Pain in throat that is aggravated by swallowing is a very common complaint. In most cases, it is a self-limiting problem that resolves within a week. Physical injury, either top-down or bottom-up i.e. after swallowing or vomiting, could be an important culprit. In fact, there are known syndromes of tearing the esophagus and injuring the mucosa (cellular lining of internal organs like the digestive tract and the respiratory system) after excessive vomiting and almost everyone had experienced throat pain after swallowing an inappropriately large or poorly chewed mouthful. Once there is a small tear in the mucosa, it might take longer to heal as the throat is a heavy-traffic vital crossroad of food and beverages. Healing of these lesions takes longer in smokers let alone the other ominous solitary lesions that are more commonly seen in cigarette smokers.
It is also important to understand the connections that ends into the throat. Beside the commonly known entrance of trachea, esophagus, oral and nasal cavity, throat is also connected to the ear through the Eustachian tube. That is why one feels to have clogged ear or experience earache in a common cold. This tube is not close to the Adam's apple and it is not common to experience ear problems with an isolated pain near the Adam's apple, yet, the nerves that come from these areas have a lot of overlap and the actual problem might not be limited to the Adam's apple. That is all to say that such a pain might be a heralding symptom of an upper respiratory tract infection which is in development. This infection could be viral or bacterial in origin.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a very common disorder especially with today's fast-food voluminous dish. GERD is a big masquerader of many throat disorders and should be considered in anyone complaining of any throat problem. It is aggravated by specific foods and our eating habits. It can cause throat's muscles to undergo spasm while muscular spasm by itself can be a cause of throat pain. Spasm could be triggered by an external stimulus which could be eating for the sake of this topic.
Developmentally speaking, head and neck is formed by coming-together of smaller parts. Sometimes, an area is left unfilled between these parts which could not be seen from outside. They can remain unnoticed throughout the life but occasionally they become inflamed or infected and produce symptoms. They can form fistulas or cysts that produce pain on swallow. Thyroid disease are common yet they rarely cause isolated one-sided pain in the throat. In addition, they are usually presented within a group of symptoms.
Unfortunately, head and throat cancers are not diagnosed early because they have a lot of potential soft tissue space to grow before they start producing symptoms. That is to say that although an isolated throat pain which hurts to swallow is not likely to be cancerous, you should definitely see your doctor if such a pain does not go away within a week or two.
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