Chief Medical Director at SANESolution | Website

Dr. Matthew Olesiak continues to make a significant impact in the medical field through his work at SANESolution and his dedication to evidence-based practices.

How to Stop a Burning Throat

A burning throat can be a real pain; it disrupts sleep, makes it difficult to enjoy food, and even hinders your ability to communicate. But what if we told you that finding relief is possible? The key is understanding the cause and learning how to stop a burning throat by applying the appropriate treatment.

In this throat health blog post, we’ll explore the various causes of a burning throat, immediate relief options, long-term solutions, medical treatments, and preventative measures. So let’s dive in and help you conquer that fiery sensation lurking in the back of your throat. If you want to explore deeper into your throat health possibilities, check out Treating a Sore Throat After Throwing Up: Causes, Remedies, and Solutions and How to Get Rid of Swollen Tonsils: Home Remedies & Treatment guides!

Short Summary

  • Identify the cause of a burning throat, such as acid reflux and infections.
  • Use cold foods/beverages, gargling with salt water & throat lozenges for immediate relief.
  • Take preventative measures like Throat Cleaner to increase your throat health and to reduce occurrences like avoiding irritants & practicing good hygiene.

Identifying the Cause of a Burning Throat

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Finding the root cause of a burning throat is crucial for receiving the proper treatment and relief. Generally, burning throat sensations can be attributed to three primary factors: acid reflux, infections, and allergies. Each of these factors presents unique symptoms, which can help you and your healthcare provider identify the underlying cause and tailor the appropriate treatment plan for your throat pain.

Let’s delve deeper into these causes and their respective symptoms. Acid reflux is a common cause of burning throat sensations. Symptoms of acid reflux include a sensation of a burning throat, a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, and a worsening of these symptoms after consuming a large meal or lying down. 

Acid Reflux and GERD plus a burning sensation

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the throat and chest. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more severe and long-term form of acid reflux. Common signs and symptoms of acid reflux and GERD include a burning sensation in the throat and chest, a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, and a worsening of symptoms after a large meal or when lying down at night. Major risk factors for GERD include advanced age, excessive body weight, tobacco use, and a lack of physical activity. Addressing these risk factors can help treat the burning throat sensation caused by GERD.

It’s worth noting that GERD is quite prevalent, with an estimated 18.1% to 27.8% of North Americans suffering from this condition. Untreated GERD symptoms increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer, making it all the more important to identify and address this condition.


Infections like strep throat, tonsillitis, and mononucleosis can cause a burning sensation in the throat. Strep throat, for example, is characterized by a sore throat without a cough and intense discomfort that makes it difficult to swallow. Tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess are also associated with a burning throat and can be treated by gargling with salt water.

Mononucleosis, also known as the “kissing disease,” is a contagious viral throat infection that can present with a burning sensation as one of its common symptoms, sometimes mistaken for burning mouth syndrome. Transmission occurs through the sharing of food, drinks, or toothbrushes, and it’s crucial to avoid kissing to prevent the spread of this infection.

When infections are the cause of a burning throat, it’s essential to seek medical attention to receive the proper treatment.


Allergies can lead to postnasal drip and throat irritation, resulting in a burning sensation. When the immune system overreacts to an outside agent, such as pollen or pet dander, histamine is released, causing inflammation and irritation in the throat. Other symptoms may include sneezing, itching, and watery eyes.

Identifying and managing allergies can help alleviate the burning sensation in the throat and improve overall well-being.

Immediate Relief for a Burning Throat

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When a burning throat strikes, it’s natural to seek immediate relief. Fortunately, there are several methods to help soothe the discomfort, including cold foods and beverages, gargling with salt water, and throat lozenges.

Let’s explore these options further and discover how they can treat the burning sensation, providing instant relief from that nagging discomfort.

Cold Foods and Beverages

Cold foods and beverages, like ice cream, cold soups, and iced tea, can help numb the area and reduce inflammation, providing instant relief for a burning throat. Consuming these items slowly can coat the throat, further alleviating the discomfort.

However, it’s essential to avoid consuming them too quickly or if they are excessively cold, as this can cause additional irritation.

Gargling with Salt Water

Gargling with salt water is a time-tested remedy to soothe a burning throat and reduce inflammation. To prepare a salt water gargle, combine one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water, swish the mixture around in your mouth for a few minutes, and then spit it out.

Just be mindful not to use water that is too hot or an excessive amount of salt to avoid further aggravating the irritation.

Throat Lozenges

Throat lozenges are small, medicated tablets that provide temporary relief from a burning throat when sucked on. They often contain ingredients like menthol, eucalyptus, and anesthetic, which can offer additional relief from soreness. It’s essential to follow the instructions on the package and avoid excessive use, as this can lead to throat irritation.

Also, remember to refrain from giving throat lozenges to children under four years of age.

Long-Term Solutions for a Burning Throat

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While immediate relief options can provide temporary comfort, it’s important to explore long-term solutions for a burning throat to address the underlying cause and prevent future occurrences, especially if the burning throat persists. Long-term solutions include diet modifications, proper hydration, and managing allergies.

Let’s examine each of these solutions in more detail.

