Why is my throat burning? Burning throat can be a symptom of an underlying disease, oral condition or injury to the esophageal lining.
Discomforts of pain in throat or chest may be experienced as you are swallowing or even after eating. This post looks into the possible causes, the symptoms which may be accompanied, helpful or symptom reliever remedies and treatments.
What causes a burning sensation in throat or painful feeling in the throat? Read our article to learn these and much more.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or GERD
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a condition caused by acid food content in the stomach. This condition is primarily caused by GERD.
People who are overweight, have poor eating habits (too much food in one meal) and those in stress are at risk of LPR.
Symptoms of LPR
Although there are cases of heartburns, some people with LPR do not complain about heartburns. Cleveland Clinic notes that when these symptoms are present or felt by the sufferer all are linked to the sensations in the food tube.
- A feeling of there being a lump in the throat
- A chronic cough
- Soreness and a bit hoarseness in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Irritations of the pharyngeal
- The pharynx lining may also become irritated or swollen
Treatment and remedies
Patients who are diagnosed with the condition on the basis of the symptoms can go for OTC drugs to help strike pH by reducing the level of acidity in the stomach.
Other helpful remedies for LPR include strategic weight loss plan, change eating habits, avoid acidic or spicy foods, get rid of alcoholic drinks, tobacco, and too much coffee.
Sometimes people who learn to stop or minimize clearing the throat can at least deal with soreness in throat.
Patients who have persistent chest pain and throat burning should promptly see a doctor. They are advised to get medical tests, examinations, and evaluations for conditions like heart disease, stomach ulcers, asthma, bronchitis, costochondritis, and gallstones.
Another cause of burning or painful sensations when swallowing is esophagitis (which is the inflammation of the esophagus or the food pipe.)
The inflammation is due to a number of reasons that may range from infections to eating disorders. These include:
- Acid reflux and vomiting more often than not
- Treatments that may cause injury to the throat such as radiation therapy
- An infection. Most of the infections are as a result of a weakened immune system
- Yeast infections
- Eating disorders
- Medicines like aspirin and (NSAIDs e.g. Ibuprofen)
Besides GERD being a major problem linked directly to esophagitis, other factors that will probably make one vulnerable to the irritations, swelling or pain include:
- Treatment for cancer of the upper respiratory system
- If you are an alcohol user
- If you have nausea that causes vomiting often
- If you take medicines for inflammation
- A weakened immune system including human infections
- Painful swallowing and soreness
- Hoarseness feeling in throat
- Painful eating or difficulty swallowing
- A cough
Esophagitis can also cause ulcerative sores along the throat where inflammation has occurred.
This presentation means that infections are bound to occur along with esophagitis. Doctors and primary care providers encourage patients and those suspected to have the condition get relief treatments or antibiotics.
After treatment, your doctor should give more helpful details including medical, lifestyle or foods you should take and those to avoid.
Burning mouth syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome is an oral problem whose symptoms can not only be marked by mouth discomforts but also burning sensations in the throat.
You are likely to get this condition if you have the following (problems).
- Lichen planus
- Allergy concerns (food or medicines, etc.)
- Tongue biting
- Stress or anxiety
Suffering from health problems that cause dryness in the mouth is another possible cause of burning mouth syndrome. Wearing dentures, being female (postmenopausal) and nutritional deficiency are some of the risk factors.
The common symptoms are felt in the mouth. The tongue is affected most. Nevertheless, you’re the gums, cheeks, lips, the roof of the mouth and the lips may be affected.
- A burning sensation in the whole of mouth
Painful sensations in the throat
- Metallic taste in mouth or loss of taste
- Craving for more fluids to address dryness and thirst
Notably, burning mouth syndrome symptoms least of them all presents any oral changes in appearance.
The nasal glands continually produce mucous secretions to moisten the nasal lining. However, when there is a problem with amount released, can result to “feeling of it accumulating in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose…” In this case we say post-nasal drip has occurred.
Post-nasal drip as an abnormality in the amount of the mucous secretions are associated with the following.
- Colds or influenza
- Blood pressure medicines
- Dryness in the air and surrounding environment
- Dairy products which are potential allergens
- During pregnancy or hormonal changes
The problem itself can lead to problems with swallowing and sore throat especially when there is thick secretions.
Diagnosis involves physical examination of the throat, lab tests of the secretions and allergy tests. Finding out whether you have gastroesophageal reflux symptoms may also be helpful when it comes to treatment.
Methods of treatment will vary with the cause or the underlying problem which leads to the abnormality in mucous secretions.
Antibiotics, nasal irrigations and treatment agents for thinning of the mucus are all treatment forms.
Certain infections can be the underlying reason for the burning sensation. These include the following.
Influenza is one of the common and highly contagious respiratory infection caused by different strains of human influenza. Many cases of flu in humans are caused by virus A or B.
It spreads fast through inhaling droplets of mucus when one who is infected coughs, sneezes or just breathes out.
Flu is usually indicated by fever and other severe symptoms including headaches, muscle aches and feeling fatigued or tiredness. Sometimes patients have diarrhea and vomiting.
If you have earaches, pain in the ear or life-threatening symptoms such as trouble breathing after a flu infection see your doctor urgently. Other serious symptoms that should be reported to the respective authority include:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Choking sensations especially at night
- A dry cough
Most episodes of cold infection are due to bacteria or viruses. Most cold infection symptoms which begin to show up in few days after infection are marked by burning feeling in the throat. This may be accompanied by the following;
- Frequent sneezing and runny nose
- Thick greenish secretion
- Mild coughs
Patients who have a viral cold infection may sometimes feel a burning sensation in throat ore so when they are swallowing.
