I have a mild sore throat on the right side, about level with the adam's apple, but only when I swallow. It isn't constant, but it comes and goes kind of randomly. I seem to have less trouble with it when I'm up on my feet moving around than when I'm just sitting.
I do have a history of ear infections on this side. Last time i had an ear infection, I had this same sore throat as well, but the doctor didn't see anything wrong. I have had just a slightly elevated temerature this weekend, but again this comes and goes -- in the mornings, for example, my temp is actually below normal!
I have a runny nose in the early morning, but then it clears up even if the throat doesn't. I am likely allergic to mold, etc. I don't have any trouble with GERD unless it is the maybe the "invisible" nighttime kind. I drink moderately, have never smoked. I'm 40 and normal weight. I do snore some.
Could I have some sort of chronic, ongoing infection in the Eustachian tube or something?
If it's acid reflux, the name for the non-GERD condition is "LPR" short for "Laryngeal Reflux" or "Laryngopharyngeal Reflux" of "Laryngealpharyngeal Reflux". To see if you have it, there are 2 things you can do:
1. Go to an ENT (otolaryngologist) and ask to be scoped. The doctor will insert a thing metal wire up your nose and down your throat (really not that bad) and there is a camera at one end which relays the images to a monitor. The doctor will look to see if the larynx is red and swollen. If it is, it's probably the LPR form of acid reflux (acid getting into your throat). This test is pretty confirmative.
2. Ask your PCP for some PPI samples. PPIs are Proton-Pump Inhibitors - they reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. PPIs are sold under the brand names Nexium, Aciphex, Prevacid and Protonix and all 4 are prescription-only. Prilosec is the 1st PPI that ever came out and is available OTC, but skip it because it does not work for LPR. To treat LPR successfully, you need to take 2 doses of a PPI a day - not 1 dose! Symptoms can be alleviated anywhere from under a day to a few months. Nexium and Aciphex have the most ardent followers over at the GERD board.
If you respond to the medication, then you likely have LPR.
Why not head over to the GERD board. LPR sufferers don't have their own board, but we dominate the discussion at the GERD board.