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Doctor insights on: I Am Having Difficulty Swallowing How Do I Know If It Just A Viral Infection Or Something Serious

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I am having difficulty swallowing. How do I know if it just a viral infection or something serious?

I am having difficulty swallowing. How do I know if it just a viral infection or something serious?

Duration of symptoms: It depends on 1) duration of symptoms 2) other symptoms like pain, weight loss 3) age 4) history of tobacco or alcohol abuse.

If duration has been short (less than 2 weeks)with no weight loss and other symptoms of a viral infection (fever, chills) — then it is likely nothing to be concerned about.

If long duration of symptoms (>2 weeks) with weight loss — it should be evaluated. ...Read more

Dr. John Comisi
279 doctors shared insights

Difficulty Swallowing (Definition)

Difficulty swallowing is complex. One could have decreased saliva which will make the food thick and viscous and harder to swallow. Food or liquids may be difficult to swallow and feel like they are getting "stuck" in the throat. One may also "choke" on liquids or foods during the swallow, before , or after the swallow depending on the problem ...Read more


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Every time I swallow water or any other liguid my throat feels stingy. I recently had a viral infection in my throat. Could it be coming back?

Every time I swallow water or any other liguid my throat feels stingy. I recently had a viral infection in my throat. Could it be coming back?

It is minor: You should not worry about such feelings around your throat as they will come and go. If you ignore it you will not feel them. I believe that you are well. You can take a Vitamin-C pill (500mg) if you have any concerns of viral throat infection. ...Read more

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Suffering a viral cold infection, but one tonsil is inflamed. It hurts to swallow salvia, open mouth and one of my ears feel blocked. Is this normal?

Suffering a viral cold infection, but one tonsil is inflamed. It hurts to swallow salvia, open mouth and one of my ears feel blocked. Is this normal?

Peritonsillar absces: If the inflammation and swelling seems to be one sided and it hurts to open your mouth and swallow, you might very well have a peri-tonsillar abscess. Can't say for sure without looking in your mouth, but I'd strongly recommend getting this checked out now. Very treatable, but can lead to very serious problems if not treated. Go now to your nearest Emergency Department and let them check. ...Read more

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Is it okay to crush cipro (ciprofloxacin) since I have difficulty swallowing? Will it still be effective to treat my bladder infection?

Is it okay to crush cipro (ciprofloxacin) since I have difficulty swallowing? Will it still be effective to treat my bladder infection?

It's okay, but…: Be sure not to crush the Cipro (ciprofloxacin) XR tablets. If it is plain Cipro (ciprofloxacin), it will not hurt anything. I would not take it with grapefruit juice or milk. In the future, if you let your doctor or pharmacist know that you have trouble swallowing pills, they could give you the suspension instead, which would probably be easier for you to take. Good luck. ...Read more

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17, difficulty swallowing, doctor said infection and gave me penicillin vk, 2 day now and it doesn't seem any better; I'm so scared I'm dying help me?

17, difficulty swallowing, doctor said infection and gave me penicillin vk, 2 day now and it doesn't seem any better; I'm so scared I'm dying help me?

Strep throat: If your doctor is treating you for strep throat it may not influence the severity and duration of your symptoms. The purpose of the penvk is to prevent the development of post-streptococcal acute rheumatic fever. Give this time, you will get better. If you are having any trouble breathing, then go back to the doctor asap. Stay on course, be well and good luck. ...Read more

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Are there infections that can cause me difficulty swallowing?

Are there infections that can cause me difficulty swallowing?

Yes: Any infection of the throat can lead to swallowing difficulty. Tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess, nasopharyngeal infections, laryngitis all cause trouble swallowing. ...Read more

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Swollen and red uvula that touches my tongue. Some difficulty swallowing. Infection?

Swollen and red uvula that touches my tongue. Some difficulty swallowing. Infection?

Sounds like: An inflammation that would probably benefit by being looked at by your physician or ent. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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17, difficulty swallowing, doctor says infection and gave me 6 days penicillin 5 days in I don't feel better? I'm so scared I have cancer, I have OCD 2

17, difficulty swallowing, doctor says infection and gave me 6 days penicillin 5 days in I don't feel better? I'm so scared I have cancer, I have OCD 2

Work w/ therapist: Of course cancer is scary. Painful symptoms that don't respond to rx start you worrying. It makes sense. And, w/ ocd it goes into an intense loop. If you have a therapist — work together to extinguish this trigger. If not, find one. Also, aim to learn how to trust. In some cases you can verify, in some it takes faith. There is help — direct your ocd toward your goal. ...Read more

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I cut my hand with a kitchen knife between thumb and index finger on tuesday. Today I have a sore throat and difficulty swallowing. Could this be tetanus or another type of infection?

I cut my hand with a kitchen knife between thumb and index finger on tuesday. Today I have a sore throat and difficulty swallowing.  Could this be tetanus or another type of infection?

Tetanus: You should check your tetanus booster shot record. Did you get one in the past 10 years. Hand injury, sore throat and difficulty swallowing are both common conditions and in most cases are not related. If you can open your mouth wide, you don't have tetanus. ...Read more

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Recent difficulty swallowing. Englarged neck gland for over a year. No infections. Ent was no help. Hoarseness, no laringytis. What could it be?

Recent difficulty swallowing. Englarged neck gland for over a year. No infections. Ent was no help. Hoarseness, no laringytis. What could it be?

