Many of us may swallow memories of past humiliation at the hands of your closest friend. But the problem is different when your throat hurts with every little morsel that you swallow. Almost everyone may have experienced this discomforting symptom sometime or the other during their lifetime.
Throat pain while swallowing can be experienced not only in the throat, but even lower down behind the breastbone. It may be burning or squeezing pain, sometimes accompanied with fever and chill. Often the throat is red and inflamed. Burning pain together with difficulty in swallowing is often an early warning sign of cold and flu.
However, the symptoms can exist independently as a minor irritation caused by low humidity in winter to more serious conditions such as throat cancer. If you experience severe pain in throat while swallowing food or fluid, consider an appointment with your doctor. For mild pain, simple home remedies have proved valuable aid in alleviating the trouble.
Reasons For Throat Pain When Swallowing
The act of swallowing involves not only the throat, but even the oral cavity and esophagus or the food pipe. Painful swallowing has many different causes. It can range from mild discomfort to severe difficulty in swallowing accompanied with pain in throat.
- One of the common causes for pain in throat while swallowing food is infection in throat. Just like colds, most cases of painful throat result from viral infection. However, it can also be caused by streptococcal bacteria and several other bacteria which invade the throat.
- In children tonsillitis is a major cause for painful swallowing. Tonsils are two glands located on either side of the throat. They can enlarge and inflame due to infection, mostly bacterial infection. Many children feel difficulty in swallowing food due to pain when they suffer from tonsillitis.
- There are several other infective causes such as herpes simplex, thrush, gingivitis, which can lead to difficulty and pain in throat while swallowing food and liquid.
- There are certain conditions where swallowing becomes difficult due to pain in throat linked to conditions other than present in throat. For example achlasia cardia, reflux esophagitis, spasm of esophagus, ulcers in esophagus and cancer of esophagus can cause pain and difficulty while swallowing.
- Injury to esophagus and throat while swallowing, infection in ears, iron deficiency anemia, tooth and gum infection all can cause pain in throat while swallowing.
Home Remedies For Pain In Throat While Swallowing
Throat pain while swallowing is extremely discomforting issue for a person. And if it is accompanied with other symptoms such as cough, fever, heartburn, it is more tormenting. Relieving the problem depends on treating the underlying cause.
If the medical condition is not serious, you can treat the discomfort with home remedies. However, if you suspect something more serious, consider visiting your doctor as soon as possible to get appropriate treatment.
- One of the most time tested home remedy for alleviating painful swallowing is warm salt water gargles. Salt has mild antiseptic properties. Repeated gargles with salt water will reduce inflammation and pain in throat infection. It is especially useful in tonsillitis and sore throat caused by bacterial infection.
- Take one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric. Mix both till it forms a smooth paste. Take the mixture in morning and while sleeping at night for few days. Turmeric is anti inflammatory and antibacterial natural remedy. Honey also has these qualities to certain extent. Both these natural agents help in reducing painful swallowing caused due to bacterial and viral infection.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Both aggravate the condition further.
- Also avoid eating too much of spicy and oily food. If you are breathing through mouth, take steps to cure the condition. It usually occurs due to blocked nose. Use decongestants to relieve congestion and blockage.
- Chamomile tea is beneficial in relieving irritated throat membrane. In a glass of hot water, steep 1 teaspoon of dry chamomile. Strain the liquid after few minutes. Gargle with the prepared liquid few times in a day. It soothes the throat and helps to swallow food without pain.
- In certain cases, home remedies can be adjuvant therapy for the mainline antibiotic therapy which is essential in certain serious cases such as streptococcal infection and severe form of tonsillitis.
- Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. This vitamin helps the tissues of throat to fight the germs that are making it painful while swallowing.