Symptoms, Causes and Treatment for Sore Throat

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment for Sore Throat

Oct 01, 2020

Sore throat is the itchiness, pain or soreness that you feel when you swallow.

Types of sore throat include:

  • Pharyngitis– It affects the area behind the mouth.
  • Tonsillitis– The tonsils swell and become red.
  • Laryngitis– It is the redness and swelling of the voice box.

Sore Throat Symptoms

The symptoms can differ depending on what caused the sore throat. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Swelling of the neck glands
  • Runny nose
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Appetite loss
  • Pus on the tonsils

If you experience symptoms such as breathing difficulties or unusual drooling, you should seek immediate care. If you live in Baytown, you can visit the Altus Emergency Center since it has a 24-hour emergency room.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

Common causes of a sore throat can be associated with infections and injuries. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Viral infections

Infections that can cause a sore throat include common cold, flu and infectious mononucleosis. If the pain becomes severe, you should visit an ER near you for treatment.

Bacterial infections

When streptococcus bacteria are exposed to a strain, it leads to a throat infection known as Strep throat. Strep throat is associated with symptoms like as fever and white patches on your throat.

A sore throat can also result from sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea.

An untreated strep throat in children increases the risk of kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever.

Other causes

  • Allergies. Your throat can become sore if you are allergic to molds, pet dander, pollen and dust. Postnasal drip can complicate the issues, and this can lead to irritation and inflammation of the throat.
  • Dryness. A rough, scratchy throat can be as a result of dry indoor air. Inhaling and exhaling through your mouth due to chronic nasal congestion can make your throat dry and sore.
  • Irritants. Both indoor and outdoor air pollution like chemicals or tobacco can cause inflammatory disease.
  • Muscle strain. Talking loudly, yelling or conversing for a long period with no rest strains the throat muscles.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a disorder of the digestive system in which the stomach acids go back up the esophagus. Other symptoms include hoarseness, heartburn, a lump sensation in the throat and regurgitation of stomach contents.
  • HIV infection. One is likely to have a sore throat or other flu-like symptoms after being infected with HIV. Someone who has tested positive for HIV may have a recurring or chronic inflammatory disease because of a fungal infection or a viral infection.
  • Tumors. Cancerous tumors located in the tongue, voice box or throat can also cause a raw throat.

In rare occasions, an abscess in the throat or swelling of the cartilage that covers the epiglottitis can lead to a raw throat. Both can cause blockage of the airway, making it urgent for one to visit an emergency clinic.

Treatment

Sore throats are common and usually take less than a week to get better.

Here are some few ways that may help to relieve sore throats:

  • Painkillers might help ease the pain and fever.
  • Drink warm or cold fluids in large amounts. It helps to prevent dehydration. One is likely to experience headaches and tiredness when dehydrated.
  • Lozenges. They are available in supermarkets or pharmacies. You may find these helpful. Some people find sucking ice, ice-lollies and boiled sweets to be quite soothing.
  • Mix one teaspoon of salt with half a cup of warm water then gargle the mixture
  • If it is a bacterial infection like strep throat, the doctor might prescribe an antibiotic. Ensure you complete your medication.
  • Get plenty of rest.

Prevention

You can prevent sore throats by avoiding bacteria that cause them and by practicing good hygiene. Here are tips on how you can achieve that:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly after coughing or sneezing, before eating and after using the washroom.
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses, food or utensils.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue then dispose of it.
  • Clean TV remotes, telephones and computer keyboards regularly using a sanitizing cleanser.
  • Do not touch your mouth or nose
  • Avoid getting in contact with sick people.
  • If water and soap are inaccessible, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid drinking from public fountains with your mouth.

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