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What causes ulcers from mouth to the throat with ear pain and watery eyes?

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Practicing since : 1983
Answered : 561 Questions
I have a line of ulcers on only one side of the roof of my mouth leading down my throat. Ear pain/fullness on the same side along with watery eye. Low grade fever. Any suggestions as to what it could be?
Posted Mon, 4 Aug 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Lizabeth Sloane 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Possible Shingles, treat symptoms for relief

Detailed Answer:
Welcome and I am glad to be available to assist you.
I have read your medical history and possible Shingles diagnosis. Mouth and head symptoms are a definite possibility for Shingles. Please inform your doctor of this development.
You are already following a regiment of anti-inflammatory medication and comfort rinses that I agree with. Benadryl can offer relief with symptoms you describe. Avoid irritants, keep well hydrated and make sure you do not have any nutritional deficiencies. Prescription steroids or longezes may help if severe discomfort.
You can visit your dentist to rule out other oral sources of infection. Do you have any teeth broken or in need of treatment? Infections can spread. There are other viral mouth sores, aphthous ulcers and fungal infections possible. Yeast infections are best treated with Nystatin by prescription.
Do you have any respiratory infection? This can spread with inflammation to the mouth and ear. Again, antibiotics or a prescription medication can be prescribed with a clinical diagnosis.
Please update me on your medical and dental history. Description of the sores in your mouth may allow more suggestions to be offered. Kerp taking medication to reduce your fever. Seek care immediately if condition gets severely worse.
Thank you for your inquiry. I am glad to assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes ulcers from mouth to the throat with ear pain and watery eyes? 1 hour later
No recent respiratory infection. No dental issues. When I asked my doctor if they could be shingles, she felt it would be rare since my other symptoms are on the right side, and these ulcers are only on the left side of the mouth/throat. I will attach a picture of the ulcers for you to see .
Answered by Dr. Lizabeth Sloane 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Viral appearance, systemic function evaluation

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for including photos. The appearance looks viral. This could stil be the a Shingles outbreak or a stomatitis with a probable viral cause being Herpes Simplex. Herpes Zoster may benefit from and improve healing ability with a week long treatment of Valacyclovir. The Herpes Simplex can be treated with Famciclovir to help resolution. If little improvement and no resolution by three weeks, have the lesions evaluated and biopsied at an oral surgeon or an ear, nose and throat specialist.
You may need to explore other systemic conditions that may compromise the oral cavity. Epstein-Barr virus can cause a fever, fatigue, lymph node swelling, tonsillitis and oral conditions such as a coating on your tongue.
Systemic function can be initially evaluated with various blood tests. Deficiencies, especially iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 may be a contributing factor. Make sure your white blood cell count does not raise concern of other illness such as mononucleosis. A swab and culture can check for a streptococcus infection.
Think of any triggers that may contribute to your condition. Any trauma to the back of the throat? Any medications taken or chemical exposure recently? Stress and genetic factors can play a part in ulcerated conditions. Othr medical conditions such as Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Behcet's syndrome, auto-immune diseases and HIV infection can be associated with oral lesions.
Make sure you have given a viral condition enough time to heal and monitor any changes to help decide your next action. Has this condition lasted over 7-10 days? Please continue to provide any additional details that you feel are helpful to diagnosising the cause of your symptoms. I am available to assist you further and encourage you to share all details with your physician and dentist. I hope you start to notice some improvement. Thank you for your inquiry.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes ulcers from mouth to the throat with ear pain and watery eyes? 43 minutes later
Thanks for replying. My doctor did culture it today. I have nit had any trauma or recent chemical exposure. And just within the last hour I developed an itchy rash on my upper right thigh. The rash is no where else. About 10-15 bumps. I have not used any new soaps or detergents, and they do not resemble bug bites. They are only on my right thigh. They follow along the curve of where the top of my femur would be. Could this also be related? Thank you again!
Answered by Dr. Lizabeth Sloane 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Continue steps to diagnosis cause

Detailed Answer:
There is a strong possibility that this is related. I know you are feeling very stressed and this can easily aggravate your symptoms. Keep your doctor informed of this development. Keep thinking of any possible contributing habits or exposures that you may have experienced. Have you done any traveling or been around anyone feeling ill?
Try taking some antihistamine, Benadryl, which can be taken orally and applied to your skin as a spray or lotion. If your discomfort is keeps spreading, the doctor may prescribe steroid therapy. Check with your doctor on additional possible medications and proceed with testing to isolate the cause.
I hope the culture will provide valuable details on your condition and you will start to feel better soon. Thank you for updating me on your symptoms.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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