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Throat Disorders

Summary

Your throat is a tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx. The technical name for throat is pharynx.

Throat problems are common. You’ve probably had a sore throat. The cause is usually a viral infection, but other causes include allergies, infection with strep bacteria or the upward movement of stomach acids into the esophagus, called GERD.

Other problems that affect the throat include

  • Tonsillitis – an infection in the tonsils
  • Pharyngitis – inflammation of the pharynx
  • Cancers
  • Croup – inflammation, usually in small children, which causes a barking cough

Most throat problems are minor and go away on their own. Treatments, when needed, depend on the problem.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

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