- Pictures of The Anatomy of a Sore Throat - Slideshow
- Pictures of Natural Cold & Flu Remedies - Slideshow
- Pictures of The Common Cold - Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Sore Throat - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Sore Throat - Home Remedies
- Patient Comments: Sore Throat - OTC Remedies
- Patient Comments: Sore Throat - Antibiotics
- Patient Comments: Sore Throat - Experience
- Sore throat facts
- What is the difference between sore throat and strep throat?
- What are the causes of sore throat?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a sore throat?
- Is a sore throat contagious?
- When should I see a doctor for a sore throat?
- How is strep throat diagnosed?
- What are home remedies to soothe a sore throat?
- What over-the-counter (OTC) medications will soothe a sore throat?
- Are antibiotics necessary for a sore throat?
- What can I do if I have a sore throat and am pregnant?
- What if I have multiple recurrent episodes of strep throat?
- How can I prevent a sore throat?
Quick GuideCommon Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat
What are the causes of sore throat?
There are several different causes of sore throat, which may include the following:
- Viral infection: This is by far the most common cause of a sore throat, and there are several different viruses that can lead to the common cold and an upper respiratory infection. Certain viruses such as the influenza virus (influenza, flu), Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis), mumps virus (mumps), parainfluenza virus (croup) and Coxsackie A virus (herpangina) also cause sore throat.
- Bacterial infection: A less common cause of sore throat, a bacterial infection can lead to strep throat, peritonsillar abscess, retropharyngeal abscess, diphtheria, epiglottitis, and tonsillitis. Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, also can rarely cause a sore throat.
- Toxins/Irritants: Various substances such a cigarette smoke, air pollution, and noxious airborne chemicals can lead to a sore throat. Medical conditions such as postnasal drip, allergies, cough, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and tumors can cause a sore throat. The intentional or unintentional ingestion of certain substances (for example, bleach) can cause a sore throat.
- Trauma/Injury: Any direct injury to the throat or neck area can lead to a sore throat. Sometimes, a foreign body (for example, a bone or piece of food) can cause a sore throat. Excessive yelling or screaming can irritate the throat and larynx, also leading to a sore throat.