You may have experienced a burning in your throat at some time in your life. It may be brought on by heartburn or infection. It could also be due to a serious condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease.
We will discuss possible causes for this throat sensation in this article, and point out some things you can do to relieve the burn.
What Causes Burning Sensation in Throat?
The most common causes include:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (also called GERD)
This is a chronic disease of the digestive system. It occurs when acids from your stomach travel back upward and into the esophagus. This causes irritation of the esophagus and a burning sensation. Speak to your physician if you have these symptoms more than two times a week.
Acid reflux is something most people will experience at one time or another. It’s the exception to the rule that your stomach is a one-way street. If you eat a lot, or eat too swiftly, some stomach acid and food may back up into your esophagus. This causes a burning sensation. You may have experienced the same phenomenon when you lie down soon after you eat.
This umbrella term is used to describe general esophagus inflammation. Your immune system generates inflammation when infectious organisms are detected or tissues are damaged. Inflammation leads to tenderness, swelling and a raised temperature, as blood flow increases to the area.
Viral and bacterial respiratory infections may lead to burning sensations in your throat. Infections in the lower respiratory tract can affect the lungs, trachea and bronchi, and upper respiratory infections attack your sinuses, throat and nasal passages. Your throat could be irritated because of infections like the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, laryngitis or tonsillitis.
Burning in the throat can be caused by various allergies. They are more common if you’re allergic to airborne particles, since these may irritate your throat. Some pollutants and foods may cause nausea, headache, inflammation, itching and burning.
If you have a burning sensation that lasts for more than a few days, or even weeks, without a positive response to home remedies or OTC medications, this may be caused by allergies. When you have any significant reaction in the throat, it’s likely that you’re allergic to something you consumed or breathed in.
Colds and Influenza
Viral infections like the flu or a common cold can cause the feeling of burning in your throat. They can also cause inflammation are soreness in your throat, along with a cough, fever, congestion or a runny nose.
Eustachian Tube Drainage
One of the reasons your throat can burn is having drainage from your Eustachian tubes affecting it. These tubes connect the middle ear to your throat and nose. The tubes aid in the maintenance of pressure in your middle ear, but colds or infections can change the balance. Then it will lead to fluid buildup in your middle ear. This can drain into the throat and cause you to feel a burning sensation.
If your throat is dry, it is more easily irritated. The dryness may be caused by respiratory tract lining damage, when it does not release enough mucus from its ducts.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
This is a chronic condition where your mouth may burn without apparent cause. The more common symptoms include change in taste, loss of taste, burning sensation and dry mouth. It affects your throat as well as your palate, lips, tongue and gums.
What can you do to relieve a burning sensation in your throat?
There are lifestyle changes you can make that will help you deal with a mild burning feeling in your throat. Home remedies can help sometimes, too.
- Don’t eat hot foods. Allow them to cool down.
- Drink lots of fluids, especially water, since a dry throat is more prone to becoming irritated.
- Keep your head elevated when you sleep. If you lie flat, your stomach acid can more easily cause a burning sensation in the throat.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. They may add to acid reflux.
- If your room air is dry, install a humidifier.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals. This can reduce GERD symptoms. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands, encouraging more salivation, which makes it easier for your foods to digest.
- Use throat lozenges. There are various brands of OTC lozenges to relieve your throat. Choose sugar-free lozenges that contain eucalyptus or menthol for better effect.
- Baking soda is helpful in preventing acid-reflux caused heartburn. It has a pH level greater than 7.0, so it’s helpful in neutralizing stomach acid that causes a burning sensation in your throat. Just mix 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda in one cup or so of water. Then drink it. Baking soda is high in salt, so don’t use it for more than one week straight.
- Use a throat spray. They have numbing and antibiotic properties, so they are helpful in clearing infections and reducing pain.
- Drink a tea with ginger to calm your stomach and prevent any acid reflux. Purchase ginger tea or simmer slices of ginger root in water. If you make your own tea, let it steep for a while and then drink it about 15-20 minutes before you eat a meal.
When should you see a doctor?
When you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, it’s best to consult your physician. Proper diagnosis is the only way to find out whether your condition is fungal, bacterial or viral. This will help in determining the proper treatment.
Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Fungal infections need anti-fungal medicines. Your physician can’t cure a viral infection, but you can use OTC pain medicines to ease the symptoms until your body fights off the infection itself.
All of these plans will help to ease any burning sensation in your throat.