What You Need to Know About Painful Swallowing

What does painful swallowing mean?

What does it mean when it hurts to swallow? Long story short, there could be many causes for the pain in your throat. It could stem from drinking a beverage too hot or swallowing a pill. Most of the time, the pain disappears after a day or two and you’re back to feeling good as new. 

However, if your pain doesn’t stem from something simple like that, it could linger awhile. Painful swallowing could be a symptom of an underlying health condition that requires treatment. With the painful condition known as Odynophagia, you may experience pain in your mouth, throat, and esophagus. 

If the pain persists or worsens, you may need to see a doctor. After a thorough checkup, you may be diagnosed with any of the following common conditions.

Common causes of painful swallowing

There are many potential causes of pain while swallowing. Sometimes it’s a symptom of inflammation or a throat infection. Here are some common causes: 

Strep Throat: Strep throat is one of the most common causes of painful swallowing. Some symptoms included swollen lymph nodes, high fever, and pain in the mouth. This bacterial infection targets your throat, but you can treat it with pain medication and antibiotics. 

Esophagitis: Your esophagus plays a role in your ability to swallow. When there is inflammation in that area, you can experience pain while swallowing. Esophagitis is a common condition caused by an allergic reaction, infection, or acid reflux. If you have this condition, you will experience symptoms like: heartburn, nausea, coughing, and chest and stomach pain. To treat this, a doctor might recommend over-the-counter drugs like antacids. 

Tonsillitis: It is common for your lymph nodes to suffer from inflammation. Common causes include viruses or bacterial infections since they are contagious. Along with painful swallowing, other common symptoms include swollen tonsils, bad breath, high fever, and a painful neck, and jaw. Treatments for this include medications, and antibiotics. If the condition is severe, surgery might be recommended

Throat injury: Improper eating is a common cause of painful swallowing. If what you’re eating is sharp or too hot, it can leave an injury on your throat. Cuts and burns on your throat can make it difficult for you to swallow without experiencing pain. Treatments for this include over-the-counter medicine and time. In due time the pain will subside and your throat will heal. 

Oral Thrush: This condition is a yeast infection of the mouth. A bacteria known as candida causes the infection.. This can lead to pain and irritation in the throat, which will make it hurt when you swallow. Other symptoms include loss of taste, redness on the corner of the mouth, white patches on your tongue, and a cotton-mouth sensation. Treatments for this include anti-fungal medication. 

When Should I See a Doctor?

If it hurts to swallow, it could also be a sign of throat or esophageal cancer. Some symptoms include blood in your saliva or lumps around your neck. It’s important to see a doctor to run tests. Our ENT specialists can determine if tumors are the source of your painful swallowing. 

Breathe Clear Institute Can Find Out Why It Hurts When You Swallow 

If it hurts every time you swallow, it can lead to a life that’s uncomfortable. If you go too long without treatment your condition can worsen and can lead to more painful infections. Breathe Clear Institute is here to help you take control of your health and discover relief. We can help diagnose your condition and get started on a treatment plan for you today. Schedule an appointment today with our ENT specialists.