Common causes of throat pain when swallowing

If you’re experiencing throat pain when swallowing, you’re not alone. It’s a common problem that affects people of all ages. While occasional throat pain is usually nothing to worry about, persistent or severe throat pain can be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. This article will explore the common causes of throat pain when swallowing and provide tips for managing the discomfort.

Throat Pain When Swallowing: Understanding Causes & Relief

Throat pain when swallowing can be caused by several factors. Here are some of the most common causes:


Viral infections, such as the common cold, flu, and mononucleosis, can cause sore throat and throat pain. Bacterial infections like strep throat can also cause throat pain. In some cases, antibiotics may be needed to treat the infection.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. This can lead to throat pain when swallowing and other symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.

Allergies and Postnasal Drip

Allergies can cause postnasal drip, when mucus accumulates in the back of the throat. This can irritate the throat, causing pain when swallowing. Other symptoms of allergies may include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.

Dehydration and Dry Throat

Dehydration can cause a dry throat, leading to throat pain when swallowing. This is because the throat needs moisture to function correctly, and it can become irritated and inflamed when it’s dry.

Vocal Strain

Vocal strain is a common cause of throat pain when swallowing, especially for individuals who frequently speak, sing, or yell loudly. This can irritate the vocal cords, leading to inflammation and discomfort. Professional singers, actors, and public speakers are prone to vocal strain. Suppose you suspect that your throat pain may be due to vocal strain. In that case, it’s essential to rest your voice, stay hydrated, and avoid activities that require extensive vocal use until the inflammation subsides.

Tips for Managing Throat Pain 

If you’re experiencing throat pain when swallowing, here are some tips that may help you manage the discomfort:

Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or warm tea, to keep your throat moist and reduce irritation.

Gargle with warm salt water to soothe your throat.

Avoid spicy or acidic foods that can irritate the throat.

Use a humidifier or steamy shower to add moisture to the air and reduce dryness in the throat.

Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce pain and inflammation.

When to Consult an ENT 

Suppose your throat pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like difficulty breathing or swallowing. You should consult an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist in that case. They can help identify the underlying cause of your throat pain and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Breathe Clear Institute Can Help Relieve Throat Pain 

At Breathe Clear Institute, we specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the ears, nose, and throat. Suppose you’re experiencing throat pain when swallowing. In that case, we can help identify the underlying cause and provide personalized treatment options to relieve your symptoms.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you breathe easy and live comfortably.