Burning at the Base of the Throat
The cold and flu, tonsillitis, and GERD can all cause a burning sensation at the base of your throat.

Burning of the throat is a common symptom caused by various reasons. It is seen in people of all ages and is a minor and harmless symptom that goes away. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated may help relieve the symptoms.

The causes and treatment of a burning throat include the following conditions.

Cold and flu

Viral infections, such as cold and flu, are the most common cause of throat burn. The virus attacks the respiratory system and causes a burning sensation in the throat.

Sore throat symptoms include:

Cold and flu are both contagious respiratory diseases that are caused by different viruses.

  • The influenza virus causes flu, and the common cold is caused by other viruses, such as rhinoviruses, para influenza viruses, and seasonal viruses.
  • The symptoms vary. The flu symptoms are worse than the symptoms of a cold. The symptoms of the common cold include a runny or stuffy nose and are not associated with serious complications.
  • The flu can be associated with serious complications, such as pneumonia and bacterial infections.

Treatment of cold and flu

These symptoms may be relieved in a week by maintaining proper hydration.

Bacterial infections may require hospitalization in a few cases where flu is associated with serious complications, such as pneumonia.


The tonsils are an oval-shaped mass of tissue located at the back of the throat. These tonsils aid in the immune system's defense against bacteria and viruses. When these get infected, they become inflamed and swollen, a condition called tonsillitis.

Symptoms of tonsillitis include:

Treatment of tonsillitis

  • Usually recovers in one to two weeks
  • Over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and antibiotics to reduce infection
  • Throat lozenges
  • Adequate rest and drinking plenty of water may help you recover from the symptoms

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

When the muscles connecting the esophagus and stomach become weak, the acids produced in the stomach can move into the throat, causing a burning sensation.

The symptoms of GERD include:

Treatment of GERD

  • Lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding acidic foods from the diet
  • Medication and surgery could be required in a few people

Infectious mononucleosis

Also called “mono.” It is a contagious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It commonly affects teenagers and young adults, especially college-going students. This infection is transmitted by saliva.

The symptoms of infectious mononucleosis include:

Treatment of infectious mononucleosis

It usually takes two to four weeks to recover from the infection. Very few people have symptoms for months. Resting and taking over-the-counter pain medications and drinking plenty of fluids may relieve the symptoms.

Avoid sharing foods, drinks, or toothbrushes.


Which illness is known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection? See Answer

Strep throat

Group A streptococci cause strep throat, a throat, and tonsil infection that presents with several painful symptoms. It commonly affects children but can affect all age groups.

The symptoms of strep throat include:

If strep throat is left untreated, it may cause kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever may lead to painful and inflamed joints.

Treatment of strep throat

Antibiotics and plenty of rest, as well as drinking plenty of fluids, help with recovery.


Inflammation of the esophagus. Esophagitis is caused by the stomach acids that back up to the esophagus, infection, medications, and allergies.

Symptoms of esophagitis include:

Treatment of esophagitis

Treatments for esophagitis aim to alleviate symptoms, manage complications and address the disorder's underlying causes. Treatment strategies differ primarily depending on the cause and may include medication, dietary, lifestyle modification, and, in serious conditions, surgery.

Burning mouth syndrome

A chronic, recurrent, severe burning sensation in the mouth without any cause. The symptoms appear suddenly and develop gradually over a period. The symptoms include a burning sensation in the lips, cheeks, and roof of the mouth (palate). The burning sensation could be severe. Other symptoms may include dryness of the mouth.

Treatment of burning mouth syndrome

Drinking cool drinks, sucking ice cubes, and chewing gum may ease the discomfort. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and foods that are spicy or acidic is advised.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/3/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Burning throat: 7 causes and how to treat them. https://opa.org.uk/burning-throat-7-causes-and-how-to-treat-them/.

Strep throat. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/strep-throat/symptoms-causes/syc-20350338

Understanding Sore Throat -- Symptoms. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/understanding-sore-throat-symptoms