Understanding Odynophagia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

What is odynophagia?

“Odynophagia” is the scientific period for painful swallowing. Pain can be felt in your mouth, throat, or esophagus. You may revel in painful swallowing whilst drinking or consuming food. Sometimes swallowing problems, known as dysphagia, can accompany the ache, but odynophagia is mostly a circumstance of its own.

There’s no single reason or remedy degree for odynophagia. That’s because painful swallowing is associated with several underlying fitness situations. Read on to examine some of the most unusual scientific problems that cause painful swallowing and what to do about them.

Odynophagia vs. Dysphagia

Sometimes odynophagia is confused with dysphagia, that’s some other circumstance that has to do with swallowing. Dysphagia refers to difficulty swallowing. With this situation, swallowing difficulties occur on a regular foundation. It’s also most commonplace in older adults.

Like odynophagia, dysphagia is related to plenty of causes. The specific remedy relies upon the underlying health trouble. Dysphagia may be so severe that you could no longer be able to swallow at all.

Dysphagia and odynophagia may additionally occur at the same time. They can also have equal underlying causes. However, you would possibly have swallowing difficulties with no pain. If that is the case, you in all likelihood have dysphagia handiest. Alternatively, odynophagia can motive pain without swallowing troubles.


Odynophagia may from time to time be related to a minor situation, along with the not unusual bloodless. In such instances, painful swallowing will be remedied on its very own with time.

Chronic painful swallowing can be related to any other underlying cause. Several clinical situations can cause odynophagia. Among the possibilities are:

  • Cancer: Sometimes chronic painful swallowing is an early signal of esophageal most cancers. This results from tumors that expand to your esophagus. Esophageal cancer can also develop from lengthy-term smoking, alcohol abuse, or continual heartburn. It can also be hereditary.
  • Candida contamination: This is a kind of fungal (yeast) infection that can occur in your mouth. It can spread and cause esophageal symptoms like painful swallowing.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): This develops from the lower sphincter inside the esophagus not closing properly. As a end result, stomach acid leaks again into the esophagus. You would possibly have GERD if you enjoy painful swallowing in conjunction with different signs and symptoms, such as heartburn or chest pain.
  • HIV: Esophagus problems arise frequently in humans with HIV. According to the AIDS Education and Treatment Center Program, Candida infection is the most commonplace motive. Sometimes antiretroviral retailers used to treat HIV bring about acid reflux. This can then result in different symptoms like odynophagia.
  • Ulcers: These are sores that can occur in your mouth, throat, or esophagus, as well as your stomach. Ulcers can also be due to untreated GERD. The lengthy-time period use of anti-inflammatory drugs, along with ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), can boost your threat of ulcers.

Odynophagia can also be caused by scientific treatments, which include radiation remedies for cancer. Some prescription medications can also result in painful swallowing.


Odynophagia is typically diagnosed with an endoscopy. This involves a small lighted digicam referred to as an endoscope. It’s positioned in your throat so your medical doctor can get a higher look at your esophagus. They’ll additionally have you ever try to swallow at some point of the check.

Your doctor may additionally order different tests related to any suspected underlying reasons for painful swallowing. However, it’s vital to word that your blood exams can also come again as ordinary.


The precise remedy plan for odynophagia depends on the underlying purpose.


Depending on the underlying medical circumstance, painful swallowing can be resolved with medicinal drugs. For instance, prescription medications used to treat GERD can assist prevent belly acid from creeping returned up into the pharynx and esophagus. In turn, you can notice upgrades in aches while you swallow.

Medications may also be used in treating different underlying reasons, such as HIV and infections. Candida infections have to be treated with antifungal dealers.


In instances of esophageal tumors or carcinoma, your health practitioner may also advocate surgical removal of those cells. This alternative can also be used for GERD if medicines don’t help your condition.


If your health practitioner doesn’t stumble on any underlying scientific trouble, painful swallowing would possibly be remedied on its very own with time. This is commonplace after having a chilly or extreme allergies. Talk to your physician if you have habitual discomfort with swallowing.


When stuck and treated early, many underlying fitness situations can enhance, together with painful swallowing. The secret is to name your doctor in case you enjoy prolonged symptoms.

Left untreated, odynophagia and its underlying purpose can result in further headaches. Weight loss may additionally occur with odynophagia. You might also eat much less because of the discomfort related to swallowing. This can result in other fitness worries, along with anemia, dehydration, and malnutrition. If you locate this is the case, see your medical doctor right away.

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Source: healthline