What’s Behind Your Sore Throat

A sore throat can be described as pain or irritation accompanied by a sensation of dryness or scratchiness in the throat. This irritation and pain may worsen the more you swallow. This condition is very common and, if caused by a viral infection (pharyngitis) or dry air, usually goes away on its own. 

However, if the infection is bacterial in nature, caused by streptococci (strep throat), then the condition will require antibiotics in order to be treated. Fortunately, strep throat is rare, and most sore throats can be attributed to viral infections or general dryness.

There are of course other causes of sore throats that are less common, and these might require more complex forms of treatment than a simple regiment of antibiotics.

If you have a sore throat that is persistent and is not bacterial in nature, you might want to consider visiting a physician to get a proper diagnosis of your condition. You can easily find a professional in your area with oladoc.com.

Symptoms

In addition to the sensations mentioned above, a sore throat may also feel raw, tender, and scratchy. 

Your tonsils and throat may also appear redder as though they are inflamed. In some cases, usually associated with strep throat, white patches or areas filled with pus might appear on the tonsils.

If the sore throat is caused by a virus then there may be accompanying symptoms like:

  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chills
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Blood in your phlegm or saliva
  • Nausea and vomiting

Causes

Usually, sore throats are caused by viral infections like those responsible for the flu and the common cold. However, they can also be caused by bacterial infections and injuries as well as other factors. These causes include:

Bacterial Infections

The most common type of bacterial infection that causes sore throats is strep throat, though chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause them.

Strep throat accounts for 40% of all sore throat occurrences in children.

Allergies

In many cases the body’s immune system may react strongly to the presence of certain substances like pollen and grass, releasing chemicals that can cause a host of symptoms including a sore throat. 

Excess production of mucus in the nasal passages may lead to postnasal drip which can also aggravate a sore throat.

Airborne Irritants

Chemicals and substances in the air like smoke (tobacco or otherwise), dust and other pollutants, and cleaning products or dangerous aerosolized chemicals can also result in a sore throat.

Injury

Physical injury such as a hit or cut to the neck, or a piece of food getting stuck in or scratching against the throat can also result in a sore throat. 

It may also be irritated or injured if the throat is in constant use like when speaking or singing etc. People that often strain their vocal cords or throat muscles often complain of sore throat.

Tumor

A sore throat might, in rare cases, be the symptom of a tumor in the throat or larynx. In this case, the sore throat will likely persist until the cancer is removed.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder

This is a chronic form of acid reflux, in which stomach acid is pushed back up the esophagus, which burns the esophagus and can also do the same to the throat.

If your acid reflux is gravely affecting your throat, you may want to consult a professional before further damage is caused. We recommend these ENT specialist in Karachi, for those that reside in that city.

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