Man hurts to swallow from allergies, sinusitis, GERD, or tonsil infections

Swallowing is a vital part of eating and drinking, but pain in your throat can make that more difficult. It could be caused by a variety of things, but it’s important to know what condition you’re facing and how you can treat it.


Whether it’s from pollen in the spring, ragweed in the fall, or pet dandruff any time of year, allergens can definitely affect your throat. As your body releases histamines to combat the foreign particles, a common symptom include postnasal drip that irritates your throat. This symptom can make it harder to eat solid foods or drink some liquids. To treat allergies, your ENT physician may recommend immunotherapy options or antihistamines along with home remedies like staying hydrated.


Like allergies, sinus infections can also cause postnasal drip and lead to a sore throat and trouble swallowing. This is caused by inflammation in your sinuses that increases mucus buildup. Treating sinusitis depends on whether it’s caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergens, so a consultation with an otolaryngologist is recommended. For long-term sinus infections (chronic sinusitis), one option to consider is sinus surgery.


When you have acid reflux, stomach acid flows up to the esophagus. While this can happen from time to time, consistent acid reflux is known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which can create throat soreness and throat tightness. Antacids can help with any reflux issues that occur, but adjusting your diet to include less spicy, acidic, or fatty foods can go a long way towards better swallowing.


Tonsil infections are usually more prevalent in children, but adults can also get the condition. Viruses and bacteria can infect the throat and create swollen tonsils, earaches, headaches, and a scratchy voice. Bacterial tonsillitis can be treated with an antibiotic, while home remedies like humidifiers, warm liquids, and pain relievers can help with viral tonsillitis symptoms. If these symptoms persist, your physician may recommend a tonsillectomy to remove the swollen tonsils.

Dr. Darrell Klotz, a CEENTA ENT specialist from our SouthPark office, urges patients not to delay seeking treatment. "With many possibilities for a sore throat, it's best to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist if your sore throat persists beyond a few weeks or seems to be getting worse despite self-treatment for these common maladies."

Whether your throat is hurting from viruses, bacteria, allergens, or acid reflux, painful swallowing can take the fun out of eating. If you’re experiencing throat pain or any of the above symptoms, it’s time to talk to a CEENTA ENT specialist. Our board-certified physicians across nearly twenty offices can set up a game plan to get your throat back to normal based on your specific condition. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Klotz at our SouthPark location today for pain-free swallowing.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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