Q. I have had a weird burning feeling in my throat for the past two weeks. Kindly help me.

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 25, 2021

Hello doctor,

Over the last two weeks, I have been dealing with a weird fleeting burning sensation in my throat. Three weeks ago, I was working in construction and was exposed to a lot of fiberglass and dust that made me cough hard at times. I began to start wearing a mask, but following that, I had a lump in my throat for a little while. One week later, I had the feeling of a burning sensation in my throat. On a scale of one to ten, I would say one or two. It went away, along with a lump feeling in the throat. Three days later, I went and had my teeth cleaned in the morning. Six hours later, the throat discomfort was the worse it has been (burning and lump still two to ten on the pain scale). I tried drinking a lot of water and Alka Seltzer, thinking it was acid reflux. My height is 6 foot 2, and my weight is198 lbs, and I eat fairly healthy. And am very active. I figured this was maybe caused by drinking red bull. However, the next day I looked at my tongue, and it had a greenish look to it in the very back. From Friday to Monday, I ate only celery, watermelon, and rice and took Rolaids and Pepcid. They did not really blunt it like I read they should. I figured I had a severe case of LPR. But last night, I decided to take two Advil. After taking Advil, all my symptoms had gone away. I even enjoyed a ground beef taco with no repercussions. Today I feel fine as I kept taking Advil. I still have a twinge of burning feeling but no lump or throat soreness. Is it possible my throat was irritated from insulation? I do live in a very hot city, 102 to 107 F, all summer with dry air. We have bad air quality and a lot of dust and allergies, which I use inhaler and Montekulast hear around. I just started back up the Montekulast. I am not sure if this is still a potential case of LPR or more with where I live and possible irritation. Also, I am a 25-year-old male. I do not smoke, and I drink very little. Kindly help me.



Welcome to

I read your full description of the query. The most important clue or point in the above history is getting relief after taking the tablet Advil (Ibuprofen). Exposure to fiberglass can cause soreness of the nose and throat, but little has been known about the health effects caused by these fiberglasses. You mention that it made cough hard at times might also aggravate the soreness in the throat.

I would not think it is laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) as it causes hoarseness, excessive throat clearing, and persistent cough, and other symptoms too, which you obviously do not have.

Also, the ambiance of the place where you are residing is full of bad quality air and a lot of dust which can contribute to allergic pharyngitis. I would suggest taking antiallergic medication like Montelukast (which you already have) and do lukewarm water (with a tinge of salt) gargle at least twice a day. Wear a mask as you step out and at the workplace. This will relieve you from throat irritation.

In case of pain in swallowing, you can take Advil or a plain Ibuprofen tablet.

I hope this was helpful.

Hello doctor,

Thank you.

Yes, so far, Advil has been the most helpful. To be clear, I just started taking Montekulast today. I have been off it for over two to three months. There is no reason why I quit. I was lazy. I have had a little hoarseness and cough, but it has not seemed like an acid reflux one. And the hoarseness was only on one particular day. As mentioned, the Pepcid and Rolaids seemed not to do nearly as much as Advil has. The Advil has greatly worked the best. What about the discoloration of the tongue? Can that be from the ambient environment or the possibility of viral infection? My mother has complained of the same symptoms in the last couple of weeks. Are we pretty sure we can cross out LPR? As I said, I ate a beef taco with hot sauce and have had no issues and even tried carbonated beverage just to see with a slight irritation but nothing sustained after drinking it. Also, as mentioned, Advil has done great, which seems like it would not be for LPR. Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome back to

LPR is also called silent reflux as most of the time, symptoms are not obvious, as mentioned above. The hot sauce and carbonated beverages could have triggered the acid reflux, but you did not felt any irritation in the throat, which clinically gives a clue as LPR is less likely.

However, the local examination is done through endoscopy or pH (potential of hydrogen) monitoring helps in the diagnosis of LPR. Also, a history of exposure to the dust and relief from Advil points to allergic pharyngitis more likely. Since you have had burning feelings till now, this compels me to think of LPR too. Better, I would advise you to visit ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor and get it checked.

About discoloration, is it still present at the back of the tongue? It could be of infectious origin, and I am not sure. I need to look at it. Your mother had discoloration on the back of the tongue along with other symptoms, and she took medicine for allergic pharyngitis or what?

I would suggest you is to take antiallergic medicine and do a lukewarm water gargle (and Advil if you find it necessary to take) for about one week and see whether these interventions soothe the pharyngeal mucosa or symptom going away or not.

If there is no improvement at all or any new acid reflux problem arises, the best would be to visit an ENT specialist to diagnose LPR and get treatment accordingly.

I hope this was helpful.

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