Throat pain can be caused due to a wide range of reasons. This article provides information about the causes and remedies for this condition.
Everyone has experienced throat pain at some point in their life. The causes of this condition can vary from a bacterial infection to some injury. Mostly, it is caused due to minor illnesses and goes away shortly. The pain can make simple things like swallowing, eating, and talking painful.
If the pain is experienced in the throat and front part of the neck, then the source of the pain lies in the mouth or upper part of the esophagus. Some of the common contributing factors of the pain are flu and common cold, where the pain is accompanied by runny nose, cough, and fever. While the former is caused by Influenza virus, the latter is caused by Streptococcus bacterium. Such infections cause inflammation on the lining of the throat or larynx located in the neck, which in turn causes excruciating pain. It can be a symptom of tonsillitis or glandular fever, where the tonsils and the lymph nodes present in the neck become enlarged due to the bacterial or viral infection. If the lining of sinus cavities becomes inflamed due to upper respiratory infection or allergies, then pain can be felt due to post nasal drip. This condition is known as sinusitis. Mumps, measles, and diphtheria are some other infections that may also cause pain.
Another cause of pain and irritation in the passage is acid reflux. This condition is characterized by irritation of the sensitive tissues of the esophagus due to the backflow of stomach acid towards the esophagus. This might cause throat and chest pain along with wheezing, hoarseness, and choking sensation. Some professionals like singers, actors, or lecturers often complain about pain in the throat, as their vocal cord gets strained due to excessive use. Muscles near the throat may also get strained due to overwork. Traumatic injury to the front part of the neck, cold sores, smoking, and chronic cough are some of the other causes of this painful condition. Pain on one side that refuses to subside even after 4 – 6 weeks could be serious, and may be indicative of a serious illness. It should not be neglected and proper treatment should be provided at the earliest.
The pain caused due to an infection usually lasts for a few days. If it is a bacterial infection, then it can be treated with the help of antibiotics. In case of a viral infection, gargle with a cup of warm water to which half teaspoon of salt and few drops of lemon juice are added. This will have a soothing effect on the strep throat. Ginger tea and garlic soup, may also prove beneficial in some cases. Avoid swallowing crunchy solid foods, rather have semisolid foods like mashed potato and soup.
Sinusitis is often treated with decongestants and antihistamines. Since, these medicines have side effects if taken for a long time, simple home remedies like steam inhalation should be preferred. This will open the blocked nose and provide relief from sinus headaches. Scratchy throat caused due to acid reflux can be avoided by consumption of healthy and non-spicy foods. Pain due to strained vocal cords can be prevented by giving proper rest to the vocal cord. If over-the-counter medicines and home remedies do not show any results within the first few days, then it could be a serious problem and you should consult a doctor for proper treatment.
When the pain is accompanied by a lump in the neck, seek medical help immediately. Timely diagnosis and treatment can certainly prove beneficial in alleviating the pain, as well as the associated symptoms.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.