Sore Throat

Not only can sore throats be a pain in the neck but they can last for more than a week. Medically called pharyngitis, sore throats stem from inflammation of your pharynx otherwise known as your throat. Usually the symptoms associated with sore throat fade without medical intervention, however consulting a medical professional is a good idea if your symptoms worsen or don’t resolve within a week.

Symptoms & Causes

Sore throats are usually caused by viral infections relating to the common cold, flu, mono, measles, and chickenpox. Sometimes strep throat, allergies, dryness or stomach reflux can be the cause of sore throats. The condition can cause swallowing to hurt, more sneezing or coughing than usual, runny nose, mild fever and bad breath. Other symptoms include dry throat, swollen tonsils and muffled voice. See your doctor if your symptoms become too painful or last more than a week.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor will perform a physical evaluation and likely ask a few questions. You might also undergo a throat swab saliva sample to be tested for bacteria. Based on your physician’s medical opinion you may receive advice for home remedies or prescription antibiotics. Getting plenty of sleep and water is crucial to a speedy recovery. To ease the pain of a sore throat trying eating warm and thick foods like honey or soup. Also try gargling with saltwater to ease pain. Using an air humidifier is also a good idea to make sure the air your breathing isn’t dry and damaging. Most sore throats are viral in nature and no medication is recommended. However, some sore throats stemming from bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will best know how to determine the right options for you.

Prevention

By avoiding sore throats you can dodge many of the common conditions that make for long and tiring days battling the virus that has infected your throat. Follow the best practices for avoiding the viruses that can cause sore throats: Washing your hands regularly, utilizing hand sanitizer and avoiding contact with people who are sick and those who smoke are all good tips for preventing sore throats.

Further Reading

Mayo Clinic