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Sinus FAQ

A Sore Throat

A sore throat is a result of inflammation or swelling to the back of the throat.
A scratchy, painful throat can become not only a nuisance but also uncomfortable as pain and discomfort may be felt with each and every swallow. Most sore throats are a result of a minor illness or the start of a cold or flu.

A sore throat is a primary indicator or symptom of pharyngitis and is a common result of a viral infection. Sore throats are less commonly caused by bacteria.

Symptoms of a Sore Throat

Symptoms of a sore throat include:

  • Coughing
  • Fevers or high body temperatures
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck; the neck may also be tender
  • Frequent sneezing
  • An excessively dry throat
  • Redness and swelling of the back of the throat
  • A runny nose / rhinitis
  • A loss of appetite
  • Pain and discomfort when swallowing
  • Pain may increase when talking
  • Bad Breath / Halitosis
  • An overall feeling of lethargy and fatigue

What causes a Sore Throat?

Common causes of a Sore Throat include:

  • A common cold or flu;
  • An infection of the voice box also known as laryngitis
  • GERD or gastro-esophageal Reflux disease
  • Mononucleosis (mono)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Viruses and bacteria
  • Straining ones voice, such as shouting over long periods of time can result in a sore throat
  • Certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and immune-compromising medications may lead to the development of a sore throat
  • Any injury, puncture or wound to the back of the throat may result in the development of a sore throat
  • Any irritants to the throat may cause the development of sore throats (Allergies and Post Nasal Drip are two such irritants)
  • Measles and chickenpox can result in a sore throat
  • Tumors of the throat
  • A sore throat can be a result of oral sex due to the same bacterium that is responsible for gonorrhea
  • In rare cases, Diphtheria can cause a sore throat


What are the risks associated with Sore Throats?

A sore throat will normally last for between 1 and 2 weeks. If a sore throat lasts more than 10 days, you should seek medical assistance or treatment.
It is time to see a Doctor or GP when one experiences a difficulty in swallowing or breathing or if there is an inability to swallow.


Treatment for Sore throats

The correct treatment for a sore or scratchy throat will depend on the cause of the condition.

  • If the sore throat is a result of a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed
  • For viral infections, antibiotics, even though not useful against the virus may be prescribed to help with the pain associated to a sore throat
  • A humidifier may be used if a sore throat is a result of excessive dry air as it helps soothe dry and accompanying sore throats
  • One should get plenty of rest and recuperation
  • Be sure to eat good, nutritious meals to keep your immune system in peak shape
  • Be sure to drink large amounts of liquids daily (this does not however include tea, coffee or alcohol as these have dehydrating properties)
  • Gargling in salt water and sucking lozenges which may contain anti-inflammatory ingredients has been found to assist in soothing sore throats
  • Pain medications may be taken such as those that contain ibuprofen to help alleviate pain


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