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What is a throat ulcer?

What is a throat ulcer?

A throat ulcer is an ulcer that develops in the throat, esophagus, or voice box and causes difficulty eating, drinking, chewing, swallowing, or talking. Throat ulcers can foster because of hidden contaminations or illnesses that cause aggravation and bothering in the throat. The treatment for a throat ulcer includes distinguishing and treating the hidden reason.

This article discusses the causes and symptoms of throat ulcers, as well as how to diagnose, treat, and prevent them.

What Causes throat ulcer?

Throat ulcers can be caused by the following factors:

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used to treat cancer infections caused by yeast, bacteria, or viruses, as well as oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer in the area of your throat directly behind your mouth.
  • Herpangina is a viral illness that causes sores to form in the mouth and back of the throat in children.
  • Behçet syndrome is a condition that causes inflammation in the skin, the mouth lining, and other areas of the body.

Esophageal ulcers can be caused by:

  • GERD is characterized by a regular backflow of acid from your stomach into your esophagus and an infection of your esophagus caused by viruses such as herpes simplex (HSV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), or cytomegalovirus (CMV).
  • irritants such as alcohol and certain medications.
  • Excessive vomiting during chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer.
  • Vocal cord ulcers (also known as granulomas) can be cause by the following factors.
  • Excessive talking or singing causes irritation, gastric reflux causes repeated upper respiratory infections, and an endotracheal tube is place in your throat to help you breathe during surgery.

The Symptoms of throat ulcer

You could have these symptoms in addition to throat ulcers. If this is the case, consult your doctor.

How to Treatment throat ulcers?

The treatment your doctor prescribes is determined by the cause of the throat ulcers. Your treatment could include:

  • antibiotics or antifungals prescribed by your doctor to treat a bacterial or yeast infection
  • pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve ulcer discomfort
  • medicated rinses to aid in pain and healing

You may need to take the following medications to treat an esophageal ulcer:

  • antibiotics or antiviral medicines to treat an infection antacids, H2 receptor blockers, or proton pump inhibitors (over-the-counter or prescription) to neutralize stomach acid or reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces

Treatment for vocal cord ulcers includes:

  • putting your voice down
  • undergoing vocal therapy for GERD
  • undergoing surgery if other treatments fail

You can also try the following home remedies to relieve the pain of throat sores:

  • Avoid foods that are spicy, hot, or acidic. These foods can aggravate the sores even further.
  • Aspirin (Bufferin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), and alendronic acid are all medications that can irritate your throat (Fosamax).
  • To relieve sores, drink cold fluids or suck on something cold, such as ice chips or a popsicle.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, throughout the day.
  • Consult your doctor about whether a numbing rinse or medicine should be used to relieve throat pain.
  • Gargle with warm salt water or salt, water, and baking soda solution.
  • Do not use tobacco or alcohol. These substances can also irritate the skin.

How to diagnose throat ulcers

A doctor will begin diagnosing a throat ulcer by performing a physical examination and assessing the patient’s symptoms. A throat swab may then be taken to test for bacterial or fungal cultures.

Barium swallows X-ray: This procedure entails drinking a liquid barium solution that coats the lining of the throat, esophagus, and stomach. In response to X-ray imaging, barium fluoresces, allowing a doctor to detect abnormalities such as ulcers, hernias, or mass lesions.

Panendoscopy: This procedure employs a phonendoscope, which is a series of link telescopes used to examine the mouth, throat, esophagus, and trachea for abnormalities.

Esophageal endoscopy: An endoscope device is insert into the mouth and down into the esophagus during this procedure. The endoscope is a tube with a light and, in most cases, a camera that allows a doctor to inspect the esophagus for any abnormalities. In addition, the doctor can insert instruments into the tube to collect biopsy samples.

Laryngoscopy: A laryngoscope device is insert into the larynx and hypopharynx, which is the bottom part of the throat, for this procedure. A fiber-optic camera or small mirrors on the laryngoscope allow the doctor to see inside the throat.

Laryngeal videostroboscopy: A laryngoscope and a strobe light are use to view the vocal folds as they vibrate during this procedure. This allows doctors to examine the vocal folds in the voice box for abnormalities.

How can I prevent throat ulcers?

People can take precautions to avoid throat ulcers. Among these are:

Exercise and eat healthy: Maintain a healthy weight to avoid GERD. Extra weight can put pressure on your stomach, causing acid to rise into your esophagus. Instead of three large meals per day, eat several smaller ones. Foods that cause acid reflux, such as spicy, acidic, fatty, and fried foods, should be avoid. Raise the head of your bed while sleeping to keep stomach acid at bay.

Taking medications properly: Medication should be taken exactly as prescribed by a doctor. They should avoid taking pills without water, right before lying down or going to bed.

Reduce your risk for infection: Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before eating and after using the restroom. Avoid anyone who appears to be ill. Also, try to keep your vaccinations up to date.

When should you see your doctor?

Consult your doctor if your throat ulcers do not resolve within a few days, or if you have other symptoms such as:

  • Swallowing pain,
  • fever,
  • chills,
  •  heartburn
  • decreased urination

Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following more serious symptoms:

  • Having difficulty breathing or swallowing,
  • coughing, or vomiting up blood
  • chest discomfort
  • High fever — more than 104 F (40 C)


Ulcers that form in the throat, esophagus, or voice box are known as throat ulcers. They can cause painful or unpleasant symptoms such as a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and changes in taste or smell.

Throat ulcers can be cause by a variety of factors. The majority are cause by infectious pathogens like bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Other possible causes include GERD, allergies, and medication use.

If the underlying cause is treat, the prognosis for throat ulcers is generally favorable. If a person’s symptoms are severe or persistent and do not respond to over-the-counter medications, they should see a doctor.


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