Symptoms of Ear, Nose and Throat Infection

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 30, 2012

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The ears, nose and throat are all inter-connected and an infection in one area place can spread to other. Read to know the symptoms of ear, nose and throat Infection.

Ear Infections: Ear infections occur commonly, especially in infants and small children. A person with an ear problem may have some or all of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in ear (which is usually sharp).
  • Fever.
  • Ear discharge.
  • Hearing problems.
  • Tugging at ears.
  • Trouble in sleeping.

Ear infections rarely cause death but they are a common cause of sickness in children. An ear infection which is not identified and treated early, can lead to complications such as mastoiditis (infection of the mastoid bone behind the ear), meningitis or encephalitis (infection of the brain), deafness and sinusitis.

Nose infections: The common nose infections are rhinitis and sinus infections (or sinusitis).
Usual symptoms of rhinitis are:

  • Low grade fever.
  • Nasal discharge (clear or yellow) with nasal obstruction.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle aches and pain, fatigue or tiredness.
  • Sore throat or itchy throat with or without change in voice (hoarse voice).
  • Some patients (especially young children) can develop signs of acute ear infection such as pain and discharge form ears.

Some symptoms of a sinus infection (sinusitis) are:

  • Fever.
  • Congested nose with green or yellow discharge from nose.
  • Tiredness.
  • Cough and/or sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain in forehead, cheekbones or jawbone.
  • Headache.

A person with rhinitis or sinusitis may have some or all of the above symptoms. The symptoms depend on the cause of infection (viral or bacterial). The signs and symptoms tend to be worse in people with bacterial infection.

Throat Infection: A throat infection can be caused due to viral or bacterial infection (such as streptococcal throat infection). Infection of the tonsils (or tonsillitis) causes swollen tonsils, red sore throat, fever and difficulty in swallowing.

Viral Throat Infections (sore throat): It can occur as a part of a general upper respiratory tract infection. Some symptoms of a viral throat infection are:

  • Fever.
  • Cold such as a runny nose.
  • Cough.
  • Change of  voice (hoarse voice).
  • Earache.

Of course, a person with a viral sore throat may have some or all of the above symptoms. The throat and tonsils appear red and infected and the glands in the neck may be swollen and tender.
Bacterial Throat Infections: The symptoms of sore throat are usually worse and the person may have some or all of the following symptoms.

  • High fever.
  • Throat is usually very painful.
  • White patches on throat and tonsils.
  • Tonsils appear very swollen, red and inflamed, and it may have pus or yellowish/green discharge.
  • The glands in the neck are often very swollen and very tender.
  • Pain on swallowing.
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhoea (more common in children).
  • Tender and swollen lymph glands.
  • Headache.

Streptococcal throat infection needs to be treated with antibiotics.


Read more articles on Ear Infection Signs ans SYmtoms.

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