Throat contusion
In superficial injuries, a bruised throat may go away in a few weeks, whereas more severe injuries may take much longer.

The time taken for a bruised throat to heal depends on various factors, such as the severity or extent of the injury and the medical management of the condition.

  • In superficial injuries, the bruise may go away in a few weeks provided appropriate care is taken, including following medical advice.
  • In injuries that involve the deeper tissues, such as one or more vocal cords or the muscles, cartilages, and bony structures, in and around the larynx and trachea, healing may take longer.

Appropriate medical and surgical care along with supportive therapies (such as speech therapy) may be required in severe injuries. Surgical repair or restoration may be done in more than one stage. Severe throat injuries may take several months to completely heal.

What causes a bruised throat?

A bruise, also called a contusion, is a type of injury that occurs due to blunt trauma and involves injury to the underlying blood vessels with intact overlying skin or mucus membrane. This results in a discolored, swollen, and often painful area due to the collection of blood underneath the intact skin or mucus membrane.

A bruised throat or throat contusion generally occurs due to injuries sustained in automobile accidents, falls on the neck, physical assault, and contact sports, such as boxing. In children, accidental strangulation while playing or falls (such as from a bicycle or stairs) are generally responsible for causing a bruised throat.

Throat bruises may even occur in the absence of external injury or trauma. Excessive vomiting, severe coughing, bleeding disorders, and throat infections may cause a bruised throat.

What are the signs of a bruised throat?

The signs and symptoms of a bruised throat may depend on the severity of the injury.

Many times the symptoms do not appear immediately. This is because the blood may take some time to seep out of the damaged blood vessel(s) and collect in the tissues. In severe injuries, however, there could be immediate discomfort.

The signs of a bruised throat generally include:

When to contact the doctor

Throat or neck injuries should be examined by a doctor. The neck has several important structures including nerves and blood vessels that can be damaged due to an injury.

Often children may develop serious complications in response to a seemingly nonserious injury. When the cartilages around the trachea or larynx get injured, air may escape in the neck, and chest tissues, causing severe respiratory distress and even death if left untreated. Thus, neck injuries, especially in children, must be examined by a doctor no matter how trivial they may appear.

A person must contact the doctor immediately if they notice any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increasing swelling around the neck
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Fainting
  • Severe pain in the neck or throat
  • Change in voice
  • Change in breathing pattern
  • Bleeding from the mouth or nose

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Medically Reviewed on 11/17/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Laryngeal Trauma. https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/laryngeal-trauma

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. Blunt and penetrating neck trauma. https://www.rch.org.au/trauma-service/manual/Blunt_and_penetrating_neck_trauma/