Here Are 7 Common Causes of a Sore Throat (and When to See a Doctor)

why does my throat burn

It's possible that the fire in your throat built up over time, or that it suddenly appeared.

Having your throat feel like it's on fire is no fun for anyone, no matter what the cause may be.

What, though, could cause your nasal passages and throat to feel like they're on fire? And what should you do once you've developed this bothersome symptom?

Let's break down the most common causes of a sore throat and examine the best course of action for each.

why does my throat burn

The burning in my throat has me baffled. Reasons #7-#10

Postnasal Drainage, the Primary Cause

When the body produces extra mucus, a process known as postnasal drainage occurs. Postnasal drainage is a common symptom of rhinitis, an inflammation of the nose that causes excessive mucus production.

The reason for postnasal drainage is that all that nasal mucus must drain somewhere. A runny nose can either drain out the front of your nose or down the back of your throat. As a result of this drainage, you may experience a burning sensation in your throat.

In order to alleviate the pain, rhinitis, which is the root cause of the drainage, must be treated. Allergies are a common cause of rhinitis, and an OTC antihistamine like Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra could relieve your symptoms. Other viable options include topical nasal sprays like Flonase, Nasacort, and Rhinocort.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux is the second potential cause.

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is another frequent reason for burning pain in the throat.

Most of us picture symptoms like indigestion or heartburn when we think of reflux. This type of reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. The pain here is more of a searing sensation in the chest.

When acid from the stomach rises all the way to the back of the throat, it causes a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), which can irritate the voice box and the back of the throat.

Besides the obvious burning sensation, LPR can also bring on dryness of the throat, the sensation that something is stuck in the throat, or both. A persistent lump in the throat is a common complaint from patients.

Changing your diet is the first step in finding relief from acid reflux. There are many culprits, but some of the worst are spicy and greasy foods, tomato products, and caffeine. For starters, try cutting out these foods.

Don't eat within two hours of going to bed. If you find that lying down in a reclined position aggravates your reflux, try raising the head of your bed.

However, if you find that these remedies aren't helping, you can always try OTC medications like Nexium or Prilosec to see if that does the trick.

Pharyngitis, Reason No. 3

An inflammation of the tissues of the throat, known medically as pharyngitis. Food allergies and environmental allergens like pollen both have the potential to trigger a case of pharyngitis. Infections with viruses or bacteria, such as strep throat, can also cause inflammation of the throat.

The treatment for this burning depends on its cause. To alleviate allergy symptoms, antihistamines and avoiding triggers are recommended. Chicken soup, lots of fluids, and plenty of rest are all good self-care options for a viral infection.

If you think you have a bacterial infection, like strep throat, you should see a doctor to get antibiotics prescribed.

Thrush, Reason No. 4

Painful burning is a common symptom of thrush, a fungal infection that can occur in the mouth or throat. While infants are more likely to contract thrush, adults taking antibiotics or using steroid sprays are also at risk.

Those who frequently use steroid inhalers are more likely to experience an outbreak of oral thrush. If you use an inhaler and then rinse your mouth with water, you can reduce the likelihood of a thrush infection developing in your mouth.

In addition, if your doctor has prescribed an antibiotic, you may want to discuss taking a probiotic to replenish your healthy bacteria and halt the development of thrush.

Deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals are the fifth cause.

Rarely, but sometimes, vitamin deficiencies—specifically, those that cause a burning sensation in the mouth—can also be the cause. Researchers have linked mouth pain to low levels of iron and vitamin B12.

More research is needed into this possibility. Talk to your doctor about getting blood work done if you think vitamin deficiencies could be the cause of your persistent mouth burning. Your doctor can recommend appropriate dietary adjustments and supplementation if you test deficient in any vitamins.

Burning Mouth Syndrome is Reason No. 6

Patients with burning mouth syndrome experience an unexplained burning sensation in their mouths. Despite the absence of any obvious injury, infection, or trigger, the mouth continues to burn.

Although burning mouth syndrome is uncommon, it primarily affects middle-aged and older women. In addition, the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth may burn.

One possible explanation for burning mouth syndrome is neuralgia, or chronic, unexplained nerve pain. That is to say, even when there is no external stimulus, the nerves will still send the brain a signal of pain.

Consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist or dentist if you continue to experience burning sensations in your mouth. They can aid in finding the cause and determining if burning mouth syndrome is to blame.

Eosinophilic esophagitis is the 7th possible explanation.

Chronic esophageal inflammation due to an allergic reaction or immune response is called eosinophilic esophagitis. Numerous eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, invade the esophageal mucosa. The esophagus and upper respiratory tract may swell and burn as a result.

Your best bet for diagnosis and treatment of this condition is to see a gastrointestinal specialist who can run the appropriate tests.

In what ways can I alleviate the pain in my throat?

Eliminating the underlying causes of throat burning is the only way to prevent it from occurring. To avoid developing these diseases, it's important to practice good oral hygiene. Practice good oral hygiene by cleaning your teeth twice a day and using a tongue scraper and mouthwash.

Take care of yourself and address the cause of your illness if you fall ill. And if you suffer from allergies, discuss treatment options with your physician to alleviate throat irritation.

Pain in the Throat Don't Hesitate to Ask for Assistance

It is not necessary to endure discomfort if you are experiencing a sore throat. At ENT Associates of Lubbock, we treat patients who are experiencing pain in their mouth, nose, and throat.

Get in touch with us right away to set up a consultation about your treatment options.

Dr Dr. Cuthbertson works at Lubbock's Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates. He came to ENT Lubbock from Houston, where he was chief resident at the esteemed Bobby R. Biggers Medical Center. Located at Baylor College of Medicine, the Alford Department of Otolaryngology He is board certified in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery and has quickly established himself as an expert in his field who is also personable and compassionate. You should find out more information about Dr. Cuthbertson.

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