Strep InfectionStrep throat causes redness, swelling and pain. If you have a sore throat, your doctor will often test you for strep by swabbing a Q-tip along the back of your throat. Strep throat is treated with antibiotics. For more information, please read:
- Is Your Sore Throat Strep?
- Strep Throat Symptoms
- Do I Need Antibiotics for Strep Throat?
- How Long Is Strep Throat Contagious?
- What Are Strep Throat Complications I Should Know About?
- What to Do About Recurring Strep Throat
The Common ColdThere are more than 200 viruses that are responsible for the common cold, and many cause the symptoms of a sore throat. Because the common cold is caused by a virus, and these viruses are constantly mutating, there is no cure. There is also no single test to determine if one of these viruses are the cause of your sore throat. For more information, please read:
Sinus Infections and Chronic Post-Nasal DripSinus infections (also called sinusitis) can cause a sore throat, as can chronic post nasal drip. Post nasal drip feels like a runny nose in the back of your throat and can be caused by sinusitis, allergies, upper respiratory infections and pregnancy. For more information, please read:
- How Can I Tell If I Have a Sinus Infection?
- Allergies and Chronic Sinusitis Often Confused and Misdiagnosed
- What Is Post Nasal Drip?
Readers Respond: What Affects Your Post Nasal Drip
MonoMono is a shortened term for the disease mononucleosis, which can cause an extremely sore throat and swollen tonsils. Mono is mainly spread through saliva and is common in teenagers. Mono cannot be treated with antibiotics and can take three months or more to resolve. For more information, please read:
Acid RefluxAcid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach spills into the esophagus and sometimes into the throat, irritating the tissue. This common condition most often occurs when you are lying down, so a sore throat from acid reflux is most likely to occur in the morning.
Treating a sore throat caused by acid reflux (or GERD) usually involves medications that reduce or neutralize acid in the stomach. Some of these medications include the proton pump inhibitor dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), calcium carbonate (Tums) or milk of magnesia. For more information, please read:
AllergiesAllergies affect millions of people in the United States. Besides a sore throat, they commonly cause fatigue, a runny nose, post-nasal drip and itchy eyes and ears. Allergies are caused by many things, including pollen, grass, mold, dust and pet dander. Allergies are often treated by a class of medications called antihistamines. For more information, please read:
- Coping with Nasal Allergies
- What Causes Hay Fever?
How to Detect an Allergy and Remove it from Home
Sore Throat Caused By SurgeryYou would expect certain surgeries to cause a sore throat, but because a breathing tube is inserted into the back of your throat and into your lungs you can develop a sore throat for a short time anytime after having general anesthesia. Specific surgeries that can cause you to have a severe sore throat and hoarseness include thyroidectomies, tonsillectomies and the removal of vocal fold cysts. The following articles may be helpful:
- Home Remedies for Tonsillitis and Sore Throat
- Having Your Tonsils Removed
- Licorice Root to Soothe a Sore Throat After Surgery
- What Are Vocal Fold Cysts?
- Thyroid Surgery and Thyroidectomy
Throat CancerCancer is one of the more rare and serious causes of sore throat. Symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, weight loss, a chronic cough and ear pain. Some people are at a higher risk for throat cancer, especially those who drink alcohol or smoke. There is also some evidence that the sexually transmitted virus HPV can cause some kinds of head and neck cancer. If you have these risk factors or suspect that you may have throat cancer, see your doctor. When throat cancer is detected early, it can be cured in the majority of cases. For more information, please read:
Other ConditionsOf course this article does not cover every condition that can cause a sore throat. Other possible causes include (but are not limited to):
- Influenza, including H1N1
- Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
- Certain medications and chemotherapy
Herpangina - an infection that usually affects children
American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Fact Sheet: Common Problems That Can Affect Your Voice. Accessed: September 2, 2009 from http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/commonvoiceproblems.cfm
American Family of Physicians. Head and Neck Manifestations of Gastroesophageal Refulx Disease. Accessed: June 10, 2011 from http://www.aafp.org/afp/990901ap/873.html
CDC. Epstein Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis. Accessed: April 20, 2009 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm
MedlinePlus. Herpangina. Accessed: November 19, 2009 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000969.htm
Medline Plus. Strep Throat. Accessed: September 15, 2009 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000639.htm
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Common Cold. Accessed: February 1, 2009. http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/commonCold/
New England Journal of Medicine. Case-Control Study of Human Papillomavirus and Oropharyngeal Cancer. Accessed: February 25, 2010 from http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/356/19/1944
Sexton, D.J. & Friedman, N.D. Patient information: The common cold in adults. www.uptodate.com (subscription required). August, 2006.