Why It Hurts to Swallow

Throat pain is one of the most common ailments in human physiology. This pain can be quite discomforting and in many situations it will worsen to a point where it hurts to swallow anything  and everything. There are many reasons for a sore throat and it is often not required to go to a doctor for this condition, as one can easily take some simple measures to help the condition. In this article we take a look at some of the common reasons for sore throat.  Looking for a quick remedy? View our 10 Remedies for A Sore Throat.

Muscle strain: One of the most common causes of a sore throat is muscle strain. When we yell or speak with high intensity, our throat muscles tend to get over worked and consequently result in a sore throat. With muscle strain it is difficult to swallow food since the throat hurts whenever muscles come in contact with anything passing through it. As with every muscle strain, some rest for the muscle can repair the strain.

Lump in throat: Lumps in throat can be very painful and can make swallowing anything down the throat a nightmare. Lumps are also susceptible to some serious underlying disease and could even be cancerous. So if you find painful swallowing in your throat due to a lump, get it checked immediately by a doctor.

Phlegm in throat: Phlegm in throat can become a major cause of discomfort. Phlegm can be caused by several reasons including infection. When confronted with phlegm in throat, one tends to feel quite uncomfortable and there is an urge to cough the phlegm out. This forceful coughing can be harmful to the throat and can result in a sore throat thus causing painful swallowing. Phlegm in throat is usually greenish or brownish in color but sometimes it can be reddish, which is a cause of concern. One has to keep a close eye on phlegm since blood-filled phlegm can be a sign of serious lung disease.

Itchy throat: An itchy throat is a very common phenomenon. Itchy throat itself doesn’t cause painful swallowing but when one is confronted with an itchy throat there is an urge to scratch the throat internally or to further agitate the throat. This can cause the throat to inflame and cause painful swallowing. The best way to deal with an itchy throat is to use a soothing Popsicle.

These are some of the common causes of a sore throat. Most of the time these conditions heal by themselves or might require doing  some common counter-measures such as gargles (gargling salt water, etc.).  Antibiotics are not recommended unless the infection is very severe since an over exposure to antibiotics results in resistant bacteria which is immune to antibiotics.

The throat is one of those body parts which can be easily damaged so take care of your throat and if faced with a sore throat causing painful swallowing, take the simple measures mentioned above to relieve yourself. If the pain persists, you should see a doctor.

Diagnose your throat pain or search for a remedy before visiting your doctor.

Search our extensive diagnosis knowledge base to learn the potential causes of your swallowing pain!

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Most Common Cause of Painful Swallowing

Viral Pharyngitis

The most common cause of a sore throat or discomfort while swallowing is something called viral pharyngitis. Without delving into specifics, your pharynx (a part of your throat) becomes swollen and inflamed due to some sort of viral infection within your body.

Viral pharyngitis usually lasts between 5 – 10 days, and will run a course all its own.

There is no specific treatment plan of remedy for pharyngitis. Most physicians simply aim to ease the discomfort until it passes.

Methods of treatment:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications ( acetaminophen etc )
  • Throat lozenges or anti-inflammatory sprays (in moderation).
  • Reduce your throat pain! See our 10 Home Remedies for a Sore Throat.

Visit viral pharyngitis in our diagnosis knowledge base to learn more about symptoms, remedies, and prevention measures.

*Remember!  If swallowing pain lasts longer than two weeks, please consult your physician. Only a doctor can diagnose and confirm that your medical issues are not serious. *

Second Most Common Cause of Painful Swallowing

Drainage in Throat

Sinus drainage down the back of the throat is the second most common thing that makes it painful to swallow. Drainage occurs for a variety of reasons. Simply put, be hygienic, maintain a healthy diet, and avoid friends or family members that may be sick.

Nasal drainage is commonly caused by bacterial/viral/fungal infections.  Are you feeling symptoms besides the sore throat? More times than not, my throat hurts when I swallow when I have the cold, the flu, or my allergies are acting up. The excess sinus drainage down the throat should cease when the rest of your illness passes. If this is not the case, go to you physician to assess any issues.

It is always important to stay on your medication regimen prescribed by your doctor, especially if allergy or sinus related.

Learn about advanced and serious causes of sinus drainage in our knowledge base.

*Remember!  If swallowing pain lasts longer than two weeks, please consult your physician. Only a doctor can diagnose and confirm that your medical issues are not serious. *

3 Common Remedies for a Sore Throat

View more home remedies in our 10 Home Remedies for a Sore Throat.

1) Over the counter lozenges and sprays

A highly effective method depending on the severity of your throat pain.

Like anything in life, having too many lozenges, or using the throat spray more often than recommended can easily have the opposite effect on your throat. Hard sugar-free candy is also an option.

2) Gargle and swish around salt water in your mouth.

This little trick has been known for ages.

Take 1 teaspoon of salt and stir it ferociously into  one glass (8 fl oz) of warm water.

Gargle often, multiple times a day to relieve throat discomfort, and reduce irritation.

3) Prevent dehydration!

Drink plenty of water. Being hydrated benefits your throat by helping with natural secretions. Liquids such as a gentle tea, or a thin soup can also help soothe your irritated and swollen pharynx.

In general, keeping hydrated also will help your body get back in to tip top shape. Water is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system.

View more: 10 Home Remedies for a Sore Throat. A short teaser… Candy & Garlic!

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