Dry, reddened throat, burning sensation, and difficulty in swallowing are the classic symptoms of sore throat. Sore throats occur when there is inflammation of the first part of the respiratory tract, the pharynx. Sore throat is a common symptom of many colds, flu, and allergies. Sore throats are considered one of the most common reasons people seek medical treatment.
There are different causes of sore throats. The most well-known cause of sore throat is from a strain of bacteria called Streptococcus. The illness is then referred to as strep throat or just “strep.” Strep throat is a contagious illness as the streptococcus bacteria can easily be transmitted respiratory droplets. People may also become infected with it by touching the surfaces on which someone has coughed or sneezed.
Sore throats are common among children of young age and adolescents as they grow and develop immunity to a variety of pathogens.
A sore throat may also be due to influenza, measles, chickenpox, and mumps, or other viruses.
Allergies and dry weather can also cause sore throats.
The symptoms of sore throat include:
- Pain in the throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Redness or inflammation of the throat
- Loss of appetite
- Painful or swollen tonsils, sometimes with streaks of pus or white patches
- Very small red spots appear sometimes on the soft palate
- Cough (may be dry or with mucus)
- Dry, scratchy, burning, raw, tender, or irritated throat
Sore throats are frequently associated with nasal congestion or runny nose.
The diagnosis of the sore throat is made by a medical provider getting a patient history and visualizing the throat. Strep throat is diagnosed by a swab test. A throat culture may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of the sore throat depends on the cause. Normally a sore throat gets better on its own in 3 to 5 days without any treatment.
Antibiotics are used in the case of strep throat. Antibiotics will not be useful if a sore throat is caused by a virus.
Gargling with lukewarm salt water is a common and effective home remedy. Drinking plenty of water, eating cool or soft foods, avoiding spicy fried food, avoiding smoky areas, sucking ice cubes and rest are all helpful for the treatment of sore throat.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used if symptoms are not alleviated by home remedies.
Green tea, lemon teas, and different herbs are also being used for the treatment. Some medical providers also suggest honey for sore throats.
Use a humidifier if the weather gets dry. Drink warm water and always use a mask outside to avoid smog and irritants. Avoid fried and spicy foods. Consumption of alcohol and smoking are famous irritants of the throat. Avoid throat irritants.
See a doctor if you have a high temperature, chills, cough, or other flu symptoms that do not resolve in a timely manner.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If sore throat is severe, lasts longer than 10 days, or interferes with breathing, you should seek medical care.
Treatment for sore throats is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.
For more information regarding sore throats, see the following website: