A Sore throat can be painful and annoying. Fortunately, most sore throats are caused by a minor illness and go away without medical treatment.
Several conditions can cause a sore throat:
- The common cold, the most common type of viral infection
- Infection of the voice box (laryngitis)
- Mononucleosis (mono, “the kissing disease”), a viral infection that tends to cause a persistent sore throat
- Other viral infections, such as mumps, herpangina, or influenza
- A bacterial infection may also cause a sore throat. This can occur from
Strep throat, which usually does not occur with congestion or a cough.
- An inflammation or infection of the tonsils (tonsillitis) and sometimes the adenoids (adenoiditis)
- An infection of the tissues around the tonsils (peritonsillar abscess)
- Inflammation of the epiglottis (epiglottitis)
- Inflammation of the uvula (uvulitis)
Irritants and Injuries
A sore throat that lasts longer than a week is often caused by irritants or an injuries, such as:
- Throat irritation from dry air, smoking, air pollution, yelling, or postnasal drip
- Breathing through the mouth when you have allergies or a stuffy nose
- Stomach acid that backs up into the throat, which may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Although GERD often occurs with heartburn, an acid taste in the mouth, or a cough, sometimes a sore throat is the only symptom.
- An injury to the back of the throat, such as a cut or puncture from falling with a pointed object in the mouth
Because viral illnesses are the most common cause of a sore throat, it is important not to use antibiotics to treat them. Antibiotics do not alter the course of viral infections. Unnecessary use of an antibiotic exposes you to the risks of an allergic reaction and antibiotic side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, and yeast infections. Antibiotics also may kill beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For sore throats caused by strep, treatment with antibiotics may be needed.
When Should you come in to Accelerated Urgent Care?
If you have persistent pain, fever, or irritation.
We can swab your throat to check you for Strep Throat, and treat you appropriately.
Treatment for a sore throat depends on the cause!