Symptoms and Causes of a Sore Throat

Symptoms and Causes of a Sore Throat

Jun 03, 2020

A sore throat is a dry, painful and itchy feeling that is experienced in the throat and tends to worsen when swallowing. Viral infection like a flu or cold commonly causes a sore throat (pharyngitis). Sore throat that is as a result of a virus normally goes away on its own. Some sore throats can be caused by environmental factors such as dry air or infections.

Symptoms of A Sore Throat

Symptoms of a sore throat vary depending on its cause. A sore throat may feel:

  • Burning
  • Raw
  • Tender
  • Irritated

It may be more painful when talking. Your tonsils or throat might appear red. Sometimes the tonsils may have white patches or pus areas forming on them. A sore throat might be accompanied with symptoms such as:

  • Nasal congestion
  • A running nose
  • Sneezing
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • The neck glands might become swollen
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Hoarse voice
  • Loss of appetite

Causes of A Sore Throat

  • Viral infections

Viruses that can cause sore throats include:

  • Common cold
  • The flu (influenza)
  • Mononucleosis, is a disease that is infectious and is transmitted through saliva
  • Measles, this illness causes fever and a rash
  • Chickenpox, it’s an infection which results to a bumpy, itchy rash and a fever
  • Mumps, infection which makes the salivary glands located in the neck to swell
  • Bacterial infections

Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that causes a sore throat. It is an infection that affects the tonsils and throat and is caused by Streptococcus bacteria that belongs to group A. About forty percent of cases associated with children experiencing a sore throat, the sore throat is usually caused by strep throat. Tonsillitis and infections that are transmitted sexually such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a sore throat.

  • Allergies

Allergy triggers such as grass, pollen and pet dander make the immune system to react. The system releases chemicals that can cause symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, throat irritation and nasal congestion. Postnasal drip is when excessive mucus from the nose drips down the throat especially at the back. This can make the throat to be irritated.

  • Dry air

When moisture is sucked from the throat and mouth by dry air, they are both left feeling scratchy and dry. With the heater running during the months of winter the air is more likely to be dry.

  • Irritants like chemicals, smoke and many more

With substances such as cigarette, tobacco smoke, cleaning products and chemicals in the environment the throat can be irritated.

  • Injury

A cut, a hit at the neck or any injury can make the throat to feel pain. When food gets stuck in the throat it can cause irritation. Talking loudly, yelling or even singing for long periods can cause a sore throat. Sore throat is common among teachers and fitness instructors who often yell. If the sore throat persists you can seek sore throat treatment in Chicago IL.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

It is a state in which the acid in the stomach goes back up through the esophagus (it’s a tube that allows of the passage of food). Acid burns the throat and esophagus causing symptoms such as acid reflux (vomiting acid in your throat) and heartburn.

You can try out some sore throat remedies to help reduce the pain. Some of the remedies are listed below:

  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Drink warm fluids such as hot soup or herbal tea
  • You can eat an ice cream or a popsicle to cool the throat
  • Stay hydrated
  • Take tea that is mixed with honey
  • Suck on a lozenge

For the sore throat infection, you can take medicine such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen to help with the pain. Possible complications that can result if sore throat is left untreated:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Abscess

Ways to Prevent Sore Throat

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses and food
  • Sneeze or cough using a tissue and dispose it afterwards
  • Use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol as an alternative when you are not in reach of water and soap.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.

Lau Medical is a family practice located near you. Our offices are located in Chicago. We offer services such as family medicine, pediatric care, integrative medicine and many more. Our team is committed to provide our patients with quality service care. Book an appointment with us and enjoy the services provided.

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