What Causes a Burning Throat?
A burning throat can be caused by a number of medical conditions, including Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), Oesophagitis, Barrett’s Oesophagus, Crohn’s Disease, and Burning Mouth Syndrome. Infections, allergies, and irritants can also cause a burning sensation in your throat.
GORD, a chronic condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, often leads to a burning throat. This acid reflux irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. If left untreated, it can lead to complications such as Barrett's Esophagus.
Oesophagitis, an inflammation that damages tissues of the esophagus, can also cause a burning throat. This can be due to infections, allergies, or injury from swallowing a foreign object or caustic substance. It's often characterized by difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and a burning sensation in the throat.
Barrett's Esophagus, a serious complication of GORD, changes the lining of the esophagus to resemble the lining of the intestine. This condition can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer. It can cause a burning sensation in the throat, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, can also cause a burning sensation in the throat when the inflammation spreads to the upper parts of the digestive tract. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, and malnutrition.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome, a condition characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth, can also affect the throat. It can be caused by nerve damage, hormonal changes, or certain medications. This syndrome often affects the tongue, gums, and lips, but can also cause a burning sensation in the throat.
Bacterial infections, such as Streptococcus (strep throat) or Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough), can lead to a burning throat. These infections cause inflammation and irritation in the throat, resulting in a burning sensation. They often come with other symptoms like fever, cough, and swollen lymph nodes.
How Does a Burning Throat Feel?
A burning throat feels like a fiery or tingling sensation in the throat, often accompanied by pain, dryness, and difficulty swallowing. This discomfort can range from mild to severe and may worsen when swallowing food or liquids. It's crucial to identify the cause to seek appropriate treatment.
The sensation of a burning throat can be similar to the discomfort experienced with a sore throat. However, it tends to feel more intense and persistent. This sensation can also extend to the chest, especially if the cause is GORD or Barrett's Esophagus.
In some cases, a burning throat may be accompanied by other symptoms such as a dry throat, scratchy throat, or itchy throat and ears. These additional symptoms can provide clues to the underlying cause. For instance, a burning and scratchy throat with a stuffy nose may suggest an allergic reaction.
How Can You Soothe a Burning Throat?
Soothing a burning throat depends on the underlying cause, but there are several methods you can try. These include home remedies, medical treatments, and immunotherapy. It's important to choose the most suitable option based on your symptoms and their severity.
Home remedies can provide immediate relief for a burning throat caused by allergies, cold, or dryness. Drinking warm liquids like tea or broth can soothe the throat. Honey, a natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent, can also help. Humidifying your environment might be beneficial if dry air is causing your symptoms. However, for allergies, it's best to treat them without medicine first before seeking medical treatment.
Medical treatments are suggested when home remedies aren't enough. Over-the-counter (OTC) lozenges or sprays can provide quick relief. For allergy-induced symptoms, OTC antihistamines or nasal sprays can help. In cases of bacterial infections, antibiotics may be prescribed. But, it's vital to start with conservative treatments before moving to more aggressive approaches.
Sublingual immunotherapy is a long-term solution for people with allergies. It involves placing a tablet under the tongue daily that contains small doses of allergens. Over time, this can desensitize your immune system to allergens, reducing the severity of your allergic reactions and potentially alleviating your burning throat symptoms. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting this treatment.
When Should You See a Healthcare Provider for a Burning Throat?
You should see a healthcare provider for a burning throat if your symptoms persist for a week or more, OTC treatments. Also, seek medical attention if you experience severe symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, high fever, or unexplained weight loss.
If your burning throat is accompanied by other symptoms such as a dry, itchy throat and ears, it could be a sign of allergies. Allergies can also lead to a sore throat or post-nasal drip, so it's crucial to get a proper diagnosis.
In some cases, a burning throat can be a symptom of more serious conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, oesophagitis, or bacterial infections. If you suspect your symptoms might be related to one of these conditions, consult with a healthcare provider immediately. Keep in mind that early treatment can help prevent complications and provide relief.
Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly
If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is hot or cold better for a burning throat?
For a burning throat, both hot and cold remedies can be beneficial. Warm liquids, like tea or soup, can soothe irritation and ease the pain. On the other hand, cold treats, like ice chips or popsicles, can numb the throat, offering temporary relief.
How many days does a burning throat last?
A burning throat, often associated with allergies or colds, typically lasts from 3 to 7 days. However, if it persists beyond a week, worsens, or is accompanied by other serious symptoms like high fever or difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Why do I wake up with a burning sensation in my throat?
Waking up with a burning sensation in your throat could be due to acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These conditions occur when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus during sleep. Allergies, postnasal drip, or dry air can also cause this sensation.
How do you neutralize acid reflux in your throat?
Neutralizing acid reflux in your throat involves lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication. Elevate your head while sleeping, avoid food triggers, and don't eat before bed. Antacids can provide immediate relief by neutralizing stomach acid, while proton pump inhibitors reduce acid production.
Why is my throat burning and I feel like throwing up?
A burning throat and the urge to vomit are often symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing discomfort. However, other conditions such as infections or allergies can produce similar symptoms, so medical evaluation is recommended.
What medicine is good for a burning throat?
Over-the-counter analgesics like ibuprofen can alleviate pain from a burning throat. Lozenges or throat sprays containing numbing agents like benzocaine can also provide relief. For inflammation, consider gargling with warm salt water. However, prolonged throat discomfort should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
How do you soothe a throat that feels like it's burning?
A burning throat can be soothed by drinking warm liquids like herbal tea or water with honey. Over-the-counter lozenges or sprays can also provide relief. Avoiding irritants like smoke and spicy food, and using a humidifier to moisten the air can further alleviate discomfort.
What syrup is good for a burning throat?
Honey syrup can be beneficial for a burning throat due to its natural soothing properties. Combine one tablespoon of honey with warm water or herbal tea and consume to alleviate throat discomfort. However, for persistent symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment.