What are throat ulcers?
Throat ulcers are a condition in which sores or lesions form in the back of the throat. If the affected tissues swell, they can potentially block the airway, creating a life-threatening situation.
Throat ulcers are usually caused by untreated respiratory infections or by disorders of the tonsils or adenoids. In addition, they can sometimes be caused by other respiratory disorders such as tonsillitis and pharyngitis. They can also be caused by HIV infection, Epstein-Barr virus infection, herpes simplex virus, or oral thrush (yeast infection caused by Candida albicans).
Throat ulcers may be accompanied by other symptoms of an infection of the throat including pain, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, difficulty swallowing, cough, and nasal congestion.
Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as blocked airway, choking or severe difficulty breathing, which may be combined with pale or blue lips and fast heart rate (tachycardia), high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), chest pain, sudden swelling of the tongue or throat structures, change in level of consciousness or alertness, or a change in mental status or sudden behavior change.
Seek prompt medical care at the first appearance of throat ulcers, even without other symptoms.
What other symptoms might occur with throat ulcers?
Throat ulcers may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the respiratory system may also involve other body systems.
Throat and mouth symptoms that may occur along with throat ulcersThroat ulcers may accompany other symptoms affecting the respiratory system including:
What causes throat ulcers?
Throat ulcers are usually caused by untreated respiratory infections or by disorders of the tonsils or adenoids.
Infectious causes of throat ulcersThroat ulcers may be caused by infections including:
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
- Herpes simplex virus
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Read more about throat ulcerscauses