Sore throat is a painful irritation of the throat that often gets worse with swallowing. Its most common cause is viral infection, but it can also be bacterial infections, allergies, chemical irritation, fatigue of the muscles of the throat, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or, more simply, dry air. Other rarer causes are tumors in the neck, abscesses and swelling of the epiglottis.

The symptoms associated with sore throat depend on the underlying cause. Among the most common are: fever, chills, coughing or sneezing, runny nose, various pains, headaches and nausea or vomiting. Additionally tonsils may swell, turn red and become covered with plaques.


What kind of diseases can be associated with sore throat?

The following diseases may be associated with sore throat:

  • AIDS
  • Allergies
  • Abscesses
  • Bronchitis
  • Chlamydia
  • Dengue
  • Diphtheria
  • Ebola
  • Pharyngitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Streptococcal infection
  • Influence
  • Laryngitis
  • Laryngotracheobronchitis
  • Molluscum
  • Mononucleosis
  • Measles
  • Otitis
  • Whooping cough
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Anger
  • Cold
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Rubella
  • Scarlet fever
  • Syphilis
  • Tetanus
  • Tonsillitis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Tracheitis
  • Throat cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Cancer of the tongue
  • Chickenpox

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What are the remedies for sore throat?

Sore throats can be caused by viruses and may resolve on its own in 5-7 days. In case of bacterial infections it is not necessary to take antibiotics. It also may be useful to fight pain with natural remedies, such as herbal candy.

A sore throat triggered by other causes may instead request a specific treatment that should be determined individually by your doctor.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of sore throat?

In case of sore throat, it is best to seek medical attention if you develop: difficulty breathing, swallowing or opening the mouth, if the discomfort lasts more than a week, if it is associated with earaches, to rashes, pain in the joints or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, if the tonsils are large or have the plates and if you notice any blood in saliva or phlegm. You should ask your doctor for advice even if the problem is recurring and you suffer from hoarseness for more than two consecutive weeks.