Sore throat is an irritation of the throat as a result of inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis), inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis) or trauma. A sore throat can affect people of all ages, but the risk of a sore throat is higher in Children, smokers, people with allergies and people compromised immune system.

According to Jones Roger (2004), in any three-month period, about 7.5% of people have a sore throat.

Causes of sore throat

  • Viral infection- Such as cold or flu, viral
  • Bacterial infection- Such as streptococcal pharyngitis, which causes strep throat , diphtheria (a throat inflammation) and whooping cough, which affects the respiratory mucous membrane.
  • Environmental factors- Such as exposure to allergy, dry air, cigarette smoking, passive smoking.
  • Gastroesophageal (acid) reflux disease – A digestive condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus.

Symptoms include:

  • Throat pain
  • Dry throat
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • white patches on the tonsils
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • A fever over 101˚F
  • Bloody mucus
  • A lump in the throat
  • Hoarseness that lasts longer than two weeks


Prevention of sore throat

  • Wash your handsthoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid sharingfood, drinking glasses or utensils.
  • Cough or sneezeinto a tissue and throw it away. When necessary, sneeze into your elbow.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizersas an alternative to washing hands when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touchingpublic phones or drinking fountains with your mouth.
  • Regularly cleantelephones, TV remotes and computer keyboards with sanitizing cleanser. When you travel, clean phones and remotes in your hotel room.
  • Avoid close contactwith people who are sick.

The best way to prevent sore throats is to avoid the germs that cause them and practice good hygiene.


Treatment of sore throat

  • Gargle with warm salt water.
  • Drink plenty of warm fluids, such as teas, soup, and water.
  • Avoid allergens and irritants, such as smoke and chemicals.
  • Take throat lozenges.
  • Inflammation is reduced with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Article by: eDokita Team.


  1. Jones, Roger (2004).Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care. Oxford University Press. p. 674. ISBN 9780198567820.
  2. Valencia Higuera. ‘Sore Throat’. Healthline.Web
  3. Stephen Doerr, John P. Cunha, Jerry R Balentine, Melissa Cornard Stoppler. ‘Sore Throat’. 2016.
  1. CB Del Mar, PP Glasziou, AB Spinks. ‘Antibiotics for sore throat’. 2000 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD00002
  1. Mayo Clinic. ‘Sore Throat: Self Management’. 2016

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