A sore throat is a common condition that most everybody experiences from time to time. It is often the precursor to a cold, or could be the result of vocal cord strain or a serious condition like strep throat. While a sore throat causes pain and discomfort, many times the symptoms clear up quickly.
The majority of sore throats or pharyngitis is of viral and resolve with supportive care.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection and may require antibiotic therapy. Chronic sore throat can be caused by a variety of disorders including rhinitis, allergy, sinusitis, postnasal drip, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Any unresolved sore throat should be evaluated to rule out serious medical conditions.
In addition to pain and irritation, you may experience dryness in the throat, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, swollen neck and jaw glands, inflamed tonsils, fever, chills, cough, runny nose, sneezing, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, and vomiting.
How is a Sore Throat Treated?
If your sore throat is viral in nature, it can be treated effectively with home remedies. Gargling with warm salt water, drinking lots of fluids, and using throat lozenges and cough drops all help relieve pain and irritation. Over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants are also useful in treating your symptoms. A humidifier may also be helpful.
Bacterial infections require treatment with antibiotics. Strep throat, tonsillitis, whooping cough, and diphtheria are some of the more common bacterial ailments. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to complete the full course of treatment even if your symptoms get better.