Sore Throat News

A sore throat is a sensation of discomfort, rawness or pain in the throat. It is particularly noticeable during swallowing. A sore throat is not a specific medical condition, but rather a symptom that can accompany many different types of illnesses.

Causes of Sore Throats

The main causes of sore throats are infections from viruses or bacteria. Specifically, the common cold is the most frequent trigger of a sore throat. Other viral infections that can cause sore throats as a symptom include the flu, croup, chicken pox and mononucleosis. Bacterial infections that lead to sore throats include strep throat, tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear infections and pneumonia. Also, acid reflux can contribute to the development of a sore throat.

Some sore throats are not indicative of an illness. They simply develop as a result of irritation caused by heat, dry air, exposure to irritants or straining the voice. Allergies are also a major cause of sore throats. Some sore throats can be a warning sign of a much more serious condition, like a tumor or an HIV infection, though this is far less common.

Treatment and Prevention

Most mild sore throats can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain relievers, warm tea, salt water gargling and plenty of rest. If the sore throat persists for more than five to seven days, or gets worse over time, then it’s worth a visit to a doctor. Often, the symptoms of a sore throat will pass by treating the underlying infection, like with antibiotics for strep throat.

Steps to prevent a sore throat include drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding smoking and other harsh chemicals and practicing good hygiene. Managing allergies through medication and avoiding allergens can also help to prevent sore throats.

SOURCES: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Academy of Otolarygology – Head and Neck Surgery

Date Posted
Article Title
4/18/2017
Is It Wise to Take a Steroid for a Sore Throat?

Study seeking antibiotic alternatives found that only one-third of patients improved within 48 hours

12/30/2016
Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to Tell

Symptoms can be similar, but flu hits faster, is more likely to lead to complications

1/18/2016
No Antibiotics for Common Respiratory Infections: Experts

Physicians' group and CDC jointly advise that the drugs not be prescribed for colds, bronchitis in adults

8/3/2015
Health Tip: Avoid Canker Sore Pain

Watch what you eat and drink

3/20/2015
When to Keep Kids Home From School

Pediatrician offers advice on common childhood ailments

2/16/2015
1 in 5 Sore Throats Tied to Scary Bacteria, Study Finds

No test exists for F. necrophorum, which may be more common than strep, researchers say

11/17/2014
Health Tip: What's Behind Your Sore Throat?

Signs that it may be a virus

11/21/2013
Health Tip: Warning Signs of a Serious Sore Throat

Call a doctor if it lasts more than a week

11/15/2013
Health Tip: Ease the Sting of Strep Throat

Offer the right liquids to drink

10/3/2013
Too Many Antibiotics Still Prescribed for Sore Throats, Bronchitis: Studies

Most ills are caused by viruses, end on their own, researchers report

4/2/2013
Tonsillectomy Might Be Worth It for Some Adults

Finnish study found fewer sore throats after surgery, less time lost from work or school

10/26/2012
Health Tip: What's Behind a Sore Throat?

Sinus or throat infections are common causes

9/10/2012
New Strep Throat Guidelines Tackle Antibiotic Resistance

Most sore throats are actually caused by viruses

4/18/2012
Many Call Center Workers Plagued by Voice Woes

One-quarter develop issues with hoarseness, sore throats, study finds

11/21/2011
More Sore Throats Seen in Acne Patients Taking Antibiotics

But drug resistance is probably not the culprit, researchers say

9/30/2009
Study Debunks Link Between Strep and Brain Disorders

Infection rates are found to be no higher among those with OCD or Tourette syndrome

12/29/2008
Health Tip: Stop a Sore Throat

Suggestions to help it feel better

12/5/2008
Decongestant Exposure Needs Closer Look

Study says pseudoephedrine for kids under 2 poses toxicity issues because of use patterns

9/25/2008
Voice Problems in Seniors Undertreated

Many believe it's normal part of aging, so they don't get necessary help, study says

8/27/2007
12/22/2006
Out Caroling? Be in Harmony With Your Body, Too

Holiday singers need lots of water to stay on key, expert says

5/21/2004
Zapping Voice Disorders

Laser surgery faster, cheaper and simpler than standard procedure

4/19/2004
Botox Silences Voice Disorder

Injections help people with spasmodic dysphonia regain their voices

4/7/2004
Not Every Sore Throat Is Strep Throat

Diagnosing, treating condition can be daunting, experts say

3/30/2004
Treating Paralyzed Vocal Chords

International study will examine effect of calcium hydroxylapatite injections

12/4/2003
Penicillin No Panacea for Sore Throat in Kids

Symptom severity, duration not reduced, study finds

4/23/2003
Your Voice Holds Clues to Your Health

How it sounds can signal everything from a cold to throat cancer

1/9/2002
Steroid Eases Pain of Severe Sore Throats

Study finds one dose of dexamethasone brings relief

12/17/2001
Fast Strep Test Is Best

If four symptoms are present, an adult probably doesn't need follow-up throat culture test, says study

9/11/2001
Doctors Mishandling Sore Throat Treatment, Study Says

Often prescribe pricey antibiotics to treat a virus