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: JohnQ, 45-54 Male Published: November 04

i am suffering from severe tonsillitis caused by a sore throat. Now I am towards the end of a long course of Amoclan 1g, together with Ibidroxil 500mg. Now the signs of tonsillitis are diminishing but an intolerable severe throat burning developed. I cannot drink water regularly, because of the burning and cannot talk for more than 5 minutes because i feel choked.

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Comment from: Mike, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 04

I have had a sore throat for about a week, with a fever and sweats at night. It's very tough to eat. I am 44 and in good shape. I have never had cold symptoms for more than a week, but last year, I moved into an apartment that heats with forced hot air. I had the same sore throat last year for more than three weeks. Finally, I went to the doctor. He gave me a week's supply of antibiotics. That was the only thing that cured it. My point is: If you are not a chronic sick person, and your cold symptoms last for more than a week, call you doctor. You don't even have to see him, a nurse can fill a prescription over the phone.

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