Individuals who have asthma or suffer from chronic bronchitis may experience worse cold symptoms.
Dry throat cough and burning in throat
Moving on, another possible cause of painful sensations in the throat is dry throat cough without mucus and whose symptoms last longer than or persist on for more than 2 weeks.
Apart from it being a sign of cold or flu, dry throat teamed up with burning sensation in the throat can also be due to the following.
- Inflammation of the pharynx
- Allergic rhinitis
- Whooping cough
- Interstitial lung diseases
If you cough persistently with a dry condition in throat, vomiting or have sleep interruptions, please seek medical attention without delay.
The following can potentially be the reasons for or cause of a burning throat.
- Throat tumors due to esophageal cancer, head and neck cancer
- Drainage from Eustachian tube due to temporal blockage
Burning sensation in throat and chest
Below is a brief discussion on why burning in throat and chest may occur.
A hiatal hernia is a condition manifested in weakness in the diaphragm. This consequently leads to a situation where the stomach walls or when part of the organs in the tummy area pushes up.
The causes of this condition are not well expounded on. Experts reckon this occurrence may come after operations around the stomach muscles. This condition most likely develops among the older people, say, those who are in their 50s.
In some circumstances, it is understood that people who have undergone indigestion tests have developed hiatus hernia.
Many people with this condition usually show or have no symptoms. However, individuals susceptible to a hiatal hernia are prone to GERD or acid reflux (refer to the discussion above on causes).
A heart attack can be a deadly condition. However, knowing that someone has symptoms heart attack is not usually easy to figure out. This is because there symptoms that imitate or sometimes very little indicators.
Common symptoms include weakness in arms, shortness of breath, stomach pain or discomforts, nausea, chest pain, lightheadedness, and sweating. Sometimes a heart attack is not always shown by chest pain.
Commonly linked to acid reflux and pregnancy, another reason for burning feeling in throat and chest is heartburns.
You may experience burning in the throat while eating. Eating alone could not be what causes the problem but there could be increased pain or burning sensations.
- A sore throat
- An injury that is yet to heal
- An inflammatory infection
- Dry throat cough
Burning in the throat after eating
Burning sensations in the throat can be mild or severe. Different reasons account for painful feeling in the throat after eating (meals) including the following.
- Severe heartburns
- Severe inflammation of the esophagus or larynx
- Severe acid reflux or GERD
- Eating habits large meals)
Burning in the throat during pregnancy
When are females more likely to get burning throat during pregnancy? Burning throat, discomfort or chest pain experienced by pregnant women are symptomatic of indigestion and heartburns.
Scientific research backed up with resourceful evidence reveal that heartburns during pregnancy are due to the hormone progesterone.
Additionally, conditions like or GERD (acid reflux) laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), morning sickness (cold) are likely to affect women at pregnancy.
Sensitive issues to do with medication during pregnancy must be strictly adhered to and taken into consideration before action. More importantly, pregnant women including those who plan to become pregnant should prioritize consultation prior to taking any OTC medicines.
Controlling eating habits of yours, changes in lifestyle are compounding and observing safety measures for acid reflux and heartburn during pregnancy period cannot be ignored too.
Is it due to cancer
Is burning in the throat a sign of cancer? It is generally difficult to get clear signs or symptoms that developed cancer of the pharynx, cancer of the throat or cancer of the neck.
- A sore throat that persists for more than 2 – 3 weeks
- Hoarseness in your voice
- Abnormality of the voice box
- Something stuck in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chronic dry cough
- Weight loss that you may not account for
- Swelling of the neck region, eye, jaws
For a clearer understanding of the symptoms, it is safer and advisable to see a specialist. For instance, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, changes in your voice would rarely indicate cancer of the pharynx but could be a sign of the voice box.
Notably, presentation of cancer of the throat will vary with stage or severity with the development of the symptoms.
Common risks linked to the cancers of the upper respiratory system including the throat are:
- Alcohol consumption
- If you catch Epstein-Barr (EBV) virus
- Treatments including therapeutic radiation and chemotherapy
How to stop burning in throat
There are various ways or treatments options to stop burning inside the throat.
Over the counter medicines
OTC medicines available to deal with symptoms include antacids for reflux, antibiotics for bacterial infections and antivirals for cold.
Quit smoking and drinking
If you want to squarely stop burning in your throat, stomach consider quitting. Both smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages lead to a dry condition of the air tubes and food pipe.
If these methods do not work at all, the best thing to do is visit a doctor or healthcare facility.
Medical steps to stop the burning
- Regular health checks (during pregnancy, under medication, etc.)
- Taking your child when you note the symptoms
- Ask for advice from pharmacists before taking OTCs
Burning throat remedies + natural treatments
Some of these remedies are really helpful and can make you feel better at home.
Note that in many cases, you have to see a doctor in order to get a better understanding of what remedies to apply more appropriately.
Try air humidifiers
With proper installation, humidifiers aid better breathing hence reducing dryness in the throat. This would also ensure symptoms do not worsen especially if you are coughing more frequently.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the ideal products for raw, sore throat.
Mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar + a pinch of salt and a warm glass of water
PRECAUTION: You should never drink the apple cider vinegar in the content that you acquired it with.
Other lifestyle measures
- Allow food to cool before you can start to eat
- Take enough water that is clean and boiled
When to see your doctor
If you have persistent soreness, fever, swollen throat, pain in throat and chest pain for more than 2 weeks seek medical attention urgently.