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What Is Sore Throat?

Updated on June 14, 2013
Sore Throat Vs Normal Throat Diagram
Sore Throat Vs Normal Throat Diagram | Source

What is meant by Sore Throat?

Sore throat is a symptom for a disease that affects the pharynx and is also known as tonsillitis or pharyngitis. It generally leads to an infection in the area around the tonsils. The known causes for a sore throat are the infection which is caused by a bacteria or virus. Adverse cases of a sore throat leads to several symptoms such as wider illness leading to glandular fever or flu.

Sore throat is quite common among children and the young people although it may happen to any person. The usual characteristics include trouble in swallowing food or a pain within the throat. In a situation where the throat is infected by bacteria doctors recommend the use of antibiotics for the treatment. Generally there are no such complications with sore throats.

Contracting a sore throat

There are numerous sources which might lead to a sore throat and can be an infection caused by virus or bacteria. It includes influenza, cold virus or Epstein-Barr virus, airborne droplets are said to be responsible for causing viral infection which is due to sneezing, coughing, or not washing your hands properly.

Bacteria is also known the reason behind a sore throat which is caused by the streptococcus group A. Usually the time period till the disease breaks out spans for over 4 days.

What are the signs for a sore throat?

Some of the common signs knowing which could alert people from being infected from a sore throat have been mentioned below:

  • Situation where one finds it hard to swallow or has pain inside the throat
  • There could be pain in the ears as well
  • Tonsils would appear swollen or coated besides the throat appearing reddish
  • Running High Temperature
  • Swollen Lymph nodes in neck or beneath the jaw.
  • Sore throat due to viral infection shows milder symptoms and is connected to common cold (check Home Remedies For Cold)
  • In a situation where the sore throat happens due to Coxsackie virus the tonsils would get covered by small blisters. These blisters might erupt in a couple of days leading to a scab that usually is very painful
  • In a situation where the sore throat is caused by the streptococcal infection swelling occurs on the tonsils and becomes coated. The affected individual has running temperature besides a foul smelling breath.

Inflammation of the Throat (pharyngitis) - Common Cause of a Sore Throat.
Inflammation of the Throat (pharyngitis) - Common Cause of a Sore Throat. | Source

What is the recommended Diagnosis?

Doctors diagnose a patient after understanding the symptoms of the disease. However, on occasions swab of secretion on the throat accompanied by a blood sample may be required for identifying the cause of the disease.

What are the complications a sore throat may lead to?

Sore throat is quite common and mostly does not cause any trouble to the patient besides irritating for a week. However there are several complications which may arise such as:

  • Lead to some secondary infection within the sinuses, chest or the middle ear
  • Sore throat that happens due to streptococcus infection could lead to a rash
  • Lead to an uncommon complication known as throat abscess
  • Lead to rheumatic fever or even a kidney disease known as glomerulonephritis.

Tips to avoid Sore Throat

Lets have a look at some of the things which can help to prevent sore throat:

  • In a situation where the signs of sore throat prevail for more than a couple of days then one should consult a General Physician
  • In-take of warm drinks or soft food could help in reducing the swallowing problem
  • It is recommended to drink fluids in plenty

Sore throat is one of the most common diseases which may result due to weather change or getting in touch with an already affected person. It is recommended to take medicines the moment a person feels any such symptom which may lead to a sore throat.


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    • soconfident profile image

      Derrick Bennett 

      6 years ago

      It's weird, people say they have a sore throat, but many don't know why. Great hub.


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