Look into swallowing: If ENT had no insight into the problem, I'd talk with your primary doc more about it. Difficulty swallowing has many causes. It can be something blocking the food... Or the esophagus isn't moving food correctly... Or the nerves that control the esophagus aren't functioning properly... Or not enough saliva is being produced. You get the picture. Your pcp might suggest seeing a gus. Good luck! ...Read more

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My husband has a viral infection and he has severe neck pain. So why?

My husband has a viral infection and he has severe neck pain. So why?

May be serious : Severe neck pain together with other symptoms such as malaise, fever, chills may be a sign for viral meningitis. See a doctor. ...Read more

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I hav lymphocytes count as 42%... Does it signify any serious illness.... Std, viral infection?

I hav lymphocytes count as 42%... Does it signify any serious illness.... Std, viral infection?

Hard to tell: The information provided is not enough to determine anything. A complete test information might be helpful but better off — your history of what's going on combined with the blood test. ...Read more

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Do children with Chronic benign neutrophenia also have problem fighting viral infections or have problem only fighting bacterial infections?

Do children with Chronic benign neutrophenia also have problem fighting viral infections or have problem only fighting bacterial infections?

Bacterial only: Unless there is an additional immune disorder affecting lymphocytes, one would expect a person with chronic benign neutropenia to have more problems with recurrent bacterial infections and be able to respond normally to viral infections. ...Read more

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Can a viral infection can lead to myocardial infarction and/or any other serious consequence?

Can a viral infection can lead to myocardial infarction and/or any other serious consequence?

Viral Myocarditis: Viral myocarditis is rare but when it occurs may be fatal in a matter of hours and may require ventricular assist devices as a rescue lifesaving therapy sometimes as a bridge to a heart transplant. Still, high mortality risk. ...Read more

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16 year old male, severe chronic stress had 8 viral infections this year. Passed quickly. Passed on its own. Is it immune disorder or stress?

16 year old male, severe chronic stress had 8 viral infections this year. Passed quickly. Passed on its own. Is it immune disorder or stress?

Depends: If u always get sick that frequently than u can't really blame it on stress. But if this is a new thing it could just be stress. Stress is known to lower ur immune system. The fact that it cleared quickly makes me think that u immune system is functioning ok. Try vitamin d supps and see if that helps boost ur mood and immune system. Make sure u eat and sleep good that will help with the stress ...Read more

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Do viral infections cause a heart problem called pericarditis?

Do viral infections cause a heart problem called pericarditis?

Yes: There are some other causes as well.
Bacterial
tuberculosis
renal failure
heart and lung diseases

Not all viral attacks are followed by pericarditis, but some are. ...Read more

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My cousin is 22 yrs told and diagnised Swelling in the Spine, after CT scan doctor says it is transverse myelitis, due to viral infection? And how do we treat it? What options do we have? How serious is it. Please help

My cousin is 22 yrs told and diagnised Swelling in the Spine, after CT scan doctor says it is transverse myelitis, due to viral infection? And how do we treat it? What options do we have? How serious is it. Please help

Transverse myelitis: I am not sure if her doc diagnosed transverse myelitis based on CT or MRI, but in any case, it is basically an inflammation of spinal cord. Treatment is high dose steroids and plasmapheresis. Causes includes prior viral infection, multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitic optica, autoimmune disorder etc. Pt will need lumbar tap for evaluation of course. ...Read more

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Please answer! What kind of virus causes sore throat, difficulty swallowing and swollen painful ear?

Please answer! What kind of virus causes sore throat, difficulty swallowing and swollen painful ear?

Viruses: There are more than two hundred different viruses that are known to cause the common cold alone. The three most common types are rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and respiratory syncytial virus. How does that help you? If you are not feeling well consider seeing your physician for an evaluation and to make sure you do not have a strep and\or ear infection. ...Read more

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Can I tell if I have streptococcus or just a viral infection just by symptoms?

Can I tell if I have streptococcus or just a viral infection just by symptoms?

Difficult to: With viral infections, there can be a tendency for a higher fevers. Having said that, its is virtually impossible by symptoms alone in the absence of a good physical exam to distinguish one from the other. ...Read more

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How can I know if I have a viral infection or something worse?

Best to know: Some infections have no symptoms. If you are concerned about a specific exposure, see your doc and get tested. For many infections there are specific symptoms: fever, sweats, chills, weight loss, cough, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary discomfort/back pain, discharge, skin lesions w/pus. For these you need to see a doc for treatment. For hiv, hepatitis, hpv specific tests need to be done. ...Read more

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After medication my fever, cod, throat pain is reduced but now I feel very tired. Is it just viral infection or something I should be concerned of?

After medication my fever, cod, throat pain is reduced but now I feel very tired. Is it just viral infection or something I should be concerned of?

Fatigue: It could be the after effects of a virus but if your nose is congested your fatigue could be caused by snoring, poor sleep or sleep apnea. See our website for more information. www.nwnasalsinus.com check with your doctor of it persists — there are lots of other possibilities and treatmentss. ...Read more

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I want to improve on my immune system to prevent viral infection s?

I want to improve on my immune system to prevent viral infection s?

To improve your: Immune system, please eat healthy, exercise and take vitamins. A healthy life style with balance food and some Vit C will boost your immune system.

Good luck. ...Read more

Dr. Steven Griggs
9 doctors shared insights

Infection (Definition)

Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more


Virus (Definition)

A virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants ...Read more