Sore Throat

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Sore Throat

Understanding The Medical Condition:

A sore throat is a medical condition that results in pain, itchiness or irritation being caused to the throat. In most cases, the patient suffering from this may face problems in swallowing food or liquids, with the pain being felt getting worse due to swallowing. Throat pain is one of the primary symptoms that indicate a sore throat.

However, other common symptoms that can indicate this condition include:  

  • A persistent feeling of dry throat
  • Swollen/tender glands in the neck
  • White patches on the tonsils
  • Hoarseness of voice

A sore throat can impact people of all ages. However, the risk of suffering from a sore throat will increase for some people, which includes:

  • Children or young adults
  • Persistent/chain smokers
  • Patients with pre-existing allergies
  • Patients suffering from compromised immune system
  • Sharing a close space with others also increases the risk of upper respiratory infections that can initially present as a sore throat.

Let’s look at this condition in a little more detail.

Common Causes of A Sore Throat

There are many reasons why you may suffer from a sore throat. The most commonly faced causes include:

A Viral Infection: Most instances of this condition are caused by a viral infection. These are, for the most part, infections caused due to a virus, such as the common cold or the flu. Other types of viral infection can also cause this condition, including mononucleosis, an infectious disease typically transmitted through saliva, measles, a contagious illness characterized by a distinct rash and fever and chickenpox, an infection that causes skin sores.

A Bacterial Infection: This form of infection is also a common cause of a sore throat. Commonly faced infections include:

  • Strep throat, which results in an inflammation of the throat caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria
  • Diphtheria, which also causes throat inflammation
  • Whooping cough, which is a condition that affects the respiratory mucous membrane.

External Factors: Apart from viral and bacterial causes, there can also be external causes of a sore throat. These can include:

  • An allergic reaction to mold, pet dander, pollen, or other irritants. Exposure to these allergens can trigger a postnasal drip in most patients.
  • Excessively dry air, which can result in your throat feeling raw and scratchy.
  • Regularly smoking cigarettes or exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Shouting or excessive amount of talking can trigger throat strain.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

In very rare cases, a sore throat can also be a symptom of something more serious, like HIV or throat cancer.

Treatment of A Sore Throat:

In most instances, a sore throat will eventually go away. However, there are more severe cases which may require medical assistance. While the treatment for a sore throat will depend on the case, most home treatment options for this condition include:

  • Regularly gargling with warm salt water
  • Ensuring that you drink plenty of warm fluids, such as teas, soup, and water
  • Avoiding allergens and irritants, such as smoke and chemicals
  • Taking throat lozenges
  • Reducing inflammation with ibuprofen or acetaminophen

If a bacterial infection is the cause of your sore throat, your doctor may prescribe an additional course of antibiotics to kill the infectious organisms. You must ensure that you take the prescribed medication for a period of at least 10 days or as prescribed by your doctor to treat the bacterial infection.

The Apollo Clinic Experience:

In most cases, a sore throat naturally progresses and then disappears. In cases where this condition persists though, it is essential that you take the help of a medical practitioner at the earliest. At Apollo Clinic, our team of specialists come armed with years of experience to help ensure that your throat ache and irritation get tackled as quickly as is possible. Based on your symptoms, our doctors will begin the treatment immediately, in tandem with further testing, to ensure that there are no underlying conditions that are causing this problem.  

Our team of allergists as well as ENT specialists will also help to ensure that any allergens or throat disorders that may be causing this condition be tackled properly as well. If you feel that you need the help of a specialist to tackle your sore throat, get in touch with one of your experts today. 

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