Odinophagia is a condition in which a person experiences pain when swallowing. Unlike the general swallowing disorder or dysphagia, throat pain when swallowing due to odinophagia can indicate that there is damage to the gastrointestinal tract. This condition is caused by many things and can cause various complications.
The pain caused by odinophagia can originate from the mouth, salivary gland, or esophagus which is part of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Odinophagia does not only appear when someone tries to swallow food, but also when you drink.
Odinophagia can disappear by itself, but can also last for a long time if the cause is a chronic health disorder. The intensity of the pain caused also varies, depending on what causes it.
The difference between odinophagia and dysphagia
Someone with dysphagia will have difficulty swallowing food. For example, after swallowing, food rises again up or food seems stuck in the throat. Meanwhile, when someone experiences odinophagia they can still swallow food and drink as usual, only accompanied by pain.
Both can occur simultaneously so a person can experience difficulty in swallowing accompanied by pain. Odinophagia and dysphagia are different conditions.
Dysphagia can occur everyday in the long term. That is why the effects of dysphagia can be more serious. Dysphagia can cause coughing and choking when swallowing, for a long time can cause irritation and trigger airway infections that lead to pneumonia.
When odinophagia is caused by physical health problems, dysphagia can be triggered by mental health disorders. Dysphagia can be caused by anxiety disorders or fear of swallowing (phagophobia).
What are the symptoms of odinophagia?
Odinophagia is a painful, painful, or painful sensation in the mouth, throat, or esophagus while trying to swallow food or drink. Both liquid and solid objects can cause pain that is not much different.
Feeling uncomfortable due to odinophagia can make you not eat or drink. So, it is very likely that someone who has an odinophagia will be dehydrated or underweight.
Causes of sore throat when swallowing
Odinophagia is caused by many health problems, including:
- Airway infections such as influenza and sore throat
- Fungal infections of the mouth, throat and esophagus
- Wounds in the mouth, throat or esophagus
- Impact of smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and illegal drugs
- Drink a drink that is too hot or too cold
- Inflammation around the mouth and throat: inflammation of the tonsils, laryngitis, and inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), aka a continuous ulcer, which triggers inflammation due to stomach acid entering the esophagus and throat.
- Side effects of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation
- Weakening of the immune system as in people with HIV /AIDS (PLWHA)
- Side effects of retroviral drugs from HIV treatment that cause GERD
- Esophageal (esophageal) cancer
Overcoming sore throat when swallowing
Odinophagia is caused by many things, so there are several ways to overcome it. Here are some things you can do:
- Overcome pain-causing disorders . Most cases of odinophagia are caused by infection and GERD. Well, antibiotics and antacids can overcome the condition.
- Take inflammatory drugs to relieve odinophagia due to inflammation such as tonsillitis.
- Avoid irritants that can attack the digestive tract such as cigarette smoke and alcohol.
- Eat foods that are soft texture such as porridge, soup, and others when the throat hurts when swallowing.
- Chew food longer , until it's easy to swallow.
- Don't drink or eat, the temperature is too extreme , for example, too hot or too cold.
- Use temporary pain relief like throat spray.
In more serious cases, such as odynophagia caused by a chronic disease disorder, you need other treatments such as using a food hose so the body can still get nutritional intake. Surgery may also be needed when the cause of a sore throat when swallowing is cancer or GERD.
When to get treatment?
Without obvious causes such as chronic illness, the throat hurts when swallowing that appears suddenly and lasts long requires a doctor's examination to find out the cause. Consult immediately and do treatment when the pain makes it difficult for you to eat and breathe.
You should also immediately consult a doctor if you have questions or are concerned about certain symptoms.
If left unchecked, odynophagia and the health problems that cause it can trigger complications. The condition of dehydration and the impact of lack of food intake can lead to malnutrition to anemia.
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