Throat Pain

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What is it?

Pain in the throat may be caused by a variety of inflammations of the larynx, pharynx, or tonsils. Throat soreness is typically associated with painful swallowing. Inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis) is the most common form of sore throat and is usually from virus infection.

What causes it? 

A sore throat may be caused by a number of conditions including:   

  • Bacterial infection

  • Chemical irritation

  • Chemotherapy

  • Common Cold

  • Croup

  • Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

  • Laryngitis

  • Larynx Cancer

  • Oral Cancer

  • Pharyngitis

  • Scarlet Fever

  • Sjogren's Syndrome

  • Strep Throat

  • Swine Flu

  • Tonsillitis

  • Virus infection


Common treatments  

Home treatments to relieve pain include:  

  • Gargling with warm salt water (this helps to reduce swelling and relieve discomfort)

  • Hydration (fluids may help to thin secretions and soothe an irritated throat)

  • Herbal teas (may help to decrease throat irritation)

  • Humidifiers or vaporizors can also provide relief  

There are also several nonprescription medicines to relieve symptoms including decongestants and anti-inflammatory lozenges. For throat infections, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

You should seek medical care if: 

  • You are having trouble swallowing liquids

  • Your sore throat persists for more than five days

  • Your sore throat is associated with a fever or swollen "glands"

  • You have white patches on the back of your throat

  • The front of your neck is sore and stiff

  • You have been in contact with someone with strep throat and you have a sore throat

  • Your sore throat is not associated with other cold symptoms (runny nose, watery eyes, sinus congestion)

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About Pain does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment