What To Know About Sore Throat

Sore throat is a common and familiar condition for everyone. When your throat is irritated, inflamed, scratchy, painful, or very dry, it’s called sore throat.These are common but do you know they are two different types of sore throat? Viral infection (Pharyngitis) and Bacterial Infection ( Strep Throat).

Viral Infection (Pharyngitis)

Most often, sore throats happen as a result of a viral infection, such as the flu or the common cold. Sore throats also occur with hand, foot, and mouth disease caused by the Coxsackie virus. Viral infection symptoms mostly will go away within several days but it also depends on the virus. Some virus symptoms can last up to 10 days.

Normally normal cold symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms as well. These symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, mild body aches, cough and sneezing.

How can a sore throat caused by a cold be treated?

Treatment of sore throats also depends on the cause or virus. But there are ways that one can try to relieve the discomfort.

For home care , below are general tips that can help.

  • Drink warm fluids, such as hot tea with lemon or broth.
  • Increase the total amount of fluids you drink. This keeps you hydrated and prevents your throat from getting dry.
  • Gargle with warm salt water. It helps to soothe throat irritation and reduce swelling.
  • Rest your voice
  • Suck on lozenges

For those who prefer medication can try there are also a few options available.

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aspirin

Bacterial Infection (Strep Throat)

Bacterial Infection is also known as strep throat. It is caused by the streptococcus bacteria which are spherical-shaped bacteria that produce lysis of red blood cells producing clear or transparent areas in special growth media. 

Contrast to Viral infection, Strep throat is contagious. It can spread through air. This Group A strep bacteria can  spread from an infected person when they talk, cough, or sneeze. Untreated bacterial infections lead to more serious infections like cellulitis, abscess, or bacteremia. This also makes the treatment to be dependent on antibiotics.

Strep infection might also lead to inflammatory issues.

The common symptom of strep throat include:

  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Nausea or vomiting especially in younger children
  • Strep infection might also lead to inflammatory issues.Example , inflammation of kidney and  rheumatic fever

How can Bacterial Infection (Strep Throat) be treated?

Your healthcare provider would suggest antibiotics.Common antibiotics that are used to treat strep throat are Penicillin and amoxicillin. These antibiotics are normally taken as pills or given a shot.For children it is often given in a liquid for or a shot.

What are the other causes of sore throat?

Other than the common two reasons, Viral infection and Bacterial infection these are some other factors that can cause sore throat.

Acid reflux

A condition where one feels burning and pain in their throat. It is often caused by foods that are acidic and high in fat. When acid reflux happens one may feel uncomfortable as they feel as though there is a lump in their throat.

Allergies

Allergies to pets, dust , flowers and cause sore throat. These allergies could cause post nasal drip and throat irritation.

Smoking

The smoke can irritate the tissues in the throat. Smoking in the long run also weakens your immune system which causes you to catch cold or get infected faster compared to non-smokers.

Even though everyone is familiar with sore throat, it is important to look for major symptoms when you have throat discomfort. Especially for children, untreated sore throat can lead to severe illness. Should you be looking for more information on sore throat or respiratory related issues, you may consult WhatsDoc clinicians for detailed and better understanding. Consult our clinician to get your answers and get treated.

Reference

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/strep-throat

https://www.concordia.ca/cunews/offices/provost/health/topics/sore-throat.html

https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/27105

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sore-throat.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infectious-diseases/expert-answers/infectious-disease/faq-20058098

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/198488

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311473#treatment

  • Sore throat
  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Flu
  • Common cold
  • Virus
  • Running nose
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Hand, foot and mouth diseases
  • Contagious
  • Rash 
  • Healthcare
  • Antibiotics
  • Smoking
  • Allergies