Is it painful to swallow? Or is your throat itchy? It might be a virus causing your sore throat. A sore throat is a painful, dry, or itchy feeling in the throat. Pain in the throat is one of the most common symptoms, which accounts for more than 2% of all adult primary care visits each year.
Most sore throats are caused by infections,or by environmental factors like dry air. Although a sore throat can be uncomfortable,it will usually go away on its own.
Sore throats are divided into types,based on the part of the throat they affect:
- Pharyngitis causes swelling and soreness in the throat.
- Tonsillitis is swelling and redness of the tonsils, the soft tissue in the back of the mouth.
- Laryngitis is swelling and redness of the voice box, or larynx.
Sometimes the following symptoms suggest a virus is causing the illness instead of Strep throat:
- Runny nose.
- Hoarseness (changes in voice that makes it sound breathy, raspy, or strained).
- Conjunctivitis (also called pink eye).
Causes of Sore Throat
- Viruses, like those that cause cold or flu.
- The bacteria group A strep, which causes strep throat (also called streptococcal pharyngitis).
- Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.
One of these infections from viruses are the most common cause of sore throats.
Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria.These bacteria are called group A Streptococcus (also called Streptococcus pyogenes).
Read also: Home Remedies For Sore Throat.
You can soothe a sore throat as follows:
- Drink liquids, at least 64 ounces (8 cups or 2 liters) per day to stay hydrated,to thin mucus, and to keep your throat moist. It’s very important to stay hydrated, even though it hurts. Drink water, tea (herbal or decaf), broth, soup, and non-caffeinated sports drinks e.g Gatorade. Hot tea with lemon and honey can help.
- Gargle with warm salt-water. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of regular table salt in 8 ounces (240 ml)of warm water, gargle for a few seconds, spit it out, then repeat a few times. Do this three times a day.
How to prevent a sore throat
While a sore throat cannot always be avoided, there are several steps you can take to help prevent it.
Some ways you may be able to prevent a sore throat include
- Cleaning of hands regularly.
- Limit close contact with others who have respiratory infections, sore throats, and colds.
- If you smoke, consider quitting.
- Avoid exposure to second hand smoke as much as possible.