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- Risk Factors
A sore throat is pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that often worsens when you swallow. The most common cause of a sore throat (pharyngitis) is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat caused by a virus resolves on its own. Strep throat (streptococcal infection), a less common type of sore throat caused by bacteria, requires treatment with antibiotics to prevent complications. Other less common causes of sore throat might require more complex treatment.
Symptoms of a sore throat can vary depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms might include: 1. Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat 2. Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking 3. Difficulty swallowing 4. Sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw 5. Swollen, red tonsils 6. White patches or pus on your tonsils 7. A hoarse or muffled voice Infections causing a sore throat might result in other signs and symptoms, including: 1. Fever 2. Cough 3. Runny nose 4. Sneezing 5. Body aches 6. Headache 7. Nausea or vomiting
Viruses that cause the common cold and the flu also cause most sore throats. Less often, bacterial infections cause sore throats.
Although anyone can get a sore throat, some factors make you more susceptible, including: 1. Age.Children and teens are most likely to develop sore throats. Children ages 3 to 15 are also more likely to have strep throat, the most common bacterial infection associated with a sore throat. 2. Exposure to tobacco smoke.Smoking and secondhand smoke can irritate the throat. The use of tobacco products also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and voice box. 3. Allergies.Seasonal allergies or ongoing allergic reactions to dust, molds or pet dander make developing a sore throat more likely. 4. Exposure to chemical irritants.Particles in the air from burning fossil fuels and common household chemicals can cause throat irritation. 5. Chronic or frequent sinus infections.Drainage from your nose can irritate your throat or spread infection. 6. Close quarters.Viral and bacterial infections spread easily anywhere people gather, whether in child care centers, classrooms, offices or...
The best way to prevent sore throats is to avoid the germs that cause them and practice good hygiene. Follow these tips and teach your child to do the same: 1. Wash your handsthoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing. 2. Avoid sharingfood, drinking glasses or utensils. 3. Cough or sneezeinto a tissue and throw it away. When necessary, sneeze into your elbow. 4. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizersas an alternative to washing hands when soap and water aren't available. 5. Avoid touchingpublic phones or drinking fountains with your mouth. 6. Regularly cleantelephones, TV remotes and computer keyboards with sanitizing cleanser. When you travel, clean phones and remotes in your hotel room. 7. Avoid close contactwith people who are sick.
See your doctor as soon as possible if your sore throat lasts longer than one week or is accompanied by: Fever of 103 F (39.4 C) or higher Hoarse voice for more than one week Pus on the back of your throat
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- Preparing For Your Appointment
Your or your child's doctor will start with a physical exam that will include: 1. Using a lighted instrument to look at the throat, and likely the ears and nasal passages 2. Gently feeling (palpating) the neck to check for swollen glands (lymph nodes) 3. Listening to your or your child's breathing with a stethoscope
A sore throat caused by a viral infection usually lasts five to seven days and doesn't require medical treatment. To ease pain and fever, many people turn to acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other mild pain relievers. Consider giving your child over-the-counter pain medications designed for infants or children, such as acetaminophen (Children's Tylenol, FeverAll, others) or ibuprofen (Children's Advil, Children's Motrin, others), to ease symptoms. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers because it has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that causes swelling in the liver and brain.
Explore Mayo Clinic studiestesting new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.
Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, these at-home care strategies can help you ease your or your child's symptoms: 1. Rest.Get plenty of sleep. Rest your voice, too. 2. Drink fluids.Fluids keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you. 3. Try comforting foods and beverage.Warm liquids — broth, caffeine-free tea or warm water with honey — and cold treats such as ice pops can soothe a sore throat. 4. Gargle with saltwater.A saltwater gargle of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1.25 to 2.50 milliliters) of table salt to 4 to 8 ounces (120 to 240 milliliters) of warm water can help soothe a sore throat. Children older than 6 and adults can gargle the solution and then spit it out. 5. Humidify the air.Use a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dry air that may further irritate a sore throat, being sure to clean the humidifier regularly so it doesn't grow mold or bacteria. Or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom. 6. Consider lozenges or...
Although a number of alternative treatments are commonly used to soothe a sore throat, evidence is limited about what works. If you or your child needs an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, don't rely on alternative treatments alone. Check with your doctor before using any herbal remedies, as they can interact with prescription medications and may not be safe for children, pregnant and breast-feeding women, and people with certain health conditions. Herbal or alternative products for a sore throat are often packaged as teas, sprays or lozenges. Common alternative remedies include: 1. Slippery elm 2. Licorice root 3. Marshmallow root
If you or your child has a sore throat, make an appointment with your family doctor or your child's pediatrician. In some cases, you may be referred to a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders or an allergy specialist (allergist). Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
Jul 24, 2020 · Sore throats are divided into types, based on the part of the throat they affect: Pharyngitis affects the area right behind the mouth. Tonsillitis is swelling and redness of the tonsils, the soft...
- Allergies. When you have an allergy, your immune system is hyper-reactive to certain substances that are normally...
- Postnasal drip. When you have postnasal drip, excess mucus drains from your sinuses into the back of your throat. This...
- Mouth breathing. If you breathe through your mouth chronically, particularly when you’re asleep,...
A sore throat occurs when your pharynx, the back of your throat, becomes inflamed. The common sore throat is caused by a virus — like the fluor the commoncold— and usually goes away in a few days....
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