A sore throat may include irritation, scratchiness, or pain. Such symptoms often become worse when you swallow. Viral infections, including the flu and common cold, are the most common culprit, while other causes like injuries also can cause such pain. Treatment for this problem is often based on the cause.
Along with the common cold, other viral infections can cause a sore throat. Such infections might include laryngitis, herpangina, and mononucleosis. Influenza and mumps can also result in a sore throat. An infection that occurs in the voice box, typically referred to as laryngitis, can also cause a sore throat.
Bacterial infections can stem from a variety of sources. If the tonsils, uvula, or epiglottis is inflamed, one's throat may feel sore. Inflammation in the adenoids may also result in a sore throat. Sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, can also result in a sore throat. A sore throat can also result from strep throat, which is caused by a bacterial infection and does not typically include a cough or congestion.
Irritants or Injuries
If a sore throat persists for longer than one week, the cause may be related to an injury or irritant. Common examples of throat irritations may include air pollution, smoking, or humidity. Nasal drainage can also result in a throat irritation. If you breathe through your mouth when you have a stuffy nose or allergies, you may also experience a sore throat. Individuals who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease may also experience problems with stomach acid making its way into the throat, which can result in a sore throat. Also sometimes known as GERD, this condition typically includes heartburn, but it is important to note that in some instances, the only symptom of this condition may be a sore throat. Cuts or punctures to the back of the throat can also cause a sore throat. Chronic fatigue syndrome often results in significant tiredness and can include a variety of symptoms, including sore throat.
Sore throat treatments often depend on the root cause. At-home treatments can often be used to provide relief from a sore throat. Due to the fact that sore throats are most commonly caused by viral illnesses, antibiotics should not be used. This is because antibiotics do not actually change the progression of viral infections. If you use antibiotics unnecessarily, you could be at risk for an allergic reaction and related side effects, including rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and yeast infections. Antibiotics have also been known to kill the beneficial bacteria that live inside the intestinal tract.
For home remedies to soothe sore throat, see