What causes a sore throat?
A sore throat is more of a symptom than a condition itself. If you suffer from a sore throat, it’s likely because of some underlying issue. A sore throat can be caused by:
Viruses are the most common cause of soreness in the throat. A sore throat is often the first sign of viruses like the flu and the common cold. If your sore throat is caused by a viral infection, you may also experience:
- Body aches
Most viral infections clear up on their own. However, if you experience a sore throat for longer than a week, visit one of the Heal 360 offices to discuss ways to reduce your symptoms and promote a faster recovery.
Bacteria can also cause soreness in the throat. Strep throat is a common condition caused by streptococcus bacteria. Although strep throat can affect patients of any age, school-age children are at a higher risk.
Streptococcus bacteria are highly contagious and easily spread through contact with infected people and surfaces. Symptoms of strep throat include:
- Sudden throat pain
- Red tonsils
- Red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you experience symptoms of strep throat it's important to seek medical treatment. Untreated strep infections can spread to other areas like the sinuses and middle ear.
Exposure to allergens like dust and pet dander often result in throat soreness. If your allergies cause postnasal drip, it can cause irritation and inflammation to the throat.
How will I be diagnosed?
To determine the cause of your sore throat, your doctor discusses your symptoms and performs a physical exam, paying special attention to your lymph nodes, breathing, and ear and nasal passages. If your condition resembles strep throat, your doctor performs a throat swab to test for the presence of streptococcus bacteria.
How is a sore throat treated?
Treatment depends on the cause of your sore throat. If your condition is caused by a virus, rest and plenty of fluids are typically enough to help your body recover. Over-the-counter pain medications can be used to ease the pain in the throat.
Patients with strep throat are prescribed antibiotics to clear the bacterial infection. You’ll begin to feel better in a day or two. If allergies are to blame, Heal 360 provides allergy testing and treatment to help you avoid your allergens and relieve your symptoms.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a sore throat, visit one of the Heal 360 offices, or book an appointment by phone or online.