Cold Sensation in Throat Means At Least 4 Medical Issues

If you have a cold sensation in throat, then don’t panic. You are not alone, because many have the same question. There can be several reasons why you have a cold feeling in your throat. That is what we’ll be talking about today and more, so let’s dive in!

Cold Feeling at The Back Of The Throat

Many people experience a sensation of cold in the mouth, throat, sometimes even the upper chest. They generally describe it as the feeling that is felt after brushing with mint toothpaste. This cold minty feeling is constant and can be annoying and irritating.

Causes of Cold sensation in throat

So, what actually causes this weird minty sensation at the back of the throat? A tingling sensation like this can be purely psychological. However, it can be due to physiological reasons as well.

Some of the most common reasons why you can feel cold sensation in throat at are:

woman having a cold sensation in throat
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is the most common culprit when it comes to cold sensation in throat. In the developed world, it is assumed that around 10-20% of people suffer from this disease.

This disease occurs when the stomach contents of the stomach travel up to the esophagus. Normally, the food particles don’t travel up from the stomach. This is due to the presence of a ‘lower esophageal sphincter. This acts as a gate preventing food from traveling up in the reverse direction.

The inner layer of the esophagus can’t tolerate the acidic contents of the stomach. In GERD, the acidic contents reach the esophagus. This causes damage to the cells of the esophagus. This is the primary mechanism of GERD.

How does GERD cause a cold feeling in the throat?

Now you may be wondering, how does this relate to the cold sensation at the back of your throat? You see, the acid may come up to even the back of the throat. This acid causes damage to the inner layer of the esophagus.

When you breathe in air, the air touches the damaged inner layer of the back of the throat. Normally, the layer was supposed to be intact. Since it gets damaged by the acid, the underlying nerves have less of a covering.

The nerves get overstimulated due to the air. And that is the reason why you feel the menthol sensation in throat while breathing in.

Symptoms of GERD

So, how will you know if you have GERD? Cold sensation in throat is indirect, but there are other direct symptoms. Below are some of those symptoms you may have along with an old sensation in the throat:

  • The intense pain of heartburn in the chest and a burning sensation in the throat.
  • Acid regurgitation or acidic taste in your mouth
  • Pain in the chest or back of the throat while swallowing
  • Nauseating feeling and vomitting
  • A sensation of a lump at the back of the throat
  • Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing

Thus, if you have one or more of these accompanying symptoms along with the cold sensation, it is likely that you’re suffering from GERD.

What to do if you have GERD?

If you think you have GERD, then it’s best to see the doctor. They can evaluate your symptoms and prescribe you proper medicines to control the conditions.

GERD is generally treated with proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole, esomeprazole, and pantoprazole. However, you can use older histamine receptor blockers like ranitidine, cimetidine, etc. as well.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPR)

This disease is another cause of your cold sensation in throat. Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR) is also known as silent reflux disease. It affects around 10% of the US population.

The mechanism of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease is quite similar to GERD. Except, in this case, the stomach contents come up to the larynx and pharynx (your throat). So, the main damaged area is around the throat rather than the chest.

Symptoms of LPR

So, what symptoms will you have if you suffer from LPR? Some of them are given below:

  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  •  A feeling of mucus in the throat
  • Cold sensation in throat and nose

These may sound similar to GERD. However, there is a key difference.

There are no heartburn or chest pain symptoms in LPR. The reason is that the acidic contents don’t stay in the esophagus for too long. So, the esophageal tissue isn’t damaged.

The acid contents mainly affect the larynx and the pharynx. Due to the absence of the pain, this disease remains largely undiagnosed.

So, if you’re not having chest pain but suffer from the symptoms above along with a cold sensation in throat, you probably have LPR.

Treatment

Treatment of this disease is similar to GERD. You should see a doctor. They can prescribe proton pump inhibitors or histamine receptor blockers.

Respiratory Tract Infection

We’ve all been affected by the common cold at some point in our lives. Common cold and other respiratory tract infections, too, can cause the cold sensation of the throat.

Bacteria, viruses, etc., microbes can cause respiratory tract infection (RTI). A thick layer of mucus builds up in the throat due to infection. This can give a funny feeling at the back of the throat. This is known as postnasal drip.

Symptoms of RTI

Now the ones mentioned above aren’t the only symptoms of this disease. RTIs also have other accompanying symptoms like:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Breathlessness
  • Fever

Treatment

If you have these symptoms, it’s best to visit your primary care physician. They can give you medications to treat the symptoms. If necessary, they may also provide you antibiotics.

Cold sensation in throat and COVID?

During this pandemic, it’s natural to be a bit scared of any changes in your throat. You may think if this cold feeling is related to COVID.

