a dentist to get rid of the pus.

8. Glue Ear

Glue Ear is also known as Otitis Media and Effusion (OME). This condition might reason to short-term hearing loss. Glue ear happens due to the accrual of fluid in the ear.

The person affected may not feel a lot of pain however the fluid pressure causes an earache. This condition resolves without much treatment however you might have to bear it for some days.

A general physician may suggest using small tubes called grommets inside the ear if you report the problem to be unbearable.

9. Ear Infections

If you wonder why your ear hurts when swallowing and you undergo one or few of the below-mentioned indications, the probability is that you have an awful ear infection.


You will realize that your child has an infection in the ear if they mention:

  • Trouble napping
  • A headache and seeping of fluid from the ear
  • Displays cranky mood quite often
  • Body temperature greater than 38°C
  • Struggles reacting to sounds
  • Concern with balance
  • Earache


  • Seeping of fluid from the ear
  • Ear Ache
  • Weakened hearing

As stated previously, you might have an ear septicity triggering intense ear pain when you swallow something. You must visit a physician for a precise opinion.

You must report to a doctor straight away if ear pain is unbearable, signs worsen over a period of few hours, your young one is wakeful, and you find an ejection of puss, blood or fluid from the ear.

10. Occlusion of Eustachian Tube

The Eustachian tubes are responsible for connecting the rear of your esophagus and your mid-ear. The tubes regulate compression and mucus excretion. The tubes might develop swelling because of the infection.

This will result in mucus accrual and non-discharge due to less space. The additional mucus will store and offer an impeccable setting for microbial growth. Auricle impurities in the internal ear are pretty common in kids.

Related Reading: Swollen Lymph Nodes behind the Ear: 10 Causes and Treatments

Ear Hurts When I Swallow: Treatment Options

1. Hot Water Bottle

Placing damp warmth around an infected lobe can offer a good pain reliever. Just wrap a bottle of hot water in a thick cloth or a towel and gently hold it beside the aching ear for some time.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil can offer quick relief from an earache. It aids as a lubricant and assists getting free of an impurity in the ear. Olive oil can further assist in ending buzz like tingles in the ears.

Pour 3-4 droplets of lukewarm oil into the ear hole.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint leaves and peppermint oil both can be used to calm earaches.

Pour the extract of fresh peppermint leaves in an ear dropper and then insert few droplets inside the achy ear.

If using a cotton bud, insert it in a few drops of the said oil and apply it externally around the earlobe. Ensure the oil does not enter the inside of the ear.

4. Ginger

Ginger is known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can be helpful in treating ear problems. It acts as a natural pain healer.

Slip in a few drops of the extract from fresh ginger into the ears. This will relieve you from the pain and lessen irritation.

Some Over-the-Counter Solutions

1. New Toothbrush

This can aid get free of a sore complaint and it also lessens the odds of re-infecting the throat with microbes on the dental brush.

2. Use a Brine Nasal Spray

This can assist with the discomfort of a painful throat as well as an earache. It can also be used if you have a parched throat as it relieves the mucous membranes.

3. Use Over the Counter Pain Killers

Various painkillers are available that can help you relieve the pain. Eg Ibuprofen

When To Seek Medical Help

Visit a doctor if you or your kid feel an unexpected loss of hearing, giddiness, or agonizing pain. If you are very sick with a severe temperature and rigid collar.

In kids, there may be soreness, irritation, or puffiness behind or around the ear, which is an indication to knock the doctor’s door.

If you sense that your kid is having ear pain and you cannot calm them for some hours with home remedies, call the doctor.

Tugging or rubbing on the ear are common signs that the child will show when the ear pains accompanied by fever.

If you are afraid that your child’s eardrum has burst then you should consult a doctor. Also, don’t miss to notify a doctor if your child still shows or reports symptoms after two days of antibiotic treatment.


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Dr. Mark Williams, MD

Dr. Mark Williams is a leader in alternative and integrated medicines. He is a medical writer and reviewer at Daily Health Cures. He received his medical degree in 1988. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Daily Health Cures editorial team. He is a natural health advisor and provides a variety of alternative healing techniques in his practice.