Sore Throat 101: 8 Causes of a Sore Throat & How to Recover From Them

While a minor sore throat can be merely an inconvenience, there are some instances where it should be heeded as a warning sign of something potentially more severe brewing in the body?

The burden of all these symptoms makes it impossible to live normally. This happens when the muscles surrounding our throat and face get swollen up.

What Is Sore Throat?

Sore throat is a painful condition that results from the irritation of the mucous membrane of the throat. Few symptoms include pain and tenderness in the throat, difficulty swallowing, and hoarseness.

A sore throat may also be accompanied by headache, general discomfort, fever, and muscle aches. If bacteria cause it, either a bacterial infection in your nose or the back of your throat may have spread to your vocal cords. Allergies or environmental irritants can also trigger a sore throat. Talking too much or singing too loudly can make your throat sore.

Vocal cord nodules, or growths on your vocal cords, can make them swell and painful when you talk or sing.

What Is Covid Sore Throat?

Covid sore throat is a medical condition that affects the throat, causing it to become inflamed and painful. It’s characterized by redness and puffiness of the throat with tiny blisters or sores present on the inside of the mouth that are often mistaken for canker sores.

This painful condition can range from mildly annoying to debilitating, depending on how nasty the infection is.

It’s also called croup, and in some cases, it can lead to dangerous complications like pneumonia. The main symptoms are a sore throat and a hoarse voice that worsen as the day goes on.

The swelling is usually in the back of the throat, but it can spread to other parts of the throat or airway. Several different viruses cause covid sore throat.

The best way to prevent the condition is to ensure you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations and wash your hands frequently, especially when you’re around small children.

A person with covid sore throat usually has difficulty swallowing, but if they don’t seek treatment, they could develop severe complications and permanent damage to their voice box.

Top 8 Causes Of Sore Throat?

It’s essential to tell the difference between a bacterial and a viral sore throat. Viruses are much more common than bacteria, and they’re spread by coughing, sneezing, and other ways that can’t be avoided.

Bacteria are caused by putting something in your mouth (like food) or touching something infected with bacteria (like someone else’s mouth).

1. Bacterial or Viral Infections

Bacteria are the most common cause of sore throats, especially among adults. Streptococcus pneumoniae (the bacteria that causes strep throat) is the most common bacterial infection that causes sore throats.

The other major cause is Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), which often starts in the sinuses and spreads to the throat. These are contagious infections that happen quickly from person-to-person contact, sharing food or eating utensils, touching surfaces without washing hands first, etc.

2. Acute or Chronic Rhinitis

If you have been suffering from a sore throat, it is essential to know that a sore throat could be caused by either acute or chronic rhinitis. Acute rhinitis is a sudden onset of symptoms such as headache, runny nose, and sore throat that can last up to 7 days,

Chronic rhinitis, also called allergic rhinitis, is a condition that has continuous symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and persistent cough and lasts for more than 12 weeks.

If you have been suffering from sore throat for over a week and your doctor has ruled out the possibility of strep throat or other serious illness, the next step would be to consult an allergist who can help diagnose the cause of your sore throat and prescribe treatment accordingly.

3. Pharyngitis or Laryngitis

Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the area at the back of the throat, called the pharynx. It affects the voice box and the tonsils, and it can cause pain, difficulty swallowing, a rasping cough, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and night sweats.

There are two types of pharyngitis: infectious pharyngitis (or acute pharyngitis) caused by a bacterial or viral infection and non-infectious (or chronic) pharyngitis caused by irritation of the vocal cords.

It causes swelling in your throat and vocal cords. If you have laryngitis for more than three weeks, you may have a peritonsillar abscess (a collection of pus around your tonsils).

4. Peritonsillar Abscess

Peritonsillar abscess is caused by bacteria entering your body through your mouth. Swelling in your throat prevents you from swallowing properly.

This makes food and drinks pool in your throat because you can’t swallow them properly. Those pools of fluids attract more bacteria. The infection grows until it causes severe pain that can only be relieved by antibiotics or surgical drainage.

5. Cancer of the Throat

This is one of the more severe causes of sore throat, and it’s best to see a doctor immediately if you think this might be what’s causing your problem.

It can be tough to tell if this is what’s going on because cancer can show its first symptoms as a sore throat—but luckily, there are other signs like weight loss and night sweats that will help you figure out whether or not you need to seek medical attention.

6. Acid Reflux

This less severe cause of sore throat occurs when acid from your stomach flows back into your esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. Pain-relieving medicine (like Tums or Rolaids), a change in diet, or eating smaller meals can help decrease reflux-related inflammation and irritation.

7. Uvulitis

Uvulitis refers to swelling in the uvula (the small structure at the back of the roof of your mouth). The uvula is prone to infection because it is so close to the back of your tongue.

If you have uvulitis, you may feel discomfort in the area behind your cheeks and find that it hurts to swallow. In addition to pain, there may be swelling in your tongue, making swallowing hard.

8. Sinusitis

When you have sinusitis, your sinuses and nasal passages become inflamed due to an infection, either viral or bacterial. The inflammation causes pressure on your throat, which contributes to soreness.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sore Throat:

  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A hoarse or muffled voice
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing

Treatment of a Sore Throat?

1. Avoid Cough Drops and Lozenges

Cough drops and lozenges may seem like an easy fix for your sore throat, but they’re ineffective at relieving pain or making you feel better faster!

These medications can dry out your nasal passages and irritate them even more — which means they’ll make you cough more often than not!

If you really want a cold remedy (and don’t mind using medication), try using acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead of medicated lozenges or cough drops (and if you’re under age 18, check with your doctor first).

2. Gargle with Salt Water

Gargling with warm salt water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to relieve your sore throat. Salty water helps soothe the pain and discomfort associated with a sore throat by washing away dead cells that can irritate your throat when they dry out or get stuck in your mouth. You can gargle every few hours until your symptoms subside entirely.

3. Try an Ice Pack

Ice packs are another great way to soothe your sore throat without taking any medications or over-the-counter drugs that may cause more harm than good in the long run. Ice packs work by numbing the area around your throat so you won’t feel as much pain from your condition.

They also help reduce swelling in your mouth caused by allergies or irritation from bacteria that cause a cold or flu virus.

4. Drink More Fluids

The next thing you should do if you develop a sore throat is to drink plenty of fluids. If you’re not drinking enough, your body will be unable to flush out the virus and bacteria causing your sore throat.

5. Try a Throat Spray

A sore throat spray can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. It’s essential to use one that contains both pain relief and an antiseptic so that it can kill germs.

Visit iCare Urgent Care in Argyle

At iCare in Argyle, the key to determining the most effective remedy is to understand what caused it in the first place so you can select a treatment option that will address this root cause.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from a sore neck or throat, it is essential to attend to the matter promptly. We provide appointments and accept walk-in’s for convenient urgent care. Book your appointment today!


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We’re here for you and can schedule an appointment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the office is not open, we can refer you to one of our on call Doctors at your nearby hospital.


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