The ears, nose and throat are located near to each other are closely related but have different functions. The ears and nose are sensory organs necessary for the sense of hearing, balance and smell. The throat functions primarily as a pathway through which food and liquids pass to the oesophagus and air passes to the lungs.
Glossopharyngeal neuralgia consists of recurring episodes of intense pain in the back of the throat, the area near the tonsils, the back of the tongue, part of the ear and/or the area under the back of the jaw. The cause is often unknown, but sometimes it is an abnormally positioned artery that exerts pressure (compresses) on the glossopharyngeal nerve.
It is a rare disorder that usually starts after the age of 40 and occurs most frequently in men. The same drugs used to treat trigeminal neuralgia can help: anticonvulsant drugs (carbamazepine, gabapentin or phenytoin), baclofen and tricyclic antidepressants. However, for permanent relief, surgery may be required to separate the glossopharyngeal nerve from the artery that is compressing it by placing a small sponge between them (vascular decompression).
It is possible for ear and throat pain to affect only one side. The perception of the source of the pain essentially depends on the location of the swelling.
Since pharyngitis, or a sore throat, is an inflammation of the pharynx, experiencing pain when swallowing is a common symptom. The pharynx is a muscular-membranous canal located at the back of the throat that allows food to enter the esophagus.
The key to easing the discomfort of sore throats, such as burning, irritation and dryness, is good hydration. Below are a few basic and simple remedies for sore throats and earaches:
While rest is also indispensable to alleviate symptoms, make sure to seek medical advice if your condition persists or worsens.
The most commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs to treat sore throats include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). In particular, anti-inflammatory drugs belonging to the arylalkanoic acid group, such as Flurbiprofen; Ketoprofen; Ibuprofen. These active ingredients are available in different pharmaceutical formulations: they are often contained in oral sprays that are to be nebulised directly onto the inflamed throat, as well as in tablets or candies to be dissolved slowly in the mouth.
All of these are also available in pharmaceutical formulations for oral use. Many of the medicines containing the above-mentioned NSAIDs can also be purchased without a prescription, as they are over-the-counter (OTC) or SOP (No Prescription Required) medicines. However, before using them, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor.
If the symptoms persist or if the pain in the throat and ear intensifies or does not improve with each passing day, it is imperative that you consult a medical professional.