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Sore Throat

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Sore Throat

A sore throat is one of the most common of medical complaints.

A sore throat is a discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat that often causes painful swallowing. As described above, there are several structures in the the throat that can cause symptoms.

Sore Throat Causes:

Most sore throats are caused by post nasal drip, allergies, irritants, and reflux, all of which result in an inflamed pharynx. Sore throats are rarely infectious and do not necessarily involve the tonsils. A low grade and unresolving sore throat can be due to yeast overgrowth, which causes a white coating on the tongue. Infections cause acute and severe sore throats and can be caused by viruses, such as the flu, the common cold, or mononucleosis, or bacteria such as Streptococcus, Mycoplasma, or Hemophilus influenza. As with sinus infections, bacterial throat infections last longer than viral infections, which resolve after 5-7 days.

Sore Throat Symptoms:

Sore throat symptoms are often associated with :

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Ear pain
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tonsil stones
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw and neck
  • Oral blisters or canker sores
  • Throat clearing
  • Sensitivity to acidic or hot foods
  • Bad breath

Sore Throat Treatment:

There are many homeopathic and herbal remedies for sore throats. Gargles, sprays and lozenges can ease most symptoms. Chronic symptoms respond well to treating the underlying causes, such as allergies, reflux or yeast overgrowth. Severe viral infections can be treated with Ibuprofen, oral steroids, or injectable antiinflammatories in the office. These injections can immediately improve symptoms. Bacterial throat infections are often treated with antibiotics, but probiotics and injectable antiinflammatories can minimize your bodies response to the infection, allowing your immune system to fight the bacteria on its own.

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Linda D. Dahl, MD