What causes throat pain? Throat pain can be anything from slight discomfort to severe irritation and scratchiness. Although throat pain can occur due to a variety of reasons, the most common cause is the flu or the common cold.
In a mild throat pain case, you would feel difficulty or discomfort in eating or drinking. However, in a more severe case, you can experience a sharp and painful sensation every time you swallow. Throat pain, when left untreated, can lead to other disorders, complications, and even unhealthy weight loss.
For these reasons, you should know what causes throat pain, so you better prepare yourself.
What Causes Throat Pain?
While the most prevalent and common cause of throat pain is a common cold virus, it is not the only one. Throat pain can occur due to a wide variety of reasons and alignments. Most of us experience it during some point in our life.
9 Most Common Cause of Throat Pain
1) Viral Infection
Viral infections can cause throat pain. The most common diseases include flu, cold virus, measles, and chickenpox. Alternatively, mono and even mouth blisters can also cause sore throat. A childhood illness like croup, known for its rough barking cough, also causes throat pain.
2) Bacterial Infection
Conditions like strep throat caused by a bacterial infection, like Streptococcus pyogenes, can lead to difficulty in swallowing and severe throat pain. While most bacterial infection swells the tonsils, others, like the Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, can cause rashes and severe pain in the throat. Bacterial infection, when left untreated, can lead to severe complications like kidney or heart damage. The treatment for this infection includes antibiotic medicines.
3) Sinus Or Nasal Passageway Infection
During sinus and conditions like flu, where a runny nose can lead to postnasal drip, viruses, bacteria, and even fungus travel with that drip. This infects the mucus membrane at the back of the throat. The infected mucus membrane leads to a painful or sore throat.
Allergies are also among one of the leading causes of throat pain. Allergies like dust, mold, pollen, or dander contribute directly to the sore throat. Some allergies indirectly affect the throat by contributing to the postnasal drip, inflammation, and irritation of the throat.
5) Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is the acid from our stomach that travels to the esophagus, up to our throat and mouth. Not only is acid reflux a leading cause for throat pain, but it is also a very prevailing cause of tooth erosion. Acid reflux is worse in the morning as compared to the night while we sleep.
Throat irritations from inhaling chemicals, dry air or cigarette, and tobacco smoke can cause sore, rough, and itchy throat. Other things that can cause throat irritation are breathing through your mouth for too long, chronic nasal congestion, outdoor pollution, eating spicy foods, and drinking alcohol.
Laryngitis can occur when there is an excessive strain or overuse of the voice. This is most common in signers and individuals who have regular use of loud voice in their occupation. Laryngitis can cause hoarseness and muscle strain, as well.
8) Surgery and Post-Intubation
Post intubation is a sure cause of sore throat. It is a pain you experience when you have a breathing tube inserted due to an injury, illness, or after surgery. Fortunately, it is a temporary discomfort that subsides after a day or two after the removal of the tube.
Similarly, procedures like a thyroidectomy and EGD can cause throat pain.
9) Cancer and Tumor
Throat pain because of cancer or other growth, is a rare yet plausible situation. The signs and symptoms of these conditions include difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, noisy breathing, feeling a lump in the back of your throat, or having blood appear in the phlegm or saliva. If you notice more than one of these symptoms in yourself, then book an appointment with a certified ENT specialist to get yourself evacuated. Nothing is worse than finding a cancerous throat, tongue, or voice box tumor at the very last stage.
Throat pain can happen due to any number of reasons, from mild infections to severe tumors. Therefore, certified Otolaryngologist and ENT specialists like Dr. Michael C. Burnett, MD, suggests evaluating your sore throat as early as you can. For more information about your throat pain, you can contact Dr. Burnett by calling 212-644-8350 or visiting the clinic on suite 600, between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue, New York.