Sore Throat - Symptoms

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What were your symptoms of sore throat and how long did they last?

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What are the signs and symptoms of a sore throat?

The signs and symptoms of a sore throat vary depending on the underlying cause. However, the common symptom shared by individuals with a sore throat is the feeling of throat pain and discomfort, which is often worsened by swallowing or talking. Some people may complain of a scratchy or dry sensation in their throat as well.

Because most cases of sore throat are caused by an infection, individuals may commonly experience any of the additional following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Earache
  • Sneezing
  • Weakness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Redness and/or swelling of the tonsils and back of the throat
  • White patchy areas on the tonsils (exudate)
  • Swollen and/or tender lymph nodes in the neck
  • A muffled or hoarse voice

Distinguishing between a sore throat caused by a virus and strep throat can be challenging, but there are certain features that can often help differentiate them. Generally speaking, individuals with strep throat will have red swollen tonsils with white patches (exudate), fever, and swollen tender lymph nodes in the neck WITHOUT the symptoms typically seen with a viral infection (a "cold") such as cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. However, this distinction is not always present, and therefore an evaluation with a health care professional may be necessary to accurately confirm the diagnosis. Only a throat culture (swab taken from the back of the throat) can definitively diagnose a strep throat.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: drbubba, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 20

I have had sore throat for almost two weeks; tested and found no infection or strep. I take liquid analgesic which only helps for about 10 minutes. I use cough drops and Chloraseptic spray with little relief. Next I will try sinus irrigation to relieve post-nasal drip and medication for acid reflux.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: bpn, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 10

I am suffering throat pain while talking with others for a long time and voice is not clearing while talking. When speaking in a loud voice I am feeling pain.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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