July 16, 2023

Throat Pain When Yawning

Throat pain when yawning can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. Most of these are mild, but in rare cases they can be due to life-threatening diseases like epiglottitis or throat cancer.

Neck Pain: Yawning can cause neck pain in some people, especially if they do it often or for long periods of time. The cervical spine has seven vertebrae that are separated by cushioned discs. When these discs degenerate, they can no longer provide the support the neck needs to move, including yawning. This causes pain and stiffness that will often improve once you stop yawning. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient for treatment, but some people might need physical therapy.

Tonsil Pain: Yawning can cause pain in your throat and tonsils. This can be a sign of infection and should be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. If the infection is severe, you may need to have your tonsils removed.

Ear Pain: Yawning can also cause ear pain. This is because the eustachian (say "you-STAY-shee-un") tubes that connect your middle ears to the back of your throat open slightly when you swallow or yawn. This is done to keep the pressure in your middle ears equal to the air pressure outside your ears. Sometimes fluid or negative pressure can get stuck in these tubes, which causes ear pain.

Other Throat Infections: In addition to viral and bacterial infections, you can experience throat inflammation from overgrowth of yeast (Candida). This is called oral thrush. Symptoms of this condition include white or yellow patches in your mouth, a cottony feeling in your mouth, and loss of taste.

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