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Sore throat, ear pain, cough, sour taste in tongue, swollen neck glands, headache. What could this be?

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Practicing since : 1991
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For the past three weeks my throat or more so the roof of my mouth has been sore. I have had mild earaches that come and go and a bit of a cough. Tylenol takes the pain in the roof of my mouth away. I also have a sour or funny taste on the back sides of my tongue. It is a wierd sensation. I have swollen glands in my neck and a headache. I went to two different doctors and they both said it had to do with my sinuses. I was on antibiotics and feel a bit better but I finished them almost a week ago and it still hurts to swallow and my symptoms have lessoned but are all still here. What could this be?
Posted Wed, 3 Oct 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. You seem to be recovering from an acute sinusitis. The mild earache is probably a referred pain and the cough is due to a Post Nasal Drip, ahich also makes the throat hurt while swallowing. The sour taste may be due to the PND, due to medication or acid reflux.

2. Blocked sinuses are poorly ventilated and along with stasis of secretions, continuing infection and inflammation is common. Pain in the roof of the mouth denotes maxillary sinusitis. Inflammation and pus makes it difficult for antibiotics to act. Sometimes, the infection is fungal and hence medication does not help. Hence supportive treatment is required.

3. You need to get an ENT Specialist to examine her nose, sinuses and ears again. A nasal swab or any discharge may be sampled for culture and antibiotic sensitivity. A plain CT PNS (Para Nasal Sinuses) will definitely help understand your problem. If that is not possible, at least get a Cone Beam CT or an X-ray PNS, Water's view.

4. You may require a further course of antibiotics, pain killers, anti-allergics, decongestants, mucolytics and steam inhalation. This should be done under medical supervision.

5. You may share your Sinus CT Scan and investigation reports here for more specific treatment options.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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