Throat Conditions: Symptoms and Types

Dr. CT Nguyen, Certified ENT Surgeon Houston

Dr. CT Nguyen has 15+ years experience as a leading ENT expert and has helped hundreds of people get relief from their nasal & sinus conditions.


Are you experiencing signs of common throat conditions?

  • scratchy, burning, swelling or soreness?
  • painful swallowing?
  • swelling of the throat, lymph nodes or tonsils?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions click below to fill out our assessment form.

or call us at: (832) 237-7777

"Dr. Nguyen and his staff are very nice. The sinus procedure was tough at the beginning as I could not take steroids to aid the recovery process, but now I'm feeling great!"

Your throat plays a key role in maintaining vital bodily functions like breathing, drinking and eating. The throat is made up of two pipes known as the esophagus and the trachea. The esophagus is what sends food from your mouth into your stomach, while the trachea allows you to inhale oxygen to your lungs and exchange it for carbon dioxide.

Your throat also contains other important parts like the epiglottis, which keeps food and liquids out of the trachea, the larynx, which is your voice box, and the lymph nodes, which are part of your immune system.

Signs You May Have a Throat Problem

Occasionally, something may go wrong with one of these areas in your throat. If this happens, there are a few signs that signal you may have developed a throat issue:

  • Scratchy feeling or soreness in the throat
  • Burning feeling in the throat
  • Swelling in the throat
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty or hoarseness when speaking
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the throat

Common Throat Conditions

There are a variety of conditions that can affect the throat, ranging from a minor inconvenience to major health issues. Here are some common ones:

  • Pharyngitis: The common term for this condition is having a “sore” throat. This common health complaint occurs when the pharynx is inflamed, which is typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
  • Strep throat: This is caused by the group A streptococcus bacteria. Unlike a simple sore throat, strep is very contagious, and its symptoms can include a fever, swollen tonsils, swollen lymph nodes and a headache.
  • Tonsilitis: This can be caused either by a viral or bacterial infection. Because this condition causes the tonsils to be inflamed, it can cause symptoms such as a sore throat, pain when swallowing, a high fever, coughing and earache.
  • Acid reflux: With acid reflux, also known as heartburn, a flow of either food or stomach acid will reenter the larynx or pharynx. This causes a burning feeling in the chest.
  • Goiters: Unlike some of the other conditions, goiters usually tend to be painless, but they can cause hoarseness. This issue occurs when the thyroid is enlarged and swollen.
  • Swollen lymph nodes: When your lymph nodes are swollen, you might feel tenderness or pain. Usually, the swelling is due to an infection from either bacteria or a virus.

Treatments for Throat Conditions

Depending on the nature of the issue, many throat conditions can easily be treated at home with salt water rinses, allergy medicines, cough drops, pain medication, or antiviral or antibacterial medication.

Other times, surgeries may be required for lasting relief. Common surgical remedies include a tracheotomy, which is a surgical opening to access the breathing tube, a tonsillectomy to remove the tonsils or an adenoidectomy, which removes the adenoids.

If you have any questions about a throat condition you may be experiencing, Dr. Nguyen, an ENT specialist in Houston, Texas, can provide you with an assessment at Houston Sinus & Allergy. Dr. Nguyen is trained in the latest advancements in throat diseases and disorders and can help you discover the right remedy for your specific needs. Contact Houston Sinus & Allergy today to learn more about finding relief from your throat condition.