Sore throats are indicated by pain and a scratchy or irritated sensation that is usually worse when you swallow. Usually, a sore throat is caused by a viral infection, though bacterial infections can also cause sore throats. These sore throats, such as strep throat, require treatment with antibiotics to prevent complications, while sore throats caused by viruses typically resolve on their own.
Most people experience a sore throat during their life. Common symptoms include:
When an individual has dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, it is most often a sign of an issue with the throat or esophagus. While dysphagia can happen to anyone, it is most common in older adults, babies, and individuals with nervous system or brain issues.
The throat becomes hoarse when the vocal cords become irritated or injured. A number of conditions can cause hoarseness, including:
Treatment for hoarseness depends on the main cause of the issue. Gargling warm salt water can help the immediate symptoms, but you should visit a doctor for accurate diagnosis and testing.
Reflux, or commonly referred to as heartburn, is a digestive disorder that occurs when the esophagus, or food pipe, is irritated from stomach acid. Reflux is characterized as a burning pain or discomfort in the upper or mid-chest, and sometimes in the neck and throat. Common symptoms of reflux include:
Reflux is not often a serious condition and can be caused by issues other than some underlying disease. For example, reflux that can be easily remedied by simple lifestyle changes, including:
Reflux can be easily remedied by avoiding certain foods, such as fats, chocolate or citrus, which can irritate the stomach lining. If reflux symptoms occur after eating, antacid medications, which are available at any over-the-counter drug or prescription store, will typically ease symptoms.
If symptoms persist, increase or don’t respond to over-the-counter antacids, contact Independence Ear, Nose, & Throat for a consult today.
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