Read below about pain with swallowing, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain with swallowing from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Pain With Swallowing

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced pain with swallowing. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Viral Throat Infection

    Viral pharyngitis is an inflammation of the pharynx, the part of the throat between the nasal cavity and mouth, which causes throat pain.

    Symptoms generally resolve within 3-4 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, cough, congestion, fever, hoarse voice
    Symptoms that always occur with viral throat infection:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with viral throat infection:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Acid Reflux Disease (Gerd)

    Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. The most common symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation.

    With proper treatment, symptoms may be relieved within days & at most several weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, sore throat, pain below the ribs, cough with dry or watery sputum, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Bronchitis

    Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus, as well as shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. It is typically caused by a virus.

    Symptoms resolve within 1-2 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    cough, productive cough, sore throat, wheezing, coughing up green or yellow phlegm
    Symptoms that always occur with bronchitis:
    cough
    Symptoms that never occur with bronchitis:
    nausea or vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Canker Sore in the Throat

    Canker sores are small, grayish-white sores in the mouth, often on the inside of the cheeks, lips, and on the tongue, but sometimes, they can happen in the back of the throat. No one really knows why canker sores happen, but it seems to be inherited and susceptible to vitamin deficiencies and allergies.

    1 week

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, pain with swallowing, sore/ulcer in the throat, severe pain when swallowing
    Symptoms that always occur with canker sore in the throat:
    sore throat, pain with swallowing
    Symptoms that never occur with canker sore in the throat:
    fever, cough
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Common Cold

    The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

    The common cold resolves within 7 to 10 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that never occur with common cold:
    being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache, sinus pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  6. 6.Viral Infection of the Larynx (Voice Box)

    Acute laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx) due to infection.The vocal cords are located inside the larynx. Normally, the vocal cords open and close freely, but in laryngitis, they become inflamed. This swelling causes distortion of the sounds produced by air passing over them, making one's resulting voice sound hoarse.

    Less than 3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, runny nose, fever, dry cough, hoarse voice
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.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.

    Symptoms usually improve wtihin 3 days after the start of treatment and eventually resolve completely.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, pain below the ribs, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, moderate fever, pain with swallowing
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make the throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat. And, if you do not show enough signs of a true strep throat, testing may be needed before treatment is begun.

    1-3 days with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, sore throat, fever, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    general weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Acute Viral Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus spaces behind the nose and cheeks. These spaces produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If the nose is swollen or if the mucus does not drain, this can block the sinuses and cause pain or infection.

    Symptoms should subside within 7-10 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, cough, sinusitis symptoms, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Strep Throat Needing Antibiotics

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat.

    2-5 days with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, fatigue, nausea, sore throat, muscle aches
    Symptoms that always occur with strep throat needing antibiotics:
    fever, pain with swallowing, sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with strep throat needing antibiotics:
    general weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain With Swallowing

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you have a cough?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have there been changes in your voice?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain with swallowing symptom checker to find out more.

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Pain With Swallowing Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain with swallowing have also experienced:

    • 12% Sore Throat
    • 7% Trouble Swallowing
    • 3% Headache
  • People who have experienced pain with swallowing had symptoms persist for:

    • 54% Less Than a Week
    • 19% Less Than a Day
    • 11% One to Two Weeks
  • People who have experienced pain with swallowing were most often matched with:

    • 60% Acid Reflux Disease (Gerd)
    • 20% Viral Throat Infection
    • 20% Bronchitis
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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