We have all had a sore throat, and most times they are associated with other symptoms when you are ill. Not all sore throats are caused by an illness. Sometimes the sore throat may result from dryness or as severe as a tumor. Here are some typical causes of sore throats.
Bacteria & Viruses
Certain bacteria and viruses present in the body will cause a sore or irritated throat. The most common virus that causes a sore throat and other symptoms are the flu. Though there may be several strands of flu, having a sore throat is a common symptom, and it will resolve on its own.
A common bacteria that causes a sore throat is the streptococcus. This is a common but serious condition and one that needs immediate medical treatment. Adults and especially children are susceptible to developing a disease called Rheumatic fever if the step throat is left untreated. Rheumatic fever can cause heart and joint damage.
Allergies & Sinus Drainage
If you have allergies and the accompanying drainage from your sinuses, this, too, can cause an irritated throat. Even if you do not sense that your drainage is not a lot, even small amounts can create hoarseness and coughing, which can create a sore throat.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube, connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). Over time the acid can wear away the lining in the throat and it can even cause nausea.
Common household cleaners hold many chemicals, and if inhaled, they can cause coughing and a sore throat. Similar, smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke can cause a sore throat that lasts a period after being exposed to the smoke.
If you know that your sore throat is from something like allergies, exposure to chemicals, or maybe swallowing food that was too hot, you can treat these ailments from home. Warm liquids like tea, honey, and lemon have soothing properties that will relieve some pain. If you are still uncomfortable, and an over-the-counter pain reliever can also help. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and take precautions to reduce your exposure to allergens or chemicals.
When to Call the Doctor
If you have a sore throat accompanied by a fever that lasts longer than a week, it is time to call the doctor. You may have the flu, strep throat, or other serious illness. There are underlying conditions that present sore throats that may be more serious.
If you have questions about sore throat, sinus or allergy problems, reach out to our doctors here at our office and schedule an appointment.