But let me assure you, if you don’t have any other symptoms, it’s unlikely that COVID is the cause. The most common symptoms of COVID are fever, cough, fatigue. Diarrhea, nasal congestion, boby pain, malaise, etc. too have been reported.

As you can see, cold sensation in throat isn’t among them. So, if you don’t have any of the other symptoms, you can rest assured. However, COVID infection doesn’t show any symptoms in many of the cases. So, you still shoud be careful during the pandemic.

Anxiety

If you have a cold sensation in throat, anxiety can be the reason as well. Different psychological imbalances can cause an abnormal feeling of coldness in your throat.

If you have anxiety, then you’ll likely be more sensitive and aware than normal. Hence, while breathing, when the air hits the back of your throat, you may perceive it as ‘too cold.’ Thus, this can cause cold sensation in throat when inhaling.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s all in your head. Anxiety can alter some of the body’s normal physiology. The nerves in your throat may be excited more than usual due to anxiety. This causes a cold sensation.

Anxiety and psychological stress can cause acid secretion. This is another way by which cold sensation occurs. The stomach produces more acid in these stressful conditions causing GERD or LERD.

How to Get Rid of The Cold Sensation in Throat

If you have an abnormal sensation in your throat with pain or other sympttoms, you should get it checked out. If you’re suffering from a disease, the doctors can prescribe you proper medication.

Below are some things you can do on your own to relieve these symptoms:

Changing Your Diet

Putting changes in your diet can help to prevent this cold sensation. Since it’s mostly caused by GERD, many home remedies for for example:

  • Try using fewer spices in your food.
  • Try avoiding carbonated beverages as much as possible.
  • Don’t lie down immediately after a meal. Rather give yourself an hour or two before sleeping.
  • Eat more frequently but in fewer amounts. Decreasing the time interval between foods is crucial to stop acid hypersecretion. This can act as good home remedies for burning sensation in throat as well.
  • Cut down on your daily caffeine consumption.
  • Eat healthier meals, like vegetables, lean protein, whole grain, etc.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid alcohol as much as you can.
diet can reduce cold sensation in throat
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Thus, changing your diet like this can reduce the cold sensation in your throat.

Lifestyle Changes

Some lifestyle changes may be enough to cure you of this cold sensation in throat. Some of them are:

  • Stop smoking
  • Use more pillows if you have heartburn.
  • Exercise every day. Exercise can not only help with your immunity; it can also be helpful in case of anxiety.
  •  Improve your sleeping habits. Ensure seven to nine hours of sleep every night and don’t stay up late.
  • Try wearing loose-fitting clothing more often.

Implementing these changes can help you get rid of this cold feeling.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

As we’ve already seen, a cold sensation in throat has psychological components as well. So, it’s necessary to tend to your mental health if you want to be rid of it.

You have to reduce stress in your life as much as possible. Stress is related to many abnormalities and can even be the cause of real physiological symptoms.

You should also try to avoid having negative thoughts and emotions. These can hamper the normal physiology of the body.

Even if you feel absolutely fine mentally, it’s always a good idea to see a psychologist now and then.

Specific Treatment And Supplements

A cold feeling in throat may also accompany other symptoms. Your doctor can provide you with adequate symptomatic treatment, depending on what you have.

Since acid reflux is a primary cause of this cold feeling, you may try remedies which help with that. Probiotic therapy helps in this case.

Probiotics are natural bacteria that restore the normal gut balance. Thus, they can boost digestion and thus reduce acid reflux. So, you can give probiotic supplements a go.

The steps mentioned above are supplementary to actual treatment. You should get yourself checked out as soon as possible. However, the changes we’ve talked about can help in reducing this cold feeling.

FAQs

Why do I feel a weird sensation in my throat?

A weird cold sensation in throat can be due to GERD, LERD, anxiety, respiratory tract infection, etc. The most likely cause among these is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It affects roughly 10-20% of the people in the developed countries.

Can anxiety cause throat problems?

Yes, anxiety can cause a cold sensation, even a burning feeling in the throat. Anxiety stimulates the release of a bunch of chemicals in the digestive tract responsible for this.

What is cold reflux?

Cold reflux is the other name of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Here, the acid in your stomach backs up to the throat, causing the disease.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, a cold sensation in throat can be caused by several different factors. However, it is nothing to be scared of. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, you can be rid of it for good!

Now, if none of these fix your throat or if your symptoms are serious, it’s best to go to a physician. Or for any queries, comment down below.

Katelyn Yarnell

My name is Katelyn, writer extraordinaire...in progress! Becoming a great writer is always a work in progress if you ask me. By day I am a hard-working nursing student. By night you'll catch me typing away, writing content for awesome websites. One of which is my own - Polymathchick.Nursing and writing are two of my passions and careers that I am building up. You know what they say. If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life!

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