Why Does my Throat Hurt Constantly?
We all know the feeling: a slight tickle turns into difficulty swallowing, a hoarse voice and a scratchy sensation in the back of your throat. Sore throats are usually one of the first symptoms of impending illness. A sore throat can stick around until the illness has passed, at which point relief is found. Occasionally though, a sore throat doesn’t come with the expected relief. If your throat is hurting more often than not, you’re probably wondering: why does my throat hurt constantly?
A chronic sore throat can be traced to many underlying causes, some of which are more of a nuisance than a harm, while others will warrant immediate medical treatment. Some of the causes of a constant sore throat include:
Airborne allergens: Air isn’t the only thing entering your lungs when you breathe in. The air around us is filled with microscopic irritants, many of which can cause a sore throat if you are allergic. Breathing in allergens such as dust, pollen, pet hair or dander, fragrances or mold spores causes the body to mount an allergic reaction. One of the body’s first lines of defense lies in the mucus membranes of the nose. The presence of an allergen activates a response from these membranes, increasing mucus production to flush the irritants out. In turn, this can lead to post-nasal drip down the throat, causing a constant sore throat.
Air quality: In addition to allergens, we all breathe in environmental pollution from the air. Carbon monoxide, ozone, dirt and smoke are all contaminants that can be found in the air around us. It’s no wonder that exposure from breathing them in may cause a chronic sore throat, especially at high exposure rates.
Blockages: Congestion interferes with the ability of your body’s airway to function properly. If there is a blockage in the nose, our natural response is to use our mouth for breathing instead. While the nose is designed to warm and humidify the air we breathe, the mouth isn’t, so mouth breathing can strain the throat area.
Infections: Viral infections, like the cold, flu or tonsillitis, and bacterial infections, like strep, can all cause pain in the throat. Although many infections are resolved within a week or two of onset, some can last months, as can the symptoms that come with them.
Acid reflux: When the lower esophagus becomes weakened, stomach acid can escape up the sensitive esophagus into the throat. The acidity can cause pain, a burning sensation and a sore throat. Heartburn is a temporary condition for many people, but for others it becomes a chronic condition, leading to a chronic sore throat.
These are just a few causes of a chronic sore throat. If you’ve been experiencing a sore throat that just won’t go away, even with at-home treatments and remedies, it’s time to visit a doctor for more intensive interventions. The doctors at Biltmore ENT are here to help you feel better. Call (602) 956-1250 to schedule an appointment today.