Sore throats can be painful and annoying. Fortunately, most sore throats are caused by a minor illness and go away without medical treatment. Sore throats are the most common reason that patients visit a doctor. The tonsils and throat are very open to infection due to the contaminated air that flows through the area. The contaminated air contains pollutants, bacteria and viruses that attack throat tissue.

What is a sore throat?


Sore throats are an acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the lower pharynx. Tonsils and the soft palate may also be inflamed. The main indication of a sore throat is pain when swallowing and sometimes a burning sensation and tightness in the throat. Secretions may be discharged from the mucous membrane or the throat may be very dry.


What causes a sore throat?


A sore throat can have many causes including:  Common viruses and even the viruses that cause the flu. Some viruses can also produce blisters in the mouth and throat.

Breathing through the mouth can produce throat dryness and soreness.

Sinus drainage (post nasal drip).


Bacteria -- the two most common bacteria to cause a sore throat are Streptococcus (which causes strep throat) and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum. Arcanobacterium causes sore throats mainly in young adults and is sometimes associated with a fine red rash.


Sore throat appearing after treatment with antibiotics, chemotherapy, or other immune-compromising medications may be due to Candida, commonly known as 'thrush'.

A sore throat lasting for more than two weeks can be a sign of a serious illness.


What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

Sore throat symptoms include:  A dry, scratchy or swollen throat

Pain when swallowing, breathing or talking



There are numerous options available to help you deal with this uncomfortable condition. Here are a few to get you started:

Fluids are a great help. Sufficient intake of water helps in washing away infections quickly from your system.

If possible, try to rest your voice for the day. Avoid straining your throat by talking too much, especially talking loudly.

Baking soda and salt gargle: mix 1/2 a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt with 1/2 a cup of warm water and gargle a few times each day.

· Coarsely powdered cinnamon added to a glass of water along with two tablespoons of honey and a pinch of ground pepper and then boiled, is another remedy for sore throat.

Avoid fried or cold foods, very cold drinks and anything sour as they can aggravate a sore throat.