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What causes sore throat, fullness in the ear and headache?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16689 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 3 Sep 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: At first I thought I was suffering from allergy related symptoms but starting to doubt and wonder if I need more. Started with sore throat, stuffed up, ears feel full, no fever but feel flush ever so often, head ache, ... Now dry coughing attacks, nose running, eyes watering, head still hurts ... Nothing in chest as far as I can tell but can't seem to find relief. Any advice would be appreciated. XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
continue fluids, guaifenesin, mucolytics, decongestants cough suppressant

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is likely that your symptoms may be due to viral infection not allergies, though they are treated similarly with small differences.

Cold/flu viral symptoms can last 1 to 2 weeks, with cough potentially lasting 6 weeks (called post viral cough).

Medications can help improve symptoms somewhat but do not cause the infection to go away, it has to resolve on its own.

Symptoms- (1)headache- this may be due to sinus congestion as well as the infection itself,
(2)dry cough- due to the infection of the air way itself as well as the drip (even if not detected)
(3)runny nose likely with a post nasal drip to the back of the throat stimulating the coughing.

Headache- an anti inflammatory pain killer (eg cataflam, naproxen, ibuprofen) and decongestant meds would help (continue the zyrtec d or another antihistamine decongestant combination)

Also consider otrivine- a topical nasal decongestant spray- over the counter

(2)Dry cough- a cough suppressant- this may have been in your over the counter cough meds

Dextromethorphan is the most common cough suppressant

The decongestants, by decreasing nasal secretions would also help

(3) runny nose- the decongestants (oral and topical otrivine) would help with this.
The steroid nose spray may also help but can sometimes take a few days to start to work

A mucolytic to help break up the secretions may also be helpful eg mucomyst, guaifenesin, bisolvan

Summary: (1) fluids and rest
(2) anti histamine decongestant combination, add topical otrivine
(3)cough suppressant (dextromethorphan)- you may be able to find a combination of the above
(4)mucolytic
(5)pain killer

As mentioned, can take 1 to 2 weeks for resolution

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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