Symptoms and Causes of a Sore Throat

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Sore throats are defined as pharyngeal pain caused by inflammation located in the oral cavity, the larynx, and/or the pharynx.

This FAQ will talk you through the symptoms and causes of a sore throat.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a sore throat include redness of the throat, associated with difficulty in swallowing.


Other symptoms include the increase in volume of submaxillary ganglia, cough, hoarseness, stains inside the throat, stuffy nose, and sneezing.

Causes

Sore throats can be caused by viral or bacterial angina, or an inflammation of the tonsils and pharynx. Apart from sore throat, symptoms of this include fatigue, fever, inflammation of the throat, headache, and vomiting. Treatment involves reducing fever with antipyretics before any medication. Decrease any pain with painkillers or anti-inflammatories. Finally, consider an antibiotic if the angina is caused by bacteria.


A sore throat may also be provoked by nasopharyngitis, or a benign inflammation of the upper floor of the pharynx. Its symptoms are similar to those of angina and usually lasts between 7 and 10 days. Complications such as otitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, or bronchitis may occur during nasopharyngitis .

An allergy can be the cause of throat pain, most often in the form of an itchy palate. The allergy may be caused by mites, pollen, or animal dander.

Laryngitis is an acute inflammation of the larynx caused by infection, bacterial or viral, or allergy and can also be the cause of a sore throat. Laryngitis most often affects children between 1 and 6 years and is usually caused by a virus. Symptoms of laryngitis include violent cough and hoarseness, episodes of an asphyxiating cough, breathing discomfort, sudden onset of coughing (usually at night).

Other causes of a sore throat include reflux, allergy, tobacco, household pollutants, stress, very dry air, poorly maintained air conditioning, and throat cancer. This is not an exhaustive list.

Image: © Tharakorn Arunothai - Shutterstock.com

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