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Pain Over The Adam's Apple Symptom, Causes & Questions

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Last updated March 9, 2022

Adam's apple pain quiz

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If the outside of your throat hurts, specifically the adam's apple, this may be caused by acute thyroiditis or inflammation of the epiglottis. Read below for more information on causes and how to relieve a sore adam's apple.

8 most common causes

GERD
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Premature Ventricular Contractions
Acute URI
Viral Throat Infection
Pharyngitis
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Fungal esophageal infection (candida esophagitis)
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Acute thyroiditis
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Inflammation of the epiglottis

2 causes of pain over the Adam's apple

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Viral throat infection

A sore throat is most often caused by the same viruses that cause influenza and the common cold. The illness spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and then someone else inhales the airborne virus or touches a surface where it has landed.

Those most at risk for viral sore throat are children, smokers, those who work indoors with others, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

Symptoms include throat irritation; pain when swallowing or talking; red, swollen tonsils; fever; body aches; and cold-like symptoms of cough, sneezing, and runny nose.

If symptoms do not clear up within 24 hours – especially in children – a medical provider should be seen. A persistent sore throat can be a symptom of serious illness such as mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox, or croup.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and throat swab.

Treatment involves rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Do not give aspirin to children. Antibiotics only work against bacteria and cannot help against a viral illness.

The best prevention is frequent and thorough handwashing.

Premature ventricular contractions

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in one of the heart's two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt the regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing a feeling of a skipped beat in your chest.

If you are an otherwise healthy individual, there's generally no reason for concern as PVC's on themselves are not harmful. However, palpitations can be hard to distinguish from a more serious underlying heart issue, and therefore it is recommended to visit a doctor today to get an EKG done.

Pharyngitis

A sore throat is most often caused by the same viruses that cause influenza and the common cold. The illness spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and then someone else inhales the airborne virus or touches a surface where it has landed.

Those most at risk for viral sore throat are children, smokers, those who work indoors with others, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

Symptoms include throat irritation; pain when swallowing or talking; red, swollen tonsils; fever; body aches; and cold-like symptoms of cough, sneezing, and runny nose.

If symptoms do not clear up within 24 hours – especially in children – a medical provider should be seen. A persistent sore throat can be a symptom of serious illness such as mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox, or croup.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and throat swab.

Treatment involves rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Do not give aspirin to children. Antibiotics only work against bacteria and cannot help against a viral illness.

The best prevention is frequent and thorough handwashing.

Inflammation of the epiglottis

Epiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis, tissue that covers the trachea (windpipe), which helps prevent coughing or choking after swallowing. It is usually caused by the bacteria H. Influenzae but can also be caused by other bacteria or viruses that cause upper respiratory infections.

Call 911 immediately for an ambulance now! Epiglottis can be a life-threatening emergency. Though with proper treatment at a hospital, the outcome is usually good.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: being severely ill, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat, pain with swallowing

Symptoms that never occur with inflammation of the epiglottis: cough

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Fungal esophageal infection (candida esophagitis)

Candida esophagitis (thrush) is a yeast infection of the mucus membrane lining the mouth and tongue. It can spread to the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. This can cause symptoms like pain when swallowing. Patients with a supressed immune system are more at risk.

You do should discuss with your primary care physician if treatment with anti-fungal therapy is needed.

Common cold

The common cold is a contagious viral infection that can cause cough, congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. Most adults catch two to three colds per year, and kids can get more than eight colds each year.

Rest and drink plenty of fluids. Colds are contagious and can easily spread to other people, so if possible, avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands. Colds typically resolve within 7 to 10 days.

Acute thyroiditis

Acute thyroiditis is a rare inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by an infection, radiation, medication, or trauma.

You should seek immediate medical care at an ER. This is possibly a medical emergency and requires immediate diagnosis (thyroid function tests, blood tests, and imaging) and treatment (antibiotics, supportive care, stopping causative drugs).

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: sore throat, fever, being severely ill, hoarse voice, pain in the front of the neck

Symptoms that always occur with acute thyroiditis: pain in the front of the neck

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Acid reflux disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is also called GERD, acid reflux disease, and heartburn. It is caused by a weakening in the muscle at the end of esophagus. This allows stomach acid to flow backward, or reflux, up into the esophagus.

Risks factors for GERD include obesity, smoking, diabetes, hiatal hernia, and pregnancy.

Symptoms include a painful burning sensation in the chest and throat, and sometimes difficulty swallowing.

If heartburn occurs more than twice a week, a doctor should be consulted. If symptoms are accompanied by jaw or arm pain, and/or shortness of breath, these may be signs of a heart attack and constitute a medical emergency.

Repeated exposure to stomach acid damages the lining of the esophagus, causing bleeding, pain, and scar tissue.

Diagnosis is made by patient history and sometimes by x-ray, upper endoscopy, or other tests to measure refluxed acid.

Treatment begins with over-the-counter antacids and lifestyle changes. Medication may be used to reduce stomach acid, and surgery may be done to strengthen the sphincter muscle at the lower end of the esophagus.

Questions your doctor may ask about pain over the Adam's apple

  • Do you notice your heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly (also called palpitations)?
  • Have you ever been told you have a heart valve problem?
  • Have there been changes in your voice?
  • Have you ever had a heart attack?

Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.

Pain over the Adam's apple symptom checker statistics

People who have experienced pain over the adam's apple have also experienced:

  • 18% Sore Throat
  • 9% Pain With Swallowing
  • 7% Hoarse Voice

People who have experienced pain over the adam's apple were most often matched with:

  • 53% Inflammation Of The Epiglottis
  • 46% Acute Thyroiditis

People who have experienced pain over the adam's apple had symptoms persist for:

  • 37% Less than a week
  • 26% Less than a day
  • 18% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.

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