Sore throats are very common and aren’t usually cause for concern. They’re also easy to treat and usually go away within a week. Often, sore throats are caused by minor ailments such as the flu or the common cold. In certain cases, the culprit can be something more serious, such as throat cancer or asthma. To treat a sore throat, drink plenty of warm liquids and take over-the-counter medication when needed.
A scratchy feeling in the throat can be one of the most unpleasant symptoms of a sore throat. The cause of a scratchy sensation in the throat is often a dry cough – a cough that doesn’t produce any phlegm – or an outside cause, like allergies. Dander, dust, and mites are just a few of many substances that typically cause people to develop an allergic reaction. If allergies are to blame, other symptoms will usually appear, such as a runny nose or frequent sneezing. Trying to make a scratchy throat to go away by coughing may make the symptoms worse – it’s better to take over-the-counter drugs to relieve symptoms.
Pain in the Throat
Pain in the throat is an indication that something is wrong with the throat or surrounding areas. Sometimes, viruses or other infections cause throat pain. Luckily, these are usually easy to treat at home. In other cases, pain may be caused by more severe conditions, such as an allergic reaction or asthma. These conditions require further medical evaluation. To treat throat pain at home, you can try using salt water gargles or medicated lozenges. Sprays and humidifiers are also good alternatives for throat pain treatment, especially if you live in an arid or dry climate.
Medically known as dysphagia, difficulty swallowing can indicate problems in the throat or the esophagus. Anyone can be affected by dysphagia, but it is more likely to occur in babies or older adults, as well as individuals with preexisting conditions of the nervous system or the brain. Difficulty swallowing has both minor and serious causes. If you experience difficulty swallowing infrequently, the cause is likely to be benign. However, if you experience normal difficulty swallowing, you should see your doctor to rule out any dangerous conditions.
The lymphatic system plays a key role in fighting off infection and disease. Bacteria and other toxins are filtered through small glands known as lymph nodes that are located throughout the body, including high concentrations in the head and neck. When infected, they can swell, causing soreness and pain when swallowing. If you’re experiencing a sore throat, you may also have swollen glands. The causes can be both minor and severe, ranging from acute infection to cancer. If your lymph nodes don’t go back to normal, consult your doctor for further evaluation.
Tonsils – two lymph nodes located in the back of the throat – are an important defense mechanism that protects your body from infection and disease. If you have a sore throat, you may also note that your tonsils appear red or swollen, a condition known as tonsillitis. This is a very common condition that can affect anyone of any age, although it is most often diagnosed in children. Tonsillitis can be dangerous due to its rapid rate of infection; physical contact between students can cause a whole classroom to become infected. Other causes, such as throat cancer, are also possible.
White spots that appear in the mouth or near the throat may seem disconcerting, but in most cases, they aren’t serious. If you have an infection, the natural response by your body may produce white patches around the mouth. These symptoms often accompany a sore throat. To determine whether the spots in your mouth are a cause for further concern, evaluate how long they take to disappear. If they don’t go away or if they grow, you should contact your doctor to receive a diagnosis.
It is normal to experience a certain degree of hoarseness when you have a sore throat. Hoarseness is defined as an abnormal change in the voice. It may affect the pitch, depth, and volume of your voice, meaning that it can range from a deep voice to a weak and raspy voice. Hoarseness is caused by damage or irritation to the vocal cords. Some people develop hoarseness as a result of persistent coughing or overuse of the voice. Signers, for example, are likely to experience hoarseness from time to time. Smoking and certain infections may also cause this symptom.
A fever may appear before, after, or at the same time as a sore throat. As with other ailments affecting the throat, the cause is often an infection or a virus. The flu and the common cold are some of the most common conditions that can cause a fever to appear alongside a sore throat. If you’re experiencing a fever, make sure to monitor your temperature. A fever that lasts more than four days is a cause for concern and should be reported to your doctor. Likewise, if your fever reaches a temperature of above 102°F, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
A sore throat itself can be easily managed by resting and taking over-the-counter medication, but when coupled with nausea, a sore throat becomes highly unpleasant. Luckily, nausea doesn’t appear as often as other symptoms. If you’re experiencing nausea and a sore throat at the same time, your symptoms may be caused by an infection involving the respiratory system or the stomach. Another possibility is food poisoning, although this is rare. If your nausea doesn’t go away after a few hours, seeks medical attention. If you vomit blood, go to the emergency room.
In some cases, a sore throat can be accompanied by difficulty breathing. This symptom can be especially troublesome because it might make you feel as if you are choking. In certain cases, difficulty breathing can constitute a medical emergency. Allergies are among the most common causes of difficulty breathing, especially during the spring and fall seasons. Asthma is another possibility, particularly in young people and the elderly. Lastly, the common cold and the flu can also cause difficulty breathing.