According to an article published in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence, “About 10% of people present to primary healthcare services with sore throat each year.” If you’re among this population, you may be wondering what is causing this unpleasant symptom. We review some common causes of throat pain below.
If you have a cold, the flu, COVID-19 or any other viral infection, this is perhaps the most common cause of a sore throat.
With a viral infection, you essentially need to wait for the infection to clear on its own. You can encourage this through rest and hydration. In the meantime, you can drink tea and broth, gargle warm salt water and suck on cough drops.
Another common cause of a sore throat is strep throat, which is a type of bacterial infection. Not only can it cause a sore throat, but also painful swallowing and swollen tonsils.
There are other bacterial infections that can cause a sore throat, too, including Arcanobacterium haemolyticum. This bacterial infection is also associated with a rash.
If you have a bacterial infection causing your sore throat, you need to see a doctor, who will prescribe antibiotics you can pick up at North Philly Pharmacy on Diamond Street.
Even though your sinuses are located behind your cheeks, nose and forehead, not in your throat, if you have a sinus infection, it can cause postnasal drip, which can contribute to throat irritation.
Sinus infections sometimes clear on their own, but if they don’t, you can see an expert ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician, who can evaluate the severity and prescribe treatment.
If you have allergies to dust, mold, dander, pollen or any other substance, it can also cause postnasal drip and throat irritation.
Fortunately, there are many ways to manage allergies, including practicing avoidance of known allergens, taking allergy medications and undergoing immunotherapy.
Acid reflux refers to when stomach acid enters the esophagus, back of the throat and mouth. This commonly happens during sleep, causing you to wake up with a sore throat.
You can manage acid reflux by avoiding triggering foods, not eating too late at night, eating smaller portions, eating slowly and adjusting your sleep position.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an expert ENT physician, call Pinnacle ENT today.