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If you’re finding it painful to eat and drink, you are among millions of others who have experienced this issue. Discomfort while swallowing is a common condition. You may feel soreness, excruciating pain, or burning, and these make swallowing painful. In most cases, irritating swallowing is benign and curable with over-the-counter pain relievers and home remedies. However, if your condition worsens or persists, immediately see your doctor. Your throat may hurt when you swallow due to the following reasons:

Viral or Sinus Infection

Cold or flu viruses are commonly responsible for distressing swallowing. Sometimes sinus infections can also be the culprit. Your throat can hurt due to swollen tonsils, coughing, or sinus drip. Viral and sinus infections can bring several symptoms like headache, runny nose, fever. The best way to combat these infections is to get plenty of rest and OTC pain medications.

Allergic Reaction

An allergen may stimulate sinus drip, which may cause your throat to hurt when you swallow. Acute allergies can trigger severe allergic reactions, which causes an inflamed throat making swallowing and breathing difficult.

Throat Infection

Strep and tonsillitis are bacterial infections that affect your throat. Bacterial infections work differently than viruses and have a direct impact on the throat with no other cold-like symptoms. Your throat may hurt when you swallow, and the accompanying symptoms include inflamed lymph nodes, fever, and gastrointestinal issues. OTC pain medications and antibiotics are usual treatment options.

Oral Thrush

Thrush is mainly an oral yeast infection. Candida albicans is a fungus that affects the mouth’s lining and can also infect the throat and tonsils. The burning sensation and discomfort can make eating and swallowing painful. Symptoms accompanying this condition include abrasions with bleeding, white bumps, and dry mouth. Treatment options include antifungal medications.

Oral Injury

Eating hard, crunchy foods or swallowing a large pill can injure your throat. Other than that, ingesting too hot food or drinks can burn your esophagus. Sore throat, scrapes, and burns can hurt when you swallow. The injury will get better on its own. In the meantime, you can use OTC pain relievers to soothe the discomfort.


People suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease are very familiar with a burning throat. When stomach acid reverses into the esophagus, it makes swallowing painful. Other symptoms you may experience include hoarseness, vomiting, heartburn, and salty/metallic taste in your mouth. Taking antacids and making changes to the diet can help manage the problem.

Throat Cancer

A rare cause of pain while swallowing can be throat cancer. Additional symptoms include lumps close to the neck and bleeding saliva. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests to diagnose if tumors are making your throat hurt when swallowing.

Get Professional Help

In most cases, painful swallowing isn’t something to be worried about, but you should see a physician if the problem has been lingering for too long or you have other accompanying symptoms. Doctors at Family Diagnostic Clinic can help manage and ease your condition. To schedule an appointment, call 281-351-6800.

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