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    Minor, but lingering, sore throat
    beneb77 posted:
    Hi, I've had a lingering sore throat for the last two months. It's very minor and I have no other symptoms, but I'm starting to get worried that it's not going away. The best I can describe the location of the pain is behind the uvula and slightly up, like where the nasal passages meet the throat. The pain comes and goes and I haven't figured out any patterns or triggers for it. When pain is present, it also feels like my soft palate gets swollen. It's very weird and I've never had a sore throat like it before. Do you have any idea what this could be?

    I went to an ENT several weeks ago and he basically told me I was imagining it all and that nothing was wrong, so I'm probably going to try a different one soon.
    Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
    Definitelya try and find a different ENT...

    There can be soooo many causes that I could not begin to list them. Ideas are not the same as a definitive diagnosis, as you know, so rather than have me blindly guess...and it would be a guess since I do not anything about you, your medical history, habits, or have any way of examining will need to see another ENT, hopefully one that will not discount your symptoms simply because he was not able to find a cause.

    Not all things in medicine can be diagnosed, but I think you deserve a better and more thorough examination...and explanation for your symptoms.

    Do you have allergies? Sinus pressure? Post nasal drainage? Live in a dry cliimate? Snore with your mouth open? Have reflux? Any dental problems? Do you smoke or have you ever smoked? These are just a few of the MANY considerations that your doctor needs to review before narrowing down the possibilities.

    Let me know how things turn out....
    beneb77 responded:
    No allergies that I know of, sinuses are fine, no drainage...I don't snore, smoke, have reflux, or any dental problems. I had my wisdom teeth out in January, but there were no complications with that. I do live in a dry climate. Dryness might be the cause...I've used saline nasal sprays and a neti pot which have helped, but it always comes back. I've always been pretty prone to sore throats, but in the past they were all similar (always with a cold) and went away fairly quickly. This one feels different, has no other symptoms, and isn't going away...

    And yeah, I wasn't too happy with that ENT...I was sitting there telling him I had a sore throat, and he didn't believe me just because he didn't see anything when he looked in there with a flashlight. I will post back here after I see another one.
    Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
    After nearly 40 years of seeing patients, I have yet to SEE pain....

    True, I can see causes of pain, but pain itself is in the body of the beholder. It really doesn't matter if the doctor doesn't see anything. What matters is that YOU feel pain. It is the obligation of the medical provider to try and find a source...a reason for the pain.

    Until you can see another ENT, try dealing with the inflammation. Continue to use the saline drops. Get a cool mist humidifer and use it all night in your bedroom. Drink lots of fluids. And, consider taking ibuprofen on a regular basis...three times per day....for the inflammation. Try it a few weeks and see what happens.
    beneb77 replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
    Hi again...dug out this bookmark so I wouldn't have to type everything again. I saw a second ENT who stuck a camera up my nose and down my throat...told me I had swollen adenoids...had those removed in February, but after the recovery the same pain came back. Fast forward to now...I saw a third ENT who checked out my throat with the camera, said he didn't see anything, and blew me off like the first guy I saw.

    Whatever the muscle contraction is that blocks off your nasal passage from your throat when you swallow...every time I swallow, and the sides of the nasal passage touch each other, it hurts. I use a neti pot a lot, and that relieves it for a few hours before it comes right back.

    Maybe it is just chronic dryness, but I'm getting desperate...any other ideas/suggestions would be great...thanks.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to beneb77's response:
    Suggestions? That is a difficult request, since I don't know the details of your case. Since you think it may be dryness, then try and reverse this...
    • Use saline nasal sprays regularly or saline get in your nasal openings.
    • Use a cool mist humidifer all night long in your bedroom.
    • Drink lots and lots of water.
    Have you been tested for allergies?
    MarthaCH replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Thank you for the dialogue. I have had the exact same symptoms for about a month now. In my case it could be that I've recently realized I did snore with my mouth open. The air conditioning in the summer, while it feels good, it does dry out the air. Thanks, again.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to MarthaCH's response:
    Then, humidify that air you breathe...especially at night. I am particularly fond of ultrasonic, cool mist humidifiers. Vicks makes one for about $45. That's what I use....
    max5212 responded:
    Hi beneb77, I know this post is pretty old but did you ever find a solution/cause? I'm in a similar boat. I've had a sore throat for about 2 months. Its very minor/dull but still annoying. The ENT thought it might be related to acid reflux so he put me on meds to fight that (no change). Then he put me on amoxicilian just to rule out tonsilitis but that didn't help either. I have a follow up at the end of May. I wonder if it could be sinuses but i've never really had any sinus issues before and the only symptom I have is a sore throat.

    Now, i'm wondering if it has anything to do with my wisdom teeth (which don't hurt but i know i need to get out soon).

    any advice you can give me would be appreciated it!

    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to max5212's response:
    Is your sore throat worse in the AM? If so, you could be a nighttime mouth-breather. This can be rectified by using a good, ultrasonic, cool mist humidifer (about $40-50), drinking fluids, and perhaps taking teaspoonful of honey at bedtime.

    Allergies can play a role, even if you have no prior history of allergies, and yes, so can chronic sinusitis.

    Wisdom teeth? Not likely a cause, unless they are infected.
    max5212 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I usually do wake up with a sore throat and it tends to go away after i shower but then comes back later in the afternoon. Is it possible to just all of a sudden become a nighttime mouth breather? I've never had problems with this before.

    I will get a humidifier though just in case. I also forgot to mention that my girlfriend and I just got a cat in january and i started feeling this sore throat in march..I have never lived with a cat before and I wonder if I could be allergic to the cat...can allergies show up just as a sore throat though? I would think some sneezing or congestion would be involved too.

    Thanks for your help!
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to max5212's response:
    It could be the cat as well. You can ask your doctor for a RAST test for cat dander (a blood test to check for allergy). If you are allergic to the cat, ask your doctor to fix you up with a new girlfriend.....girls would rather give up a guy than their cat.
    locum13 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I have also suffered, for eight weeks, from sore throat, so i am only at the beginning of my journey.Hopefully you are all cured!!!
    Really like your last comment Rod. It made me laugh.
    dea21 replied to locum13's response:
    I've had the same issue, sore throat off and on now for about a month or two. Seems like if I do a lot of talking I also get hoarse, and my throat feels very scratchy and is red, but I have no other symptoms. When it first started I thought I was getting a head cold because I also felt feverish and chilled though I had no fever. I started gargling with salt water when it bothered me, but once I did that it felt like it made my throat swell and I had a hard time swallowing afterward so I quit doing that. Last night my throat was very scratchy and sore feeling and I was hoarse, this morning it is gone again, but I can feel that coolish feeling in my throat like it is coming back. Really starting to worry, have no clue what this is, no insurance and can't afford to go see my Dr.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to dea21's response:
    Although I am sympathetic to your lack of insurance and your financial constraints, it does not change some obvious barriers. The only way that you can be properly diagnosed and treated for this month-long throat issue is to see a medical provider. It would not be possible for me, or any medical provider, to blindly do this over the Internet. There are so many reasons to account for your symptoms, it will take an indepth medical history, a hands-on examination, and perhaps, a few diagnostic tests.

    Be resourceful, my friend. If your car broke down, you would find a way to get it fixed. Get a temp the money...and pay for a visit. Find a free clinic in your area. Borrow the cash from a friend or relative. It has been a month....find a way.

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