Sore Throat

Also called: Pharyngitis

Your throat is a tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx (also called the voice box). The technical name for the throat is pharynx.

You can have a sore throat for many reasons. Often, colds and flu cause sore throats. Other causes can include:

Treatment depends on the cause. Sucking on lozenges, drinking lots of liquids, and gargling may ease the pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help, but children should not take aspirin.

Symptoms of Sore Throat

The following features are indicative of Sore Throat:
  • scratchy sensation in the throat
  • pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • difficulty swallowing
  • sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • swollen, red tonsils
  • pus on your tonsils
  • hoarse or muffled voice
  • fever
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sneezing
It is possible that Sore Throat shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Sore Throat

The following are the most common causes of Sore Throat:
  • common cold
  • flu
  • measles
  • chickenpox
  • croup
  • Streptococcus pyogenes

Other Causes of Sore Throat

The following are the less common causes of Sore Throat:
  • allergies
  • throat dryness
  • muscle strain
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • HIV infection
  • cancerous tumors of the throat

Risk Factors for Sore Throat

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Sore Throat:
  • children
  • exposure to tobacco smoke
  • seasonal allergies
  • exposure to chemical irritants
  • sinus infections
  • weakened immunity

Prevention of Sore Throat

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Sore Throat. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • practicing good hand hygiene
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • avoid smoking
  • washing your hands frequently

Occurrence of Sore Throat

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Sore Throat cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Sore Throat can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Sore Throat can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Sore Throat

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Sore Throat:
  • Physical exam: To look at the throat by using a lighted instrument
  • Throat swab: To diagnose streptococcal bacteria by rubbing sterile swab over the back of the throat

Doctor for Diagnosis of Sore Throat

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Sore Throat:
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Allergist

Complications of Sore Throat if untreated

Yes, Sore Throat causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Sore Throat is left untreated:
  • acute rheumatic fever
  • peritonsillar abscess

Medicines for Sore Throat

Below is the list of medicines used for Sore Throat:

Self-care for Sore Throat

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Sore Throat:
  • Drink fluids: Keeps the throat moist and prevent dehydration
  • Gargle with saltwater: Helps in soothing sore throat
  • Avoid irritants: Keep your home free from cigarette smoke

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Sore Throat

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Sore Throat:
  • Use licorice and Marshmallow root: Helps in relieving sore throat

Time for Treatment of Sore Throat

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Sore Throat to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Sore Throat Infectious?

Yes, Sore Throat is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • saliva or nasal secretions from an infected person

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Sore Throat.

Related Topics

Throat Disorders

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