Our nose, ears and throat are combined together. And if any one gets infected the other two parts also get affected. And if we need to describe it we say it like

My ears, nose and throat are infected.

My question is that- is there one word for ear, nose and throat together which can be used in such type of sentences.

If I am not wrong there is a biological word "pharynx" which describes the part through which these three organs are connected. But in normal conversation pharynx may not be used to describe such situation as it cannot be understood by everyone.

Kindly note that I am not looking for a medical terminology (i.e., otorhinolaryngology, ENT)

  • 2
    I would not use "combined" in your sentence. Is there any reason you need just one word? The sentence seems to be very specific describing all the infected parts and why would you need a single word? – user24743 Apr 22 '16 at 9:35
  • @Rathony Just curious to know about it. I too don't have any problem with that sentence. – Bee Apr 22 '16 at 9:40
  • Pharynx is the part of the throat behind the nose and tongue and about the epiglottis. It is the part of the throat which both air and food pass through. It's a long way from the ears – James K Feb 16 at 10:05

In general conversation, head gets used to describe those area(s)

My nose is all blocked up, my throat is sore, and my ears are aching I think I may have a head cold.

  • any links to read about that? – Bee Apr 22 '16 at 9:20
  • 1
    @Bee - You could just look up "head cold" and see how it's described. – stangdon Apr 22 '16 at 11:03

I would use the word sinuses. It is common (and not highly medical) for someone to say they have a sinus infection or that their sinuses are acting up.


My allergies have been terrible, my sinuses are really acting up.

I have a sinus infection and I am really tired of aching ears and blowing my nose.

My whole head aches, I've got annoying sinus pressure right now.

Sinus: a cavity within a bone or other tissue, especially one in the bones of the face or skull connecting with the nasal cavities

note: this definition is correct, but implies a more formal and proper usage than I am giving as an example. Most people would be unaware that the word refers to any cavity within a bone and use it just to mean the area between your ears, nose, and throat.

  • 2
    I would personally never consider throat or ears to be part of "sinuses" if someone said that. If you look at images of the sinuses, they're largely in the front of the face (forehead and nose areas). – Catija Apr 22 '16 at 23:32
  • To whomever downvoted, please leave a comment explaining why. I hear this commonly in my area and speech and would like to understand why you do not think it fits. – jdf Jul 25 '16 at 23:10
  • I didn't downvote but, considering my previous comment... I think that might give you a hint. The usage and examples are perfectly correct but "sinuses" does not mean "ears, nose and throat". So technically this answer is incorrect. – Catija Jul 25 '16 at 23:32
  • @Catija: that may be, I'd still like to hear it to further the discussion though. In response to your comment I would just say that as the OP noted, our nose, ears and throat are all connected, and having your sinuses infected would certainly affect all the areas. Since the OP specifically noted infection as an example I thought these usages would be helpful. I agree, there is no specific non-medical English word that refers to the ENT, but I still feel my answer provides context and value. – jdf Jul 25 '16 at 23:41
  • The OP's original sentence is "My ears, nose, and throat are infected." It would be very strange to hear and it would have a different meaning to say "My head is infected" (this would make me think of a wound on one's head) as opposed to "My sinuses are infected" which would have the meaning the OP intended to say when talking about a head cold. – jdf Jul 25 '16 at 23:44

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