Throat Pain /
Sore Throat

A sore, scratchy, or irritating throat can be pain, irritation, or both caused by a virus or bacterial infection.

Throat Pain /
Sore Throat

A sore, scratchy, or irritating throat can be pain, irritation, or both caused by a virus or bacterial infection.

What is Throat Pain/ Sore Throat?

Sore throat refers to irritation, pain, or scratchiness in the throat. It can often be worsened by swallowing. A viral infection such as the flu or cold is the most common reason for a sore throat (pharyngitis). A virus can cause a sore throat that will go away on its own.

Streptococcal infections (streptococcal sore throat) are a less common form of sore throat. Other, less common causes of soreness might need more complicated treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Throat Pain/Sore Throat?

The cause of sore throat symptoms can vary. Some symptoms include:

  • A scratchy or painful sensation in the throat
  • Talking or swallowing can cause pain 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen, sore glands in your jaw or neck
  • Tonsils that are red and swollen
  • Tonsils may have pustules or white patches.
  • A muffled or hoarse voice

Other symptoms and signs that may be caused by a sore throat infection include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Aches in the body
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

Causes of Throat Pain/Sore Throat

Sore throats can be caused by viral illnesses such as:

  • Viral infections
  • Common cold
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Mono (mononucleosis)
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • Croup is a common childhood disease that causes a barking, harsh cough.

Bacterial infections

Sore throats can be caused by many bacterial infections. Streptococcus Pneumonia (group A streptococcus) is the most common cause of strep throat

Other Possible Causes for Throat Pain

  • Allergies
  • Dryness
  • Indoor and outdoor pollution
  • Muscle strain
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • HIV infection

Treatment Options May Include:

A Century ENT provider will examine your medical history and review the symptoms. They may perform a physical exam, which could include using a flashlight to examine the throat and most likely the nasal passages and ears, They may check for swelling (lymph nodes), and gently feel the neck.

Doctors often use a simple test to diagnose streptococcal bacteria as the cause of strep. To collect secretions, your Century ENT provider uses a sterile swab to rub the back of the throat. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.

Although they are less sensitive than regular antigen tests, rapid antigen tests can quickly detect strep bacteria.

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics if your child has a sore throat due to bacterial infection. Even if symptoms have subsided, you or your child should continue to take the prescribed antibiotics. The infection could spread to other areas of the body if it is not taken as directed.

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