Diet Modifications

Adjusting your diet to avoid trigger foods is a long-term solution that can help prevent acid reflux and GERD-related burning throat symptoms, including difficulty swallowing. Avoiding acidic foods and spicy foods can alleviate the burning sensation, and incorporating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats can further aid in preventing this discomfort.

Making dietary changes can be difficult, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort. 

Proper Hydration

Staying properly hydrated is essential for overall health and can help alleviate a burning throat by keeping the throat moist and reducing irritation. Consuming warm liquids like herbal teas and honey can also help soothe the throat and decrease inflammation.

Managing Allergies

Managing allergies through medication and avoiding allergens can help prevent postnasal drip and throat irritation. Regularly taking antihistamines, using a nasal spray, and employing a neti pot are effective methods for controlling allergies and preventing the burning sensation in the throat.

Medical Treatments for a Burning Throat

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When home remedies and lifestyle changes are not enough, medical treatments may be necessary to address the underlying cause of a burning throat. Depending on the root cause, medical treatments may include medications and surgical options.

Let’s take a closer look at these medical treatments and how they can help alleviate a burning throat.


Medications like antacids, antibiotics, and antihistamines can help treat the underlying cause of a burning throat. For example, antibiotics may be prescribed for strep throat, antivirals for mono or esophagitis, and decongestants to reduce coughing and alleviate throat burning.

Over-the-counter antacids can also help manage acid reflux and GERD-related symptoms.

Surgical Options

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Surgical options may be necessary for severe cases of GERD or tonsillitis that do not respond to other treatments. For GERD, laparoscopic fundoplication and Nissen fundoplication are surgical procedures that involve wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter to reinforce it and prevent acid reflux.

In the case of tonsillitis, a tonsillectomy may be performed, which involves the removal of tonsils. These surgical procedures can help alleviate the burning sensation in the throat and improve overall health, reducing the risk of throat cancer.

Home Remedies for a Burning Throat

In addition to medical treatments, various home remedies can help soothe a burning throat. Some popular options include honey, herbal teas, and essential oils.

Let’s explore the healing properties of these home remedies and how they can provide relief from a burning throat.


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Honey has been used for centuries for its natural healing properties, including its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. To use honey for a burning throat, simply mix two tablespoons of honey with warm water or tea, preferably using dark honey for its stronger antibacterial properties.

This soothing concoction can help alleviate the discomfort associated with a burning throat.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas like chamomile, slippery elm, ginger, and licorice root can provide relief for a burning throat due to their anti-inflammatory and lubricating effects. To prepare an herbal tea, simply infuse the herbs in hot water for a few minutes.

Drinking these soothing teas can help alleviate the discomfort and inflammation associated with a burning throat.

Essential Oils for a sore throat

Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon have been used for centuries to help alleviate a burning throat due to their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. To use essential oils for a burning throat, try adding a few drops to a diffuser or a warm bath.

It’s important to exercise caution and moderation when using essential oils, as improper use can cause irritation or even allergic reactions.

Preventative Measures for a Burning Throat

Taking preventative measures can help reduce the occurrence of a burning throat and improve overall health. Some effective strategies include avoiding irritants, practicing good hygiene, and scheduling regular checkups with your healthcare provider.

Let’s explore these preventative measures in more detail.

Avoiding Irritants and burning mouth syndrome

Avoiding irritants like smoke, alcohol, and spicy foods can help prevent a burning throat. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by incorporating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity can further reduce the risk of experiencing a burning throat.

Steering clear of these irritants can significantly improve the overall health of your throat and reduce the occurrence of that fiery sensation.

Practicing Good Hygiene

Good hygiene is essential in preventing infections that cause a burning throat. Simple practices like washing your hands regularly, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and reducing exposure to potential irritants can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, ultimately reducing the risk of throat infections and inflammation.

Regular Checkups

Scheduling regular checkups with your healthcare provider can help identify and address any underlying issues that may contribute to a burning throat. Early diagnosis and intervention can prevent complications and improve overall health.

It’s recommended to schedule checkups at least annually and to consult your healthcare provider promptly if you experience any symptoms of a burning throat.


In conclusion, understanding the cause of a burning throat and finding the appropriate treatment is crucial for relief and prevention. By addressing the underlying cause, implementing immediate relief options, exploring long-term solutions, and embracing preventative measures, you can conquer that fiery sensation in your throat and improve your overall health. Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying proactive in your healthcare can go a long way in preventing and treating a burning throat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes burning in the throat?

Burning in the throat can be caused by many conditions, such as infections, allergies, acid reflux, and GERD.

Treatments for this symptom range from home remedies to medications, depending on the underlying cause.

What immediate relief options are available for a burning throat?

Immediate relief for a burning throat is available through cold foods and drinks, salt water gargles, and throat lozenges.

What long-term solutions can help alleviate a burning throat?

Managing allergies, staying hydrated, and making dietary modifications can help alleviate a burning throat in the long term.

What medical treatments are available for a burning throat?

Medical treatments for a burning throat may include medications and/or surgical options, depending on the underlying cause.

What home remedies can help soothe a burning throat?

Soothe a burning throat with home remedies such as honey, herbal teas, and essential oils.

Chief Medical Director at SANESolution | Website

Dr. Matthew Olesiak continues to make a significant impact in the medical field through his work at SANESolution and his dedication to evidence-based practices.