sore throat

8 Causes of Throat Sore

A throat sore is a painful, dry, or scratchy feeling inside the throat. Pain inside the throat is one of the maximum common symptoms. It accounts for extra than thirteen million visits to doctors’ places of work every year.

Most throat sores are caused by infections, or with the aid of using environmental factors like dry air. Although a throat sore may be uncomfortable, it’ll usually go away on its own. Sore throats are divided into types, primarily based totally on the part of the throat they affect:

  • Pharyngitis affects the vicinity right in the back of the mouth.
  • Inflammation of the tonsils, or the soft tissues of the lower back of the mouth, is called tonsillitis.
  • Laryngitis occurs when the voice box or larynx becomes swollen and red.

Throat Sore Signs & Symptoms

The signs of a throat sore can vary relying on what caused it. A sore throat can feel:

  • scratchy
  • burning
  • raw
  • dry
  • tender
  • irritated

It may also hurt more whilst you swallow or talk. Your throat or tonsils may appear red. Sometimes, white patches or areas of pus will form at the tonsils. These white patches are more common in strep throat than in a sore throat because of a virus. Along with the throat sore, you could have signs and symptoms like

  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • fever
  • chills
  • swollen glands within side the neck
  • hoarse voice
  • body pain
  • headache
  • trouble swallowing
  • Appetite loss.

8 Causes of Throat Sore

Sore throats can be caused by infections or injuries. Here are 8 of the maximum common throat sore causes. 

Colds, the flu, and different viral infections 

Viruses cause approximately ninety per cent of sore throats.

Among the viruses that motive throat sore are:

  • the common cold
  • influenza — the flu
  • mononucleosis, an infectious sickness that’s transmitted via saliva
  • measles, an infection that causes a rash and fever
  • chickenpox, contamination that causes a fever and an itchy, bumpy rash
  • mumps, an infection that causes swelling of the salivary glands within side the neck

Strep throat and different bacterial infections.

Bacterial infections also can cause throat sores. The maximum common one is strep throat, an inflammation of the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat causes almost forty per cent of sore throat cases in children. Tonsillitis and sexually transmitted infections like gonorrheal and chlamydia also can reason a sore throat.


When the immune system reacts to allergic reaction triggers like pollen, grass, and pet dander, it releases chemical substances that cause signs like nasal congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, and throat irritation. Excess mucus inside the nostril can drip down the lower back of the throat. This is called a postnasal drip and might irritate the throat.

Dry air

The dry air can suck moisture from the mouth and throat, leaving them feeling scratchy and dry. The air is most likely dry in the wintry weather months while the heater is running.

Smoke, chemical compounds, and different irritants

Many distinct chemical compounds and different materials in the environment irritate the throat, including:

  • Cigarette and different tobacco smoke
  • Air Pollution
  • Cleansing products and different chemical compounds After September 11, more than sixty-two per cent of responding firefighters said common sore throats. Only 3.2 per cent had sore throats earlier than the World Trade Center disaster.


Any injury, such as a hit or cut to the neck, can reason an ache in the throat. Getting a chunk of a meal stuck in your throat also can irritate it. Repeated use strains the vocal cords and muscle groups in the throat. You can get a sore throat after yelling, speaking loudly, or singing for a long duration of time. Sore throats are a common complaint amongst health instructors and teachers, who frequently have to yell.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition wherein acid from the belly backs up into the esophagus — the tube that contains meals from the mouth to the belly. The acid burns the esophagus and throat, causing symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux — the regurgitation of acid into your throat.


A tumor of the throat, voice box, or tongue is a much less common reason for a sore throat. When a sore throat is an indication of cancer, it doesn’t go away after some days.

Home treatments for a sore throat

You can treat most sore throats at home. Get plenty of relaxation to give your immune system a chance to fight the infection.

To relieve the ache of a sore throat:

  • Gargle with a mixture of hot water and a half to at least one teaspoon of salt.
  • Take hot drinks that feel soothing to the throat, such as warm tea with honey, soup broth, or warm water with lemon. Sore throats respond well to herbal teas.
  • Cool your throat by consuming a cold treat like a popsicle or ice cream.
  • Suck on a bit of hard candy or a lozenge.
  • Turn on a cool-mist humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  • Rest your voice till your throat feels better.


Most sore throats may be treated at home. Warm drinks or frozen meals feel soothing to the throat. A humidifier can moisturize a dry throat.

How can a sore throat be diagnosed?

During the examination, the health practitioner will ask about your symptoms and could use light to check the back of your throat for redness, swelling, and white spots. The health practitioner may additionally feel the sides of your neck to see when you have swollen glands. If the doctor suspects you have strep throat, you’ll get a throat culture to diagnose it. The health practitioner will run a swab over the back of your throat and collect a sample to check for strep throat bacteria. With a rapid strep test, the health practitioner will get the results within minutes. Upon diagnosis, a sample is sent to a lab for testing. A lab test takes one to two days, however, it can definitively show that you have strep throat. Sometimes you may need more tests to figure out the reason for your sore throat. You can see a consultant who treats the throat, called an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor or otolaryngologist.


Doctors diagnose strep throat primarily based totally on symptoms, an examination of the throat, and a strep test. Sore throats without a clear diagnosis may necessitate seeing a specialist who treats ear, nose, and throat conditions.


A sore throat may be treated with medicines to reduce the aching or to treat its underlying cause. Over-the-counter medicinal drugs that treat throat ache include:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • aspirin

Don’t give aspirin to kids and teenagers, as it’s been linked to a rare however extreme condition called Reye’s syndrome. You also can use one or extra of those treatments, which work directly at the ache of a sore throat:

  • a sore throat spray that contains a numbing antiseptic like phenol, or a cooling element like menthol or eucalyptus
  • throat lozenges
  • cough syrup Some herbs, such as slippery elm, marshmallow root, and liquorice root, are sold as sore throat remedies.

There are not a lot of evidence in those work, however, a herbal tea called Throat Coat that contains all 3 did relieve throat ache in a single study.

Medications that reduce belly acid can assist with a sore throat caused by GERD. These include:

  • Antacids including Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, and Mylanta to neutralize belly acid.
  • H2 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB) and famotidine (Pepcid AC), which decrease stomach acid production.

A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as lansoprazole (Prevacid 24) and omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid) works to prevent acid production. Low-dose corticosteroids also can assist with the ache of a sore throat, without causing any critical side effects.


Over-the-counter ache relievers, sprays, and lozenges can relieve the ache of a sore throat. Medicines that reduce belly acid can assist with sore throats caused by GERD.

When you need antibiotics?

Antibiotics deal with infections due to microorganisms, like strep throat. They won’t treat viral infections. If you have strep throat, be sure to treat it with antibiotics to avoid more severe complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and rheumatic fever. Antibiotics can reduce sore throat ache with the aid of using about one day, and lower the threat of rheumatic fever by more than two-thirds. Doctors usually prescribe a course of antibiotics lasting approximately 10 days. It’s essential to take all of the medicine in the bottle, even in case you start to feel better. Stopping an antibiotic too early can leave a few bacteria alive, which could make you ill again.


Antibiotics deal with sore throats due to bacteria, consisting of strep throat. You need to deal with strep throat to save you more critical complications. Take the full dose of antibiotics, even in case you start to feel better.

The bottom line

Viral and bacterial infections, in addition to irritants and injuries, cause the majority of sore throats. Most sore throats get better in some days without treatment. Rest, warm liquids, saltwater gargles, and over the counter ache relievers can help soothe the ache of a sore throat at home. Strep throat and different bacterial infections treated with antibiotics. Your health practitioner can use a swab test to discover when you have strep. See a health practitioner for more extreme symptoms, like trouble breathing or swallowing, an excessive fever, or a stiff nose.

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