A sore throat (pharyngitis) is very common. It is usually caused by an infection in the throat. Soreness in the throat may be the only symptom. It usually feels more painful over the first 2 – 3 days and symptoms ease after that, with it usually clearing up after 5 – 7 days.
Symptoms and signs of a sore throat include:
- Swollen tonsils
- Pain may spread to the ears
- Tender enlarged and glands in your neck
- A painful, tender feeling at the back of your throat
- Discomfort when swallowing
If you have a sore throat, you may also experience a number of other symptoms that are associated with common infectious conditions, such as:
- High temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or over
- Aching muscles
- Runny nose
There are many possible causes of a sore throat that include:
- Viral Infection
- Bacterial Infection
- Allergies (such as hay fever)
- Voice Strain (caused by excessive use)
- Excessive throat clearing
Treating a sore throat
Treatment for a sore throat will often depend on the diagnosis and cause of the problem. If the cause is a virus as a result of a common cold the treatment is usually aimed at relieving the symptoms until the illness clears up by itself. You should drink plenty of fluids as the vocal cords are very sensitive to Dehydration. Drink plenty of water but avoid acidic juices such as lemonade and orange juice. Over the counter treatments such as Vocalzone Throat Pastilles can also be very effective in relieving the symptoms of a sore throat.
When strep throat has been diagnosed, a 10-day course of antibiotics usually is prescribed; all of the antibiotics should be taken as directed to prevent complications.
Most sore throats clear up within a week. If your symptoms persist, or you experience persistent breathiness, hoarseness or pain seek advice from your health provider. A consistently unreliable voice may signal deeper problems. Always consult your doctor or voice coach if you feel you may have a problem.