Simply put, throat ulcers are open sores situated in your throat. At times they may also show up on the vocal cords and esophagus, the tube that leads the foods and drinks you consume to the stomach. Just like ulcers on the mouth and stomach, throat ulcers can be very painful, thus making it really difficult for you to talk and eat.
If you are prone to having throat ulcers, keep on reading. Below you will come across their common causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment. Later on in this article, you will also learn some of the steps that you may take to in order to keep them from striking.
Because anyone is at risk of developing throat ulcers, don’t forget to later on share this article on your different social media accounts to get everyone you care about acquainted with throat ulcers, too.
The reason why it was mentioned above that anyone may end up with throat ulcers is the fact that they can have many different causes, some of them include everyday activities.
For instance, something as simple as talking, singing or screaming a lot can cause them to strike due to irritation of the throat. The throat may also become irritated and therefore end up with open sores as a result of cigarette smoking or intake of alcohol and certain medications. Frequent vomiting, such as in the case of having the eating disorder bulimia, is also known to cause throat ulcers.
Other common causes include acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, recurring infections of the upper respiratory tract, HIV, and undergoing cancer treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
When you open your mouth wide open in front of a mirror, you will spot some red- or white-colored patches. If those open ulcers look painful, it’s because they are in fact painful. It’s exactly for this reason you may have a hard time swallowing. Having throat ulcers can make it difficult for you to consume foods and beverages, and also speak.
It’s possible for you to have low-grade fever when those open sores become infected. Such may also cause the lymph nodes in your neck to become tender and swollen. Your breath may reek, too, because of the infection or at times due to poor oral hygiene as it can also be challenging to brush your teeth when opening your mouth hurts.
Other symptoms may accompany throat ulcers, depending on what’s causing them. For instance, your chest may hurt due to heartburn as a result of acid reflux or GERD.
Due to the fact that throat ulcers can be blamed on a number of things, treatment tends to vary depending on the cause. If the culprit is an infection, then a doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antifungals, depending on the type of microorganism responsible. Proton pump inhibitors and antacids may be prescribed if the reason behind throat ulcers is acid reflux of GERD.
OTC painkilling drugs may be taken to reduce pain, although such is not applicable all the time. If the person suffers from acid reflux or GERD, many painkilling drugs can cause exacerbation of the condition.
Medicated oral rinses may be recommended as well. The doctor may also suggest for the individual to give his or her throat much-needed rest. If none of the conservative treatments work, it’s possible for surgery to be warranted to put an end to the problem.
Just like treatment, prevention of throat ulcers depends on the root cause. For instance, spicy, greasy and acidic foods as well as caffeinated and carbonated drinks should be avoided if acid reflux or GERD is the culprit. If cigarette smoking or excessive alcohol consumption is the one to blame, opting for a healthier lifestyle is a good idea.