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What is Causing My Throat Pain?

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Having a sore throat can be a big pain. Sore throats are usually caused by either viruses or bacteria. Symptoms of a sore throat range from burning, scratching, dryness or just all over irritation in the throat. Your throat could be inflamed and red, and it could hurt to swallow or even talk. There are many causes and symptoms of a sore throat, and it is important to be seen by a specialist if you are having constant throat issues that don’t seem to go away.

A viral sore throat is usually a symptom of the common cold, the flu or other viral infections. Other common causes of a sore throat are strep, which is bacterial, or allergies, dry air, smoking or acid reflux, in which case stomach acids rise up towards the throat and causes pain and a burning sensation. Tonsillitis and Laryngitis are also common causes of throat pain.  Both are inflammations of the throat, with tonsillitis affecting the tonsils and laryngitis affecting the throat box (larynx). At ENT Specialists we treat these voice and swallowing disorders by doing a complete evaluation and using direct in-office visualization of the vocal folds and larynx via flexible laryngoscopy or videostroboscopy.

In some cases, throat pain could be a symptom of a much more serious and possibly life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated. These conditions include toxic chemical exposure, thyroiditis, and cancers of the throat and esophagus. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and because September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month, it is a good time a time as any to get your thyroid check if you are experiencing throat pain that is not going away.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower neck, next to the trachea. The gland consists of a left and right lobe. The thyroid’s job is to provide the body with hormones that control heart rate, body temperature, metabolism and the amount of calcium in the blood. Nodules are commonly found on the thyroid, and the majority of them are due to benign conditions. However, a small number of nodules could be due to thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer occurs in all age groups but mainly in adults, and it affects about three times as many women as men. Thyroid cancer has seen an increase in incidence in recent years and has become the 5th most common cancer in women. If you feel a lump in your neck, experience voice changes or difficulty breathing or swallowing, or if your doctor notices a nodule in your neck during a routine checkup, it is important to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist evaluate your condition.

At ENT Specialists our highly trained physicians will do a comprehensive workup of the thyroid gland, in-office ultrasounds, CT and MRI scans if needed, and either conservative treatment and management, or Thyroid cancer surgery if necessary. Sore throats range from being a mild annoyance to a possibly life-threatening condition, so it is important to know which one you are experiencing.

Don't hesitate and schedule an appointment